Published: 08:55, 31 July 2017
A fairy tale has come true for young ballet dancers who are appearing on stage in a professional production.
A group of 100 young dancers have been selected to take part in the English Youth Ballet’s production of Sleeping Beauty. Nine dancers from Dartford and two from Gravesend were chosen out of 200 hopefuls.
One of the dancers is Francesca Daden, 13, from Hextable, who goes to Wilmington Academy.
She said: “I am looking forward to dancing with English Youth Ballet because it is really near where I live and I can perform for all my family.”
The production has been updated from the original, with the princess waking up in the year 2012.
Eleanor Hinks, 12, from Gravesend, who goes to Mayfield Grammar School, Gravesend, is also in the cast.
She said: “I started dancing when I was five years old. I have always loved it. I feel really free when I dance.”
Fellow Mayfield pupil Ellie Loughlin, 15, will join her on stage.
Ellie said: “I started dancing when I was two. I think my mum wanted to find me a place where I could ‘let loose’ and something I could develop as I got older.
“I am looking forward to dancing with English Youth Ballet so that I can develop my skills as a dancer and I really want to be part of a company too.”
The other dancers include Libby Coe, 12, from Hextable, a pupil at Orchards Academy, Connie Green, 12, a Wilmington Academy pupil from Joydens Wood, Amelia Hellings, 11, from Wilmington, who goes to Joydens Wood Junior School, West Hill Primary pupil Paige Henderson, 11, from Dartford and Miley Jackson, eight, from Dartford, who goes to Holy Trinity C of E Primary School.
Also Bean Primary School pupil Mia McDowall, nine, from Dartford, Zadie-May Sangster, 11, from Dartford, who goes to Sutton-at-Hone school and Emily Pruden, 11, from Hextable, who goes to Dartford Science and Technology College.
Amy Drew, who plays the lead role of Aurora, said: “The advice that I give to the young dancers is that ‘ballet is hard’. But if you love it, it can be a beautiful and fulfilling career.”
The production will be at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford, on Friday, August 25 at 7.30pm and Saturday, August 26 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.
To book call 01322 220 000 or visit www.orchardtheatre.co.uk.
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