English Youth Ballet’s new stars

Charlotte Watson, Lucy Latham, Lucy Dulay, Owen Hughes, Rebekah Riley, Anna Charnley, Keira Preston
Charlotte Watson, Lucy Latham, Lucy Dulay, Owen Hughes, Rebekah Riley, Anna Charnley, Keira Preston
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Talented young dancers from across Lancashire have been snapped up by the English Youth Ballet to star in their latest production Giselle.

Some 21 of the dancers are from the Fylde coast – and the whole cast and crew are currently rehearsing at Walton-le-Dale High School ahead of the March 4 and 5 performances.

Back line  Chloe Shaw, Kelsie Jackson, Evie Harrison, Christopher Longworth, Isabella Duffy, Emma Swales, Amelie Duffy. Middle line  Caitlin Greenwood, Maisie-Grace Fletcher, Niamh Ritchie. Front line  Jordan-Leigh Walsh, Freya Iddon, Cara Hadgraft, Gabriella Mollart

Back line  Chloe Shaw, Kelsie Jackson, Evie Harrison, Christopher Longworth, Isabella Duffy, Emma Swales, Amelie Duffy. Middle line  Caitlin Greenwood, Maisie-Grace Fletcher, Niamh Ritchie. Front line  Jordan-Leigh Walsh, Freya Iddon, Cara Hadgraft, Gabriella Mollart

Christopher Longworth, from Thornton, goes to Millfield Science and Performing Arts College and is doing his dancing training at Starlight Stage School.

The 15-year-old said: “I started dancing when I was about six or seven.

“I am looking forward to working with English Youth Ballet to dance with older boys.

“I did Swan Lake with EYB when I was 11 and I learned so much from the older boys and the professional dancers. When I am older I would like to either dance with celebrities or work on the technical side of theatre.”

I had nothing to do so I thought I would start dancing and see if I liked it

Owen Hughes, nine, from Lytham, dances at Hot Foot Dance Club

The Heyhouses Primary School pupil said: “I only started dancing last year.

“I am really looking forward to dancing with English Youth Ballet because I like the idea of dancing on the stage with professionals.

“In the future I would like to be a famous ballet dancer on stage.”

Owen Hughes

Owen Hughes

Zac Crowe, from Wharles, goes to Kirkham Grammar School and is doing his dancing training at the Lowry CAT Programme. He is starring as a gentleman of the hunt.

He said: “I started dancing when I was about six because there was an outreach programme that came to my primary school and they asked me to take part in their weekly classes.

“I am looking forward to working with the male teachers at EYB. In the future I would definitely like to go into the dance world. I’d like to train at either Rambert or Central School of Ballet.”

Principal dancer Amy Drew will be dancing the leading role of Giselle and she is training the young cast in rehearsals.

Christopher Longworth

Christopher Longworth

She said: “Rehearsals for Giselle are going very well. I enjoy getting to know the young dancers. It is wonderful having such talented young people all in the same place and working together.

“I think there is a unique and wonderful synergy that takes place because all the dancers learn so much from watching each other and from watching the professionals too.”

EYB has helped many of the UK’s top talent springboard their training progress and careers into some of the world’s greatest ballet companies – including the Royal Ballet Company and English National Ballet.

The young cast will rehearse for just 10 days for the production. During those days EYB take over three of the biggest rooms in the school and run rehearsals simultaneously in each room.

At the end of each rehearsal day the whole cast comes together in the largest 
space to share what has been learnt that day so that the young dancers see the production taking shape like a big jigsaw.

Giselle is at the Charter Theatre, Preston, from March 4 to 5, with performances at 7.30pm both evenings and at 2.30pm on the second day.

For tickets, call: (01772) 804444 or visit: www.prestonguildhall.com