10-year-old Lily-Rose is performing in the English Youth Ballet show as a Snowflake and a Sweet.
During the last practises for the English Youth Ballet’s Nutcracker performance the next week, a Buckingham girl is getting a taste of what it’s like to be a professional dancer.
Earlier this year, Lily-Rose Swindale, 10, was chosen for the cast following a tough video audition.
The 65-person ensemble was selected from more than 130 videos submitted after the young dancers were brought to a brief audition class to learn and then film themselves performing.
On Tuesday, November 1 and Wednesday, November 1 and 2, the young dancers from Bucks and Herts will perform at the Wycombe Swan theatre in High Wycombe alongside international professional dancers, with EYB principal Lyndsey Fraser starring as the Sugar Plum Fairy.
The 65 children, ages eight to sixteen, practised every weekend in October and for six hours every day during half-term at Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Marlow in preparation for the performance.
Amy, Lily-mother, Rose’s drives for an hour each trip.
Amy added, “But it’s worth it for her. She’s having a great time, and she likes seeing the older females and the dancers who are professionals. Everything is incredibly motivating to her.
About 12 family members and friends will be in the audience to support Lily-Rose, who attends Buckingham Primary School and studies dance at the Rozelle School of Dancing. She will be dancing the parts of a Snowflake and a Sweet next week.
The Nutcracker relates the tale of Clara, who receives a nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve from her Uncle Drosselmeyer.
That evening, she has a dream in which the Nutcracker changes into a charming prince and sets out on a thrilling adventure with him.
The Prince introduces Clara to the Sugar Plum Fairy after they vanquish the seven-headed Rat King and his army and proceed through the Snow Forest to the sparkling Kingdom of the Sweets. Before the Sugar Plum pas de deux with the Prince puts the dream to a magnificent finale, the Sweets dance in her honour.
“The cast has demonstrated great passion and excitement in their Nutcracker preparations,” EYB director Janet Lewis MBE stated.
The kids are obviously overjoyed to be back dancing and performing in their favourite ballet.
“Since the lockdowns and numerous restrictions of the previous year, they are exhibiting a sense of independence that is enhancing their welfare and self-confidence.
The ensemble is putting a lot of effort into improving both their ballet technique and the way they portray their roles onstage. The motivation is to resume acting in the theatre.
Lyndsey Fraser, a principal dancer, stated: “I wish I had danced with EYB when I was younger. The dancers gain a great deal of knowledge about ballet artistry and performance techniques.
“I enjoy being a major dancer with EYB because I get to perform in amazing roles, instruct, and observe the development of the young dancers.
“The young dancers and the fans will never forget the entire experience because of the excellent sets and costumes in the production.