TALENTED dancers will be able to follow in the footsteps of successful performers like Swindon hip-hop star Richard ‘Banksy’ Banks thanks to a new course.

Swindon Dance has linked up with New College for a qualification in dance and urban dance.

It will give dancers who want to pursue a career in the creative performing industry – like former student Banksy – a chance because funding has been set aside to cover the costs.

Dance school artistic director Viv Slayford said: “There are huge academic pressures for dancers which can become very stressful.

"That’s why we wanted to introduce something like this which will help.

"We don’t want to exclude talent because of costs and that’s why we made sure there is funding to support with this. All we want to do is help people realise their dreams.”

Dancers who have been through the school and gone on to achieve stardom in the industry include contemporary dancer Jacob O’Connell, and Carys Staton who was a main dancer on a Beyoncé video.

“Talent programmes on television do help raise the profile of the sport but it doesn’t show the dedication that goes into this,” explained Viv.

“It has definitely raised the popularity of dance in the town and highlighted that it’s okay for boys to do this art form.”

The course will be run at the college in Queens Drive.

Paul Jones, head of partnerships, said: “The college is delighted to be entering into a collaboration with Swindon Dance to offer an opportunity to young people to deliver a bespoke Level 3 Access programme in both dance and urban dance.

“This will complement the college’s existing performing arts offer, while providing exciting progression opportunities for those students who have been on the Centre for Advanced Training offered by Swindon Dance and who have demonstrated exceptional potential in dance.”

An open day will be held in April at the studio in Regent Circus and auditions follow in June.