A boy from Felixstowe who just wants to dance is hoping the community will rally around him to help make his dreams come true.

Ever since Rafael Fragata was born, all he wanted to do was dance, said his mother, Sandy Fragata.

As a tiny child, he would be dancing in front of the television, copying the moves on YouTube clips, spinning, swaying.

“His body was made to dance,” said Miss Fragata. “It’s all he wants to do.”

While Rafael, now 16 and the youngest of three, would have loved to attend dance classes, for most of his childhood, this wasn’t possible, with Miss Fragata bringing up Rafael and her other sons, Miguel and Carlos, on her own.

However, things became easier when Miss Fragata met her partner, Colin, some seven years ago. In 2022, Rafael was finally able to start training with Dance Inspiration in Felixstowe – and his natural talent was quickly recognised.

Soon, Rafael was competing against youngsters who had been learning to dance all their lives, and his teachers encouraged him to apply to dance colleges to pursue his dream.

The Farlingaye student auditioned for several institutions – and won scholarships all around.

The school he has his heart set on is D&B Academy of Performing Arts in Bromley, which boasts famous alumni from JLS singer Marvin Humes to West End performers, and familiar faces such as EastEnders actors Jacqueline Jossa (Lauren Branning) and Zack Morris (Keegan Baker).

However, financing this dream is going to be tough. While Rafael’s tuition will be paid for the entire three-year course, he is not eligible for a maintenance loan at 16, and so the cost of accommodation and living will fall to his family.

Rafael Fragata pictured with his mother, Sandy. Image: Sandy FragataRafael Fragata pictured with his mother, Sandy. Image: Sandy Fragata (Image: Sandy Fragata) Rafael Fragata pictured with his mother, Sandy and her partner, Colin. Image: Sandy FragataRafael Fragata pictured with his mother, Sandy and her partner, Colin. Image: Sandy Fragata (Image: Sandy Fragata)

Rafael's mother said that his his body was made to dance. Image: Jon Applegate PhotographyRafael's mother said that his body was "made to dance". Image: Jon Applegate Photography (Image: Jon Applegate Photography)

Rafael has been busy working part-time, juggling work with his studies and GCSEs. Miss Fragata is confident that, when his second year commences, Rafael will start being booked for professional dancing roles through the college, which will make things easier.

However, getting him through this first year is “crucial”. She estimates that, altogether, they will need £5,000.

Miss Fragata has created a fundraiser, in the hopes that the community will rally around Rafael, just as they did for his good friend, Felixstowe singer Katie Mitton, who was able to accept her place at the Italia Conti.

“It will be heart-breaking if he can’t make it,” said Miss Fragata. “This is what he lives for.”

To donate, visit gofundme.com and search 'Please Help Raffy Raise Funds For College Accommodation' or click here