Dancers ready for English Youth Ballet’s Swan Lake

Horsham dancers rehearse for Swan Lake at the Hawth with the English Youth Ballet - Back line: Abigail Mellor, Chloe Passmore, Alice Coyle,
Front line: Juliette ODoherty, Sofia Gatward, Charlotte McGivern, William Patterson, Charlotte Alford - picture by Ben Garner
Horsham dancers rehearse for Swan Lake at the Hawth with the English Youth Ballet - Back line: Abigail Mellor, Chloe Passmore, Alice Coyle, Front line: Juliette ODoherty, Sofia Gatward, Charlotte McGivern, William Patterson, Charlotte Alford - picture by Ben Garner
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Nine young dancers from the Horsham district have been enjoying rehearsing beside some of the UK’s top professionals for the production of Swan Lake next month.

Abigail Mellor and Charlotte McGivern of Southwater, Alice Coyle, Kye Hill and William Patterson from Horsham, Chloe Passmore from Cowfold, Juliette O’Doherty from West Chiltington and Charlotte Alford from Storrington are among the 100 young talents from around West Sussex to star on The Hawth stage with the English Youth Ballet (EYB).

Rehearsals for the ballet take place at Reigate School under the tuition of Oliver Speers, one of EYB’s principal dancers. He previously danced with Ballet Capitole de Toulouse and will also be starring in the role of Prince Sergei in Crawley.

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 youngsters, aged nine to 16, have just ten days in rehearsals during which EYB are 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. The young dancers see the production taking shape like a big jigsaw.

They made it to the final cast after success in the EYB auditions in July.

Janet Lewis MBE, director and founder of EYB, was on the lookout for the hottest young dance talent to join her award-winning company for the production.

She said: “EYB is all about providing extra performance experience to young dancers.

“We saw a very pleasing standard at the audition today and it was lovely to see lots of enthusiasm.”

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.

Swan Lake is at the Hawth on November 25 and 26. For tickets call 01293 553636.