Young ballerinas stepping out in ‘Swan Lake’

Evie Scarlett from Ballyclare who was selected by English Youth Ballet and is currently in rehearsals for a professional production of Swan Lake at the Grand Opera House in Belfast.
Evie Scarlett from Ballyclare who was selected by English Youth Ballet and is currently in rehearsals for a professional production of Swan Lake at the Grand Opera House in Belfast.

Five talented young dancers from County Antrim are currently having an amazing time in rehearsals for a professional production of the ballet – Swan Lake, following their selection by the English Youth Ballet.

Ellie McCausland, Beth Thornton, Rebecca Runchman, who are all students of Antrim Grammar School, Katy Gunning who attends Templepark Primary and Fairview Primary School pupil Evie Scarlett are rehearsing for Swan Lake which will be presented by English Youth Ballet at the Grand Opera House in Belfast from November 9-11.

Antrim and Newtownabbey ballerinas Ellie McCausland, Beth Thornton, Katy Gunning, and Rebecca Runchman.

Antrim and Newtownabbey ballerinas Ellie McCausland, Beth Thornton, Katy Gunning, and Rebecca Runchman.

The ballet will star international principal dancers – Samantha Camejo, Amy Drew, Monica Tapiador, Phillip Tunstall, Richard Read, Oliver Speers, Trevor Wood and Steven Wheeler.

All the soloist and corps de ballet roles in the production will be performed by 100 of the finest dancers (aged eight – 18) from Northern Ireland and Ellie, Beth, Rebecca, Katy and Evie are among them.

English Youth Ballet (EYB) held a huge audition for the ballet at Methodist College in April when nearly 300 young hopeful dancers turned up to the two auditions where Director and founder of EYB – Miss Janet Lewis MBE – was on the lookout for the hottest young dance talent to join her award-winning company for the production in Belfast.

The lucky dancers heard they had been accepted on the day.

Miss Lewis said: “EYB is all about providing extra performance experience to young dancers. We saw a very pleasing standard at the audition.”

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.

Rehearsals for the ballet are taking place at Methodist College Belfast.

The cast of Swan Lake will have rehearsed for 60 hours at Methodist College Belfast for the production for which a team of over 30 chaperones will be required to look after the young performers at the Grand Opera House.

Oliver Speers coaches the young dancers in rehearsals and he will also be starring in the role of Prince Sergei.

He said: “The young dancers are treated like professional dancers during rehearsals – we work them hard but the results are fantastic. They learn what the life of a professional dancer is like. They are living their dream and they just love it!”

The young ballerinas from Antrim and Newtownabbey and their fellow young cast members will rehearse for 10 days for the production for which tickets are now available at www.goh.co.uk