A DANCE teacher has won a prestigious Olivier Award – the Oscars in the theatre world – for her dedication to performing arts.

Angela Allport, from Shoebury, who runs the award-winning Angela Allport Performing Arts School, in Thorpe Bay, has been teaching dance for more than 45 years to children as young as two, up until the age of 18.

She is one of four winners of the Olivier 2018 Be Inspired award, which aims to celebrate those who have motivated and inspired others with their love and commitment to theatre.

Praised by her students and their parents, Miss Allport was nominated for the award in secret by her good friend, Carol Simpson, from Southend.

Carol said: “Angela is the loveliest, kindest lady I know.

“I first met her 33 years ago when I took my daughter to enrol at the dance school.

“I ended up at the school so much that I ended up helping her out with the admin.

“Her passion today is as strong as it was when she first started dancing herself.

“All her pupils respect and adore her.

“She has inspired thousands and not just the children – she has even inspired me as I now have a love for theatre.”

Miss Allport, who is a classical ballet examiner for the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, shared her delight of winning the award.

She said: “I am so excited and honoured. I spent the first two days in total disbelief.

“I am actually going on a red carpet and being recognised for doing a job I absolutely love.

“I have been teaching dance for over 45 years so to be recognised for doing I job that I love is amazing.”

Miss Allport has had a number of pupils appear in West End productions such as Matilda and Annie, as well as a lot of pupils being accepted into the prestigious Royal Ballet School.

She also has pupils who have trained with her who have gone on to perform on cruise ships and ballet schools around the world, including in Germany.

The Olivier awards are the the UK’s most prestigious stage honours - often thought of as the Oscars of the theatre world.

Miss Allport will attend the award’s ceremony on April 8 at The Royal Albert Hall.

Parents and pupils of Angela’s dance school said the recommendation was highly deserved and were thrilled by the news.

Caroline Monk, of Southend, whose daughter trains at the school, said: “Angela is amazing, she is so clever with choreography.

“So many girls and boys have gone on to secure professional jobs in performing arts.

“She really deserves this award.”

Catherine Tate will be hosting the prestigious, BAFTA-like event.

She said: “I am delighted to be hosting this year’s Olivier Awards and it’s my pleasure to be involved in this exciting and inspiring event.”

The Be Inspired champions will also walk the red carpet and be presented with a special champion plaque.

Find out more about the dance school by visiting facebook.com/angelaallportperformingarts/