30 Under 30: Hannah Howland

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Hannah Howland as Veruca Salt on stage in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

There are those who are naturally graced with poise, rhythm, and coordination, who can master jazz and ballet and modern dance and make it all seem so easy. And then there are those who manage to trip over their own feet with stunning regularity, and whose dancing looks like an uncanny impression of Alex Salmond trying to kick a football.

Hannah Howland in selfieHannah Howland is, most definitely and without question, in the first category. We’ll leave you to guess who falls in the second (hint: they may or may not be writing this profile).

Hannah’s talent has been the envy of awkward people everywhere since she was 9 years old, when she performed for Sky’s Got to Dance way back in 2012. Of course she was a wee sensation, and made it through to become a finalist.

That brush with fame seems to have only encouraged Hannah to go further (as it should!), and today she finds herself the only Scottish pupil at the prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School (alums include Billie Piper, Amy Winehouse, and Rita Ora), after receiving the Andrew Lloyd Webber scholarship. Did we mention she’s only 13? No big deal, then.

That’s a lie – totally big deal!

It’s not a surprise, though. Hannah found out about the scholarship while she was in London performing in a little production on a West End Stage. Yaass, kween! She absolutely slayed the role of Veruca Salt in the Theatre Royal Drury Lane production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – every review we could find was LOVING her as the spoilt Veruca.

Hannah Howland poses with a sign for Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryIt’s a long way from singing and dancing for her mum, dad, little sister, and puppies at the age of three in Falkirk, but Hannah’s love for dance was nurtured at Grangemouth’s McKechnie School of Dance from a young age. From the look of it, McKechnie School of Dance is one of Hannah’s biggest fans, even taking 48 students down to London to see Hannah live (they were also performing, but still – that’s some solid support right there).

It didn’t take long, says Hannah’s mum, for Hannah to go from starting classes to winning championships.

She’s won 14 championship titles, by the way, in ballet, modern, and song and dance. Because why be a boss at one type of dance when you can totally own them all? Hannah also does tap, jazz, and highland dancing, and is a Scottish Ballet junior associate. AND she was nominated for a YoungScot award in Entertainment this year.

She’s even a movie star… kind of. She was the body double for one of Brad Pitt’s on-screen daughters in World War Z (what we want to know – did she get to meet Brad Pitt!? Big questions here, Hannah).

So we’re going to go ahead and call it: BIG things coming for Hannah Howland (well, even more of them). Just wait and see!

Hannah Howland with McKechnie Dance School classmates after a show

Hannah Howland with McKechnie Dance School classmates after a show

You can find out more about the Sylvia Young Theatre School on their website, and follow the McKechnie School of Dance on Facebook. Keep an eye out for Hannah!

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