Talented Downlands College dancer Lillian McCarthy-Cole is pinching herself after recently experiencing life at New York’s Broadway Dance Centre. The demanding four-day program placed Lilly with dancers aged 14 to 18 years, making her the youngest in her class. Dancing from 8am to 5pm each day, Lilly experienced classes in ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, contemporary, musical theatre, as well as specific skill sessions for jumps, turns and flexibility. Lilly is being considered for a three-week intern program next year, so this intensive workshop acted as an audition.

Lilly’s connection with Downlands started in Year 5 when she was cast in the 2014 college musical Phantoad of the Opera — despite not yet being a student of the school. Since commencing at Downlands in 2016 in Year 7, Lilly has played Young Cosette in Les Misérables (2016), and Patsy in Crazy for You (2018). She is a member of the College Dance Troupe, a keen swimmer and an active house member. This year, Lilly was voted Junior House Captain of Treand. “I have loved the opportunities I’ve had to perform since I’ve been here.

I travelled to Europe last year, as part of the College Cultural Tour, and sang in St Peter’s Basilica, which was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There’s so much to do at Downlands that I never get bored,” Lilly said. With dreams of joining a dance company, this talented young Downlander certainly has the determination, ability and ambition to get there.

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