AN OXFORD-born dancer has been accepted to train at one of the world's most prestigious ballet schools, but needs help funding his tuition.

Taiga Kodama-Pomfret, who lives in Bicester, has a place to learn at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St Petersburg, Russia, this September.

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Taiga started ballet when he was nine-years-old and although he was not initially interested in dancing professionally, one night a couple of years later his life changed after watching the Bolshoi Ballet in their London tour.

He worked very hard from that point on and gained a place at Elmhurst Ballet School - the school of the Birmingham Royal Ballet - in the third year of their lower school training programme.

Taiga, whose parents met at Oxford University, has now just turned 16 and is about to finish the lower school training.

Although there are government grants for vocational dance training in the UK, these do not cover the training abroad and so Taiga's family have started crowdfunding and are looking for sponsorship so that they can send him to his dream school, complete his training, and bring him several steps closer to realising his dreams of dancing on the world stage.

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They want to raise £17,500 - the cost of the fees for one year. So far, more than £1,300 has been raised.

His mum Yuka, who is a professional ballet dancer, said: "Please help Taiga achieve his dreams of dancing on the world stage. No donation is too small."

Taiga has managed to meet a number of professional dancers during his career which his mum says has helped encourage him to pursue his dreams.

She said: "Taiga followed and studied many great dancers of today, which eventually resulted in them noticing him. When Taiga went to watch a gala, Artem Ovcharenko, a principal dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet recognised him from social media and gave him kind words, encouragement and advice.

"He told him never to give up and to pursue his dreams. These words are still keeping Taiga driven to this day.

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"A fair few other professional dancers see potential in Taiga and have been actively encouraging him on his journey. One such person is Igor Tsvirko, a leading soloist of the Bolshoi Ballet.

"Not only does he keep encouraging Taiga, but went so far as giving him some personal coaching via messages and video calls."

To donate, go to and search Taiga Kodama-Pomfret.

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