Starting early really can reap results. Just ask 14 year old Emma Lidington. She started her ballet career aged just three years old and was one of a select group of ballet students chosen by the acclaimed English Youth Ballet to perform in front of packed audiences at the Buxton Opera House in Derbyshire on the 13th and 14th November.
Emma performed in a dramatic adaptation of the world famous ballet – Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’. She was one of 100 young male and female dancers from across the region given the opportunity to dance as soloists and corps de ballet alongside six professional dancers from the English Youth Ballet. She was selected in a highly competitive audition in June 2015, at which English Youth Ballet evaluate the potential and talent of the individual dancers.
Tom Brooksby, Headmaster, says: “This is a fantastic achievement on Emma’s part and her success is well-deserved as she is a dedicated and passionate participant in ballet. We are proud to support our students in a wide range of activities beyond the academic curriculum and we actively encourage students such as Emma to go on and achieve at the highest level. We’re convinced that it won’t be long before she stars in her very own professional performance!”
Emma says she’s grateful for the time off that the school allowed her so that could take part in the production and adds: “I absolutely loved the experience. What an unbelievable opportunity – to dance in such a professional production alongside top dancers and on the stage of the gorgeous Buxton Opera House!
” When I was in Year 6 I danced with English Youth Ballet in Swan Lake at Nottingham Theatre Royal, which was very exciting – but this was just amazing, especially as the competition at audition was so strong.”
Award-winning English Youth Ballet (known as EYB) is now in its 17th successful year and is one of the largest ballet companies in the UK. It is a national touring ballet company with director Janet Lewis at its helm. Miss Lewis enjoyed an illustrious dancing career with the Royal Ballet Company and London Festival Ballet dancing alongside such greats as Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev.
The policy of EYB is to give professional performance experience to young dancers in venues close to where they live. The young dancers benefit from being coached and mentored by the professional dancers in an 11-day rehearsal period which takes place out of school hours. They gain an unique insight into what it is like to be a professional dancer.