Paige aims for the limelight

editorial image

A MONIFIETH dancer is making a name for herself among the bright lights of London’s theatreland.

Paige Morrison, Solway Gardens, has just been cast in her first leading role as ‘Nanette’ in ‘No No Nanette’, a musical from the 1920s, which opens in the Orchard Theatre, Dartford, in February.

She has recently appeared at The Orchard in ‘Hooray For Hollywood’.

And on Friday she achieved further success when she received a ‘Highly Commended’ award in the Aspiring Youth category at the Angus Ambassadors presentation event in the Carnoustie Golf Hotel.

Paige, who is originally from Cardenden, Fife, started dancing at just two years old. She was taught ballet by Caroline Kelly of The Caroline Kelly Academy of Dance in Kirkcaldy from the age of five until she went to The Dance School Of Scotland in Glasgow aged 11 after her primary education at St Ninian’s School in Cardenden.

Paige spent six years at The Dance School - the country’s only national centre of excellence for dance and musical theatre - combining up to 36 hours a week vocational training with her secondary education. She graduated from The Dance School Of Scotland after being awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award for Dance in June, 2011.

After auditioning with thousands of other talented youngsters, Paige won a £42,000 scholarship to the internationally renowned Doreen Bird College of performing arts in London where she began a three year Professional Diploma in Musical Theatre course in September of last year when she was just 17 years old!

Her mum, Beth Morrison, told the Guide and Gazette: “Paige has been enjoying her new life in London. She is loving her course and is being taught by world class teachers in ballet, contemporary dance, jazz, tap and commercial dance as well as acting, singing and musical theatre.

“She recently enjoyed masterclasses in singing with Kurt Kansley, who formerly played ‘Simba’ in ‘The Lion King’. She also has twice weekly classes in commercial dance with David Leighton who directs and choreographs for popular television shows such as The X Factor, The Brit Awards, Dancing on Ice and Britain’s Got Talent. David has also worked with and provides dancers for tours with bands like Girls Aloud and Take That.”

Mrs Morrison believes that Doreen Bird College is arguably one of the best faculties in the world for dance and musical theatre and previous allumni include Melanie C, former Spice Girl and star of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’; John Partridge, Christian in ‘Eastenders’ who is about to begin a leading role in ‘A Chorus Line’ in London’s West End.

She continued: “Whatever musical you go to see in the West End, you’ll be sure to find a Doreen Bird graduate. There are currently five Doreen Bird graduates appearing in ‘Loserville, The Musical’ at The Garrick Theatre in London.

“So, with training like this, Paige’s dream of a career in The West End, is definitely on the right track.”

However, her days are tough. She starts with an 8.30 a.m. ballet class and add to that jazz, acting, voice and singing classes and it means that most days she is rarely away from the studio until 6 p.m. or even later.

Mrs Morrison went on: “It is not enough just to be a dancer or a singer or an actor. These days competition for jobs is fierce so you have to be able to do it all. ‘The Triple Threat’ they call it, so that takes a lot of hard work. This has made Paige a most dedicated and disciplined young person- she just gets on with it.”