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Oak Bay dancer chases his dream all the way to prestigious UK school

Julian Stark fulfills dream with acceptance from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

It was Feb. 5 when Julian Stark got the news that forever changed his life; a phone call informing him that he had been accepted to Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London.

The only school of its type in the U.K., Trinity Laban accepts less than 10 per cent of its applicants. Despite that, the Oak Bay resident got the good news just two days after his initial interview.

Stark started dancing when he was young. At the age of seven, after spending a day at Westcoast Academy of Performing Arts, he decided that dance was his true passion in life.

“To Julian, it’s all about connecting with other people through dance and it’s almost like a universal language: communicating to other people and telling your story through dance and in a way everyone can understand,” his mother Rhonda Stark said.

Specializing in contemporary dance, Julian focuses on a discipline that’s conducted barefoot or with socks and “explores your body and how you feel.” Developed in the 20th century, contemporary dance incorporates movements from other genres like jazz and ballet. ” He also practises some straight ballet on the side.

After discovering Trinity Laban through a friend and doing some research on the institution, Julian was instantly hooked.

“A friend and I were talking about famous choreographers and found out one of them was a professor there,” he said. “Knowing that I went full head-on Trinity Laban and when I got in, I was screaming all around the house.”

The road, however, to the acceptance was not an easy one. According to his mother. Already an extremely hard worker, Julian had to work twice as hard to reap the benefits.

“There were days where he’d spend eight hours a day practicing since dance didn’t come easy for him. The girls that were practicing with him developed faster than he did until he turned 16 which is when everything took and became easier,” Rhonda said.

In preparation to start, Julian and his family have started funding projects to cover the fees that includes ticket sales though holding a solo night concert, and starting a GoFundMe page.

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