A leading businessman who was awarded an OBE for services to dance gave an inspirational talk to Northampton students at an awards night.
Kenneth Tharp was guest speaker at Northampton High School's annual awards night and he spoke passionately about the role arts play in education.
A spokeswoman for the school said: "Mr Tharp argued that the curriculum should remain broad and balanced for as long as possible, without students being forced to choose between arts and sciences.
"He believes that many students, as evidenced at Northampton High, are capable of excelling in both fields. He also talked about his vital 3 Fs; Fear, Fun and Failure and how finding your passion can make all the difference."
During the awards ceremony the audience was treated to performances which included ballet, music and drama.
"There was great excitement as we welcomed back the Class of 2016 to a drinks reception before the Awards and caught up on all that they have experienced as they begin the next phase of their lives, " the spokeswoman said.
There were talks by Dr Helen Stringer, headmistress, and Deidre Newham, chair of governors, after which Mr Tharp then presented the many awards and prizes.
"After the ceremony Mr Tharp commented that the students at Northampton High School ‘demonstrated a quiet confidence, with no shortage of ambition or variety in the kinds of careers or further study they wished to pursue', the spokeswoman added.
Since 2007, Mr Tharp has been chief executive of The Place, the UK’s leading centre for contemporary dance development, and has taken responsibility for the overall leadership, strategy and management. His vast array of achievements include being a finalist in the inaugural Black British Business Awards in 2014, being named in eight successive Power lists of Britain’s most influential people of African and African Caribbean heritage and receiving an OBE in recognition of his services to dance.