A DANCER who was once told she may never perform again hopes to inspire a new generation to reach for the stars.

Erin Pollitt, from Bromley Cross, injured her spine during a rehearsal when she was a student - and the damage was so severe that doctors told her she might have to give up dancing altogether.

The 24-year-old has since battled through an intense year of rehabilitation in order to get back to performing on the stage.

Erin graduated from the Northern School for Contemporary Dance in Leeds before completing a Masters at London Contemporary Dance School.

She also toured across Europe and set up her own dance company, Matter of Fact, just before the pandemic struck.

Things have now come full circle for the former Turton School student, who has taken up a part-time tutor position with the dance programme which first introduced her to dancing.

Erin said: “As a child, my coach told me that in order to progress to the top, my family would need to relocate from Bolton to London, to access the best training. This was just never going to happen.

“So, encouraged by my dance teacher at Turton School, Laura Haygarth, I decided to put my energies into dance and I applied for the CAT scheme at The Lowry.

“It was the best thing I ever did. We all had a shared love of dance and we were like a big family. Some of my closest friends are people I met on the programme.

“The teachers were inspirational. I had found my people and it meant that I didn’t have to move to London.”

For Erin, who also performed as an international level rhythmic gymnast as a child, it all started when she was accepted into The Centre for Advanced Training in Dance (CAT), based at The Lowry arts centre in Salford.

One of 10 nationwide centres of excellence for dance - and the only one in the north west - The Lowry CAT scheme is an intensive, part time, training programme for young people who aim to pursue a career in dance.

Young dancers are invited to have a taste of what it's like to join the CAT dance programme at an open day at The Lowry on Sunday June 20 from 9.30-1.30pm. Attendees will be able to speak to tutors and students and also take part in a workshop. An alternative Zoom-based open evening will run on Friday June 18 from 4.45-6.45pm).

Anyone wanting to try out for a September place on the Lowry CAT scheme can pick up an application form at the open day or download one from the website, ahead of auditions on Sunday June 27.

Places for the open day must be booked in advance via The Lowry box office on T: 0843 208 6000 or website.

More information is available from Daisy Howell  daisy.howell@thelowry.com or Clare Fildesclare.fildes@thelowry.com / 07983485273