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Jumping for joy about magical dance chance
FORGING a career as a ballet dancer can be hard, but five Oxfordshire youngsters are taking the right steps.
The dancers were selected from more than 200 young hopefuls to take part in a show with the English Youth Ballet.
They are now working alongside international principal artists for a production of The Sleeping Beauty at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury later this month.
Lilly Norton, 10, has been dancing since she was two-and-a-half. She will play the part of a lilac fairy and a Russian guest in the production.
The Tackley Primary School pupil said: “I love dancing, I just love the flow of it and the way it feels when I move.
“I’m finding the rehearsals good because they are not too strict but they are tough enough that we are getting things done quickly.”
Practices started in earnest on Wednesday, with the three performances running on August 24 and 25.
The dancers are experiencing the life of a professional ballet dancer in a 10-day intensive rehearsal process.
Lilly said: “I felt quite nervous when I was auditioning, knowing I would find out on the day.
“But then I was excited when I found out.
“This is something I would really like to carry on doing when I’m older.”
Lilly will be joined on stage by Niamh Mapp, 14, from Ducklington, Max Penrose, 12, from Boars Hill, Charlotte Boyce, 10, from Kidlington, and 17-year-old Amy Kirtley from Headington.
Amy has been dancing since she was three years old.
The Rye St Antony pupil, who gets her AS-Level results on Thursday, said: “It’s been fabulous. It is so exciting to be in a big room with people who share your passion and spend your whole day dancing. They are long days, six hours of dancing, but it’s very rewarding.”
Miss Kirtley, who plans to finish her A-Levels before going on to complete an engineering degree, said: “I’d love to carry on dancing as a career but I’m not sure how realistic that is.
“I’m just loving being part of such a big production and getting to dance all day.”
Company manager Ben Garner said: “Working with English Youth Ballet will be one of the highlights of these talented dancers’ careers to date.”
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