English Youth Ballet dancers from Uckfield, Amelia and Alexandra

Two Uckfield dancers in English Youth Ballet production

Two dancers from the Rennie Dance Academy are to take part in the English Youth Ballet’s production of Coppelia at the Hawth Theatre, Crawley.

Amelia Cook-Fuller, nine, will play the part of a Villager. She is a pupil at St Philip’s Catholic Primary School.

Alexandra White, 13, will play the parts of a Czardas dancer/Morning Hours dancer. She is a pupil of Uckfield Community Technology College.

They were selected at an audition in June this year from more than 200 young hopefuls.

The comical adaptation of Coppelia has three performances from October 24-25.

All the youngsters will dance alongside the youth ballet’s international principal artists in a professional production.  They will gain an insight into what life is like as a professional ballet dancer.

The young cast are currently engaged with the principal dancers in rehearsals at Reigate School in a ten-day intensive process.  

‘Complex jigsaw’

The English Youth Ballet is a professional company and each rehearsal day starts with the company being split into three groups for company ballet class warm ups.

The day continues with a complex timetable of different rehearsals running simultaneously in three studios at the school.

The ballet is gradually pieced together like a complex jigsaw.  At the end of each rehearsal day the whole company always gathers in the main studio to show what has been learned that day.

A spokesman for the company said: “The selected dancers are some of the most exciting young talent in the area and they are being inspired and mentored by the principal dancers.  It will be an experience they will never forget and they are preparing to thrill the dance audiences in Crawley.”

English Youth Ballet rehearsals going well

Australian principal ballerina, Amy Drew said: “The rehearsals with the young dancers are going so well.  Working in a professional environment gives the students a unique insight into life in a ballet company.   I feel very privileged to be a principal with the English Youth Ballet as I get to work with some of the UK’s most talented young dancers.  I find them incredibly inspiring.”

Performances are on Friday, October 24 (7.30pm) and Saturday, October 25 (2.30 and 7.30pm) at The Hawth Theatre, Crawley. Box office: 01293 553636

Watch a brief video clip of the English Youth Ballet’s Coppelia.

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