TWO Beith schoolgirls have won a scholarship giving them free unlimited lessons for a year at a local dance school.

Ellie Winton, 12, and eight-year-old Rebekah Halliday scooped the Jim Fernie Scholarship at Maria Marshall Dance Crew’s (MMDC) Award Night.

The family event at Kilbirnie Labour Club on Saturday, December 17 saw all students from MMDC go home with an award, but the junior and senior scholarships were the star prizes.

To qualify for the scholarship, dancers had to wear their uniform to all classes, have good attendance and a good attitude, and be hard working.

Ellie from Garnock Academy and Glengarnock Primary’s Rebekah each beat off competition from five other finalists in their categories to win the year-long scholarship.

The scholarship is in memory of Jim Fernie, who was the uncle of MMDC founder Maria Marshall. Jim passed away in 2012 at the age of 64. 

Congratulating Ellie and Rebekah, Maria said: “They had to work hard all year, wear uniform, have a good attitude and show improvements to be picked for it out of 80 pupils. 

“The Jim Fernie Scholarship is an award in memory of my Uncle Jim who passed away. It’s in memory of him as he was my biggest fan with my dancing and I wanted to keep his memory on in MMDC.”