JESSICA Fisher-Lambert dreams of dancing on stage in London’s West End.
And her potential has been recognised by leading industry insiders who offered her a place at two top theatre schools.
But to realise her dreams, 18-year-old Jessica needs to find £8,000 in tuition fees each year for three years.
The Skelmanthorpe student turned down a place at Italia Conti in London, the country’s top theatre school, because the fees were too high.
She has accepted a place at the prestigious Liverpool Theatre School.
But because musical theatre is classed as private education, Jessica is not entitled to financial support or tuition fees.
She is now working every hour she can to save up enough money to achieve her ambition.
Jessica said: “I really wanted to go to London and my parents said they would back me.
“But the fees were £15,000 and I didn’t want to put pressure on them as they are doing all they can anyway.
“My dream is to dance on stage in the West End and I really do believe I can with the right training.”
The dancer has even got the backing of Dame Judi Dench, who she wrote to last month.
In a return letter, Dame Judi Dench congratulated Jessica on being awarded a place and told her: “I do hope that you will be able to take this up, as I know how difficult life can be for drama students with the appalling lack of funding.”
Jessica is a shop assistant at Jane Norman. She has just left Huddersfield Technical College where she completed a two year BTech National Diploma in musical theatre.
Before that she attended Shelley High School and was a member of Oscars College of Performance Arts in Huddersfield.
Jessica has danced at Her Majesty’s Theatre and appeared on stage at the Halifax Playhouse.
Jessica added: “I started dancing when I was seven and it is something I have always loved.
“For my audition I did a routine from Chicago, All That Jazz, and I am so pleased to get a place.
“Over 500 people auditioned and there are only 20 places at the college, so to get one is something special.
“I am working as much as I can to raise the money to go there in September.”
Her mother Sharon Lambert criticised the funding system, saying there was no financial support for young talented actors wanting to pursue their dream.
Mrs Lambert said: “We did not know that we would get no financial support at all.
“Because of the nature of the course, musical theatre and the college, it is classed as private and further education as opposed to a university and higher education.
“We work hard, pay our taxes and encourage our children to further their career options by further studying, and then hit a brick wall.
“We want to enable our daughter to pursue her dreams and study her craft.”