Former Cardinal Newman pupil Craig Hopkins is dancing on air after being presented with a scholarship to the prestigious Abby Lee Dance Company in America – only five weeks after having a knee operation.
He was given the award at the West Empire Dance Competition in Dublin when all 12 judges – including Abby Lee Miller – gave him a first for his Creme de la Creme show piece.
Afterwards he said: “OMG, I can’t actually believe I’ll be training in their studios. I’m over the moon – it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Craig’s proud mum Jane agreed and said he’d been up against 400 talented youngsters. But she added: “Abby (of Dance Moms on ITV) absolutely loved him.”
Yet only a short while before the contest, Craig had caught the bacterial infection cellulitis, and was then diagnosed with bursitis. Doctors tried draining the fluid on his knee but in the end had to operate. He was given the all-clear two weeks before he was due to dance and is still having the wound dressed.
Craig – who has an identical twin brother Kyle – told the Herald&Post in December that he couldn’t imagine a life without dance: “I live it and breathe it.”
He was speaking after making it to the finals of the Disco Kid King & Queen competition in Blackpool, billed as the ‘pinnacle of free-style achievement with only the best making it on to the legendary list.’
Earlier last year he was awarded not one but two dance scholarships, turning down Wilkes Academy in Swindon in favour of London’s acclaimed Urdang Academy.