On 1st July 2019, I had been to the Barbers with my 12-year-old brother, Casey. We headed down to Tesco afterwards as it was a very hot day and we were getting ice creams. But Casey had left his school bag in the Barbers, feeling annoyed with him I sent him back to get the bag whilst I waited.
The crossing is difficult to read and Casey read the lights as they were displayed to him but a motorbike was approaching the lights and going straight ahead and his visibility was blocked by stationary traffic waiting at the filter and he did slow down to anticipate that a child may run out and he hit Casey throwing him up the road.
Someone from the Barbers came to find me and when I got to the scene the paramedic had been called and I held my brother and made him comfortable whilst we waited and I tried to calm him and distract him from the horrendous injury he had suffered to his leg.
The paramedics arrived and because all the helicopters were flying, an air ambulance doctor came in by a jeep to assess Casey's leg and stabilise it so they could take him to hospital.
Whilst my parents travelled with Casey, I went into the jeep with the paramedic to The Royal London Hospital and they were amazing. The emergency teams were so organised and everyone was waiting for Casey's arrival and they all had a place and a job already, they were so calm. The doctor/surgeon had already phoned ahead and informed the hospital which doctors were needed to be waiting due to the severity of his injuries.
Casey was very lucky that day, somehow he managed not to hit his head, which saved his life and although bad enough, but he did suffer a Grade IIIa Open Compound Fracture in 3 places on the tibia and fibula which were comminated and segmented. It is one of the worst injuries you can sustain and he was lucky to not lose his leg that day.
Casey was in the hospital for a week and I was struggling with PTSD, I was unable to sleep due to flashbacks and was very traumatised by seeing the severity of Casey's injuries. I was also feeling guilty for not going back to the Barbers with him. Casey, bless him, turned around and stated 'It could have been both of us' or worse.
Things were made worse because my Dance School was so far away I lost what was my outlet as my mum needed to be with Casey and I was devastated all ways.
It was then my mum suggested I could take advantage of the dance facilities in London and for the first couple of weeks, my mum came with me before I started going on my own. It was great, there was a wide range of different classes and working with some amazing teachers at Pineapple, Base etc.
Once Casey was home, I still couldn't attend my Dance School and it was heading into the summer holidays and as my mum couldn't leave Casey, I couldn't meet with my friends very often either, so I became more depressed.
On returning to school in September, my school arranged for me to have counselling as the PTSD also took its toll on my school work and when I took my final exams at the end of Year 10, my grade had dropped drastically, to the point I struggled to even concentrate on the exam as it was after the accident.
Today I still don't like to talk about the accident as I struggle with what I see, but I feel that I have been able to move on the best I can and departmentalise this. I also feel fortunate, in some ways that I was there to support my brother when he needed me most and I try to concentrate on that aspect of the accident.
At the beginning of September, I auditioned for a place at One Youth Dance Company and after 2 auditions I was offered a place and other students who were auditioned complimented me on my abilities and the teachers stated I had amazing technique and lines and they were looking forward to working with me.
In February 2020, I attended the Can You Dance Convention and was scouted for the opportunity to audition for a scholarship with Laines School of Performing Arts and Wilkes Academy of Performing Arts but sadly they were for 2021, but it's not easy to be scouted at these venues. I was given a scholarship for a weekend training with Can You Dance during the Musical Theatre Workshop, again these are only given to students who stand out and they feel will benefit from the training these training weekends offer. Again another honour.
I came away beaming, especially when the other Colleges who had stalls were coming up to me asking if I could attend an audition because I had been scouted by Can You Dance, it told them I had talent. It was very bewildering, more so as it was the first convention of the year and friends informed me that they are very selective and how proud I should be that I stood out.
When I completed the forms, I was the first on the list for 2020 to be scouted and it stated 10 auditions were be offered with 2 scholarships available, one at each School.
I had already auditioned for the following Schools: -
The Brit School
However, I arrange an audition for Wilkes Academy of Performing Arts after reading their website and watching their videos on YouTube, as I knew that was the school I wanted to attend. The choreography was amazing and way above anything else I had seen, it was original, innovative and was cutting edge. On Monday an audition was booked, but as the Lockdown was put in place this audition was moved to online and I had to do self-tapes. I was offered a place at every school I auditioned together with the opportunity to apply for a Dance and Drama Awards or a Scholarship. I couldn't believe it.
My final offer came from Wilkes with a full scholarship, a bursary and I also secured funding from The Prince's Trust. It meant I was moving away to Swindon and going into Halls with a roommate.
When I booked the auditions I never expected to receive any offers, my teacher was concerned that my modesty would be a big issue on if I would be successful or not, now looking back I believe it may have helped me. I never approached the auditions with the attitude that I am amazing and deserve a place at this school, but with the attitude that I will do my best and hopefully, it will be good enough.
What I didn't expect was to be complimented, comments were made like "Wow, I cannot believe you can hit notes like that, even with a chest infection", "Look at No?? her posture is amazing, it was my No., she is mesmerising", "Wow, that is the best delivery of a monologue we have had, you brought me to tears" and finally, the Head of the Performing Arts at one School stopped me and said, "Your dance technique is amazing, you are a pleasure to watch".
So anyone who is auditioning in the future for these kinds of school, all I can tell you is go do your best and if you come away happy with your performance there is nothing more you can do.
I am sure you have been to the opening days before your audition and you heard the Principal of 'Bird' tell you "Don't try and work out what we are looking for because you will never work it out, just do your best" because I now understand this statement.