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Delight for TFX Performing Arts Academy scholarship winners

By Imogen James

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The TFX Scholarship winners. Left to right - Edward Mackenzie, Kaiyan Shareef, Amy Beattie.
The TFX Scholarship winners. Left to right - Edward Mackenzie, Kaiyan Shareef, Amy Beattie.

Three promising young talents are to receive a fully funded year of musical theatre classes in conjunction with the Inverness Courier.

A wealth of talent was shown from all applicants for the places with TFX Performing Arts Academy, but the two Courier slots were filled by 14-year-old Amy Beattie and 16-year-old Edward Mackenzie.

Both entered dance pieces for their audition tapes which were captivating and showed immense promise and skill.

In a surprise decision, TFX director Sally Robertson then created an additional scholarship for Kaiyan Shareef (11) who she thought was too good to let go.

Kaiyan entered an impressive self-choreographed acro dance piece.

All three students will receive a weekly three-hour musical theatre class as well as uniforms. Their progress will be followed through monthly articles in the Courier.

Amy, from Inverness, has been at TFX for more than 10 years and said theatre and dance is her real passion, with her sights set on dance school in London in a few years time.

She said: “It means so much to me to get this scholarship. Musical theatre is something that I’ve been wanting to do since I was so young and it’s such a good opportunity.

“The feel and the people at musical theatre are so encouraging. The teachers make it so warm and welcoming. It makes me so happy to be on stage.”

Edward has been at TFX for 13 years and said that his whole life is shaped around dance and musical theatre.

When asked about why he likes dancing, Edward said: “I like everything. My whole life is shaped around dancing. I started it at the age of three when I started at TFX. The entire 13 years of my life I’ve put into dancing. I’ve never really taken breaks. Even in holidays I’m doing dancing stuff. It’s my whole life for me, I put all the time I have into dancing. It’s really important to me, I don’t know what I would do without it.”

Edward performed with TFX at Wembley in 2016 and has been part of the Eden Court pantomime for the last five years.

He now cannot wait to see what opportunities the scholarship opens up for him.

Kaiyan only joined TFX in 2021, taking part in acro classes. He said that he has found something he really enjoys and that dancing is a great way to express himself.

He was delighted to receive his scholarship.

“I am really excited,” he said. “I really enjoyed the big summer show. Thank you for letting me audition and choosing me.”

His mum Linda explained how Kaiyan dances wherever and whenever he can, at her work and around the house.

She said: “I am hugely proud of him. It’s just lovely watching him, he does it all on his own.

“I am delighted that he’s got this opportunity.”

Ms Robertson commented: “Amy’s video showed a clear talent that we can’t wait to help further at TFX. Kaiyan’s potential really shone through and we loved the individuality of his audition.

“We felt like Edward’s video really represented the male talent in the Highlands and it’s great to see him stepping forward for one of the scholarships.”

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