A talented performing arts student from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) has been recognised by Pearson as part of the tenth annual BTEC awards. Imogen Latta, 19, performed a solo dance routine depicting her own experiences of growing up in the UK and having bi-racial heritage, was one of just four winners of this high-profile competition designed to showcase the best performing arts talent across schools and colleges.

The awards, designed to recognise outstanding students, teachers, lecturers, schools, and colleges, were held online for the first time due to coronavirus. During the ceremony hosted on YouTube, Pearson announced the winners of the 2020 Showstopper Challenge and treated audiences to performances from students across the UK. Entrants, who had to be over the age of 16 and studying towards a BTEC, were invited to make submissions in response to the brief: ‘I am more than a BTEC student…’.

Performing arts lecturer Emily Coates said, “Imogen started at the college on a Level 2 course and has just completed her Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts. She has a passion for dance and has worked really hard to step out of the shadows and take advantage of all the opportunities that she has been given. Her confidence has really begun to build recently, and she was expecting to perform solo in the college’s end of year show which sadly cannot now take place. We are all so proud of her progress and overjoyed that she has been selected as one of the four winners.”

Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice President BTEC and Apprenticeship for Pearson, said, “This year I’ve been over-whelmed by the quality of BTEC Award and Showstopper nominations we received and I am delighted to celebrate this year’s winners and the achievements of all learners who will be awarded a BTEC this year. Over the past few weeks and months, we’ve seen how the current pandemic has highlighted the critical role of key workers and individuals who are likely to have followed a vocational educational pathway such as BTEC.”

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC said, “This is a fantastic achievement for Imogen and has brought her a wonderful opportunity to perform on a national stage. We are very proud of her and have been delighted with the chance to watch the ceremony live even though most of us are currently not able to come into college. Congratulations to Imogen and the Performing Arts team who have helped her to achieve her potential.”

Hosted by presenter of the United Stand, YouTube influencer and BTEC Ambassador, Flex, 17 category award winners were celebrated from around the UK and internationally in subjects such as health and social care, performing arts, engineering, IT, business and sport.

Double Olympic Gold medallist and World Champion gymnast Max Whitlock and architect, TV presenter and campaigner George Clarke were among those presenting awards. They were joined by journalist and TV presenter Steph McGovern who spoke about her passion for vocational education and the BTEC Awards.

Click here to find out about Performing Arts courses at the College.