East Lancs ballet youngsters take a giant step

Blackburn Citizen: Talented kids are set to join major company for challenging production Talented kids are set to join major company for challenging production

THE dreams of five of East Lancashire’s top young dancers have come true after they were chosen to appear with the English Youth Ballet.

Harry Catlow, 12, Zoe Lincoln and Poppy Spencer-Hall, both 11, and 10-year -olds Bethan Graney and Sophia Pilkington were selected at an audition from more than 200 young hopefuls.

They will appear in a production of Coppelia at the Plaza Theatre, in Stockport, for three performances on June 13 and 14.

Harry and Bethan are both from Blackburn and attend St Bede’s High School, and The Redeemer Primary School, respectively, Sophia goes to Ashleigh Primary School, in Darwen, and lives in Hoddlesden, while Oswaldtwistle youngster Zoe attends Moorlands School, in Clitheroe and Poppy, from Weir, goes to St Mary’s Primary School in Bacup. They will dance alongside international prin-cipal artists in a profess-ional production, and gain an insight into what life is like as a professional ballet dan- cer.

The young cast are rehearsing at Stockport Gram- mar School in a 10-day intensive rehearsal process. The rehearsals take place in three studios in the school, and the dancers follow a complex timetable of rehearsals.

Australian principal ballerina Amy Drew said: “The young dancers we are working with in Stockport have great energy and attack.

“Working in a professional environment gives the students a unique insight into life in a ballet company.

“They are so lucky.

“I wish there had been something like the English Youth Ballet when I was training.

“I feel very privileged to be a principal with the EYB as I get to work with some of the UK’s most talented young dancers.

“I find them incredibly inspiring.”

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