Dancer Milly treads same twinkle-toed path as mum

Dancer Milly Tomlinson and her proud mum, Rebecca Doona.
Dancer Milly Tomlinson and her proud mum, Rebecca Doona.

Twinkle-toed Worksop girl Milly Tomlinson is following in the dancing footsteps of her proud mum.

For she has shone in the same national ballet competition that well-known mum, Rebecca Doona, won herself 27 years ago.

The annual competition was run by the Association of American Dancing, based in High Peak, with a scholarship going to the winner to further their dance training.

Eleven-year-old Milly won through the initial round and was given a set routine in ballet and tap to practise ahead of finals day, which was held at Buxton Opera House.

She did so well that she finished second out of 270 youngsters from across the country, and received a trophy and a certificate.

Milly didn’t quite match mum, who won the scholarship when she took part back in 1991. But finishing runner-up was another feather in her cap as she follows her dreams to become a professional dancer.

“We are so proud of Milly’s achievements,” said Rebecca, 37, who runs Rebecca’s Dance Studios in Carlton-in-Lindrick, where her daughter trains four times a week.

“She works very hard at everything she does, especially her dancing. She now moves up an age category and will try again to win the scholarship next year.”

Milly, a pupil at Outwood Academy Portland in Worksop, said: “It was an ambition to get to the final five from all the talented dancers that were competing.

“I was so happy for everyone who did well. It was a great atmosphere, and a lot of my family and friends were there.”

Milly, her mum, dad Mark, 40, and nine-year-old brother, Maxwell, all live in Worksop. Rebecca was once a reporter with the Guardian, but it is dancing and musical theatre in which she has made her name.

As a youngster, she performed in productions at venues across the country, including roles in musicals directed by West End producers.

She became involved in theatre and education projects in schools, and eventually set up her dance school, which is hugely popular. For Worksop Light Operatic Society, she has taken on numerous principal roles and choreographed many pantomimes and shows.

Rebecca is also the owner of Worksop businesses, Studio 17 Dancewear and Studio 17 Print, and in 2016, she was named North Nottinghamshire’s businesswoman of the year.

Like her, Milly took up dancing at the age of three. “I didn’t know whether she would want to dance or not, but she loves it,” said Rebecca. “She does ballet, tap, modern dance and gymnastics and has singing lessons too.”

Don’t put your daughter on the stage is how the old song goes. But it’s not one that is sung in the Tomlinson/Doona household!