Dancing her way to the top

Bellshill dancer Samantha Mullen
Bellshill dancer Samantha Mullen

A Bellshill dancer who sold her belongings to help pursue a dream of appearing in London’s West End has had her dedication rewarded.

Samantha Mullen, who completed HND Dance Artists at Glasgow Clyde College’s Dance Studio Scotland, self-funded the first year of her studies at Laine Theatre Arts in London, one of the world’s most prestigious training colleges for performing arts.

She raised the cash through working part-time, hosting fundraising events in the local area and even selling her car. However, the 20-year-old will no longer have to worry about annual training fees after being selected to receive the renowned Betty Laine Scholarship.

The former Cardinal Newman High School pupil, who dreams of performing on London’s West End, said: “I was completely overwhelmed when I found out about the scholarship.

“Thousands of people audition to get into Laine every year so gaining a place was a huge achievement. It’s been a great journey already and I’m loving every minute.

“I’ve been dancing since I was a little girl and auditioned to study at Dance Studio Scotland in Glasgow Clyde College when I was 16 as I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life.

“The course was really intensive but it prepared me for training in London as the industry is really tough and you have to be very motivated and dedicated if you want to succeed. You definitely need rhino skin!”

Samantha returns each year to participate in the Dance Summer School at Glasgow Clyde College.

She said: “The college feels like home as the lecturers have always supported me and I so love coming back.”

Maxine Railton, senior lecturer at Dance Studio Scotland, believes Samantha can be an inspiration for their current students.

She said: “We are very proud to have been instrumental in helping Sammy to follow her dream of studying at Laine Theatre Arts.

“She is so committed and I’m not surprised her dedication has been rewarded with a scholarship. We have loved having her back at the college to see her progress and it’s great for our current students to hear all about her experiences of training in London.

“That could be them one day!”