A talented young ballerina is looking for sponsorship after winning a place at the prestigious Tring Park School of Performing Arts in London.
Latysha Antonio, 14, from Ely, discovered only a few days ago that she had earned a place at the school, after completing an audition at the end of January.
But due to cuts in funding, the school is unable to offer any financial help to students, who are required to pay annual tuition fees of £30,000 throughout the four year dance course.
Proud mother, Gina Antonio, said: “We are looking for ways to raise this considerable sum of money. I am hoping someone might wish to sponsor my daughter through her studies.”
She added: “We have not yet planned any fundraising events, as we only found out that Latysha had won the place a few days ago. The school seems to expect you to be very rich.”
Latysha, a pupil at Bishop of Llandaff High School, said: “All I have ever wanted to do is dance. It was a dream come true to find out I had got a place at Tring Park School. I really hope I will be able to start the course there in September.”
Latysha was one of only 15 young dancers chosen from the rigorous auditions. During the all-day selection process, she had to perform a solo dance, which she had choreographed herself, as well as completing a ballet class in front of a selection panel.
The young performer first started dancing at the Mandy and Shirley Morris School of Dance, based at Chapter Arts Centre, when she was six. Since then, she has become an associate of the Royal Ballet School, Ballet Cymru and the National Dance Company Wales.
Latysha has already won awards for her outstanding performances. In 2010, she won a New York Dance and Performance Award for her role in Dover Beach - a collaboration between Chapter Arts Centre and award-winning US choreographer Sarah Michelson.
But Ms Antonio, who is a single parent and supports her children on Child Benefit, was unable to raise the money to send her daughter to the award ceremony, despite selling all of her gold jewellery to raise funds.
Ms Antonio, who works at Sapphire Dancewear in Pontcanna, said: “I finally feel ready for Lollie to go away to dance school. It will be sad when my daughter leaves home, but I hope it will help her to achieve her dream of becoming a professional dancer.”