Wyton teenager to perform in Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall

Ciara Lucking

Ciara Lucking - Credit: Archant

A 14-year-old schoolgirl from Wyton who almost gave up dancing has been selected to perform in the English National Ballet’s Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall next month.

Ciara Lucking, of Manor Close, who is a student at the prestigious Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in London, is one of 13 dancers from the school who will be dancing alongside performers from the English National Ballet for this critically acclaimed production, that runs from June 1-12.

The ballet is being choreographed by Derek Deane, former artistic director of the English National Ballet, and includes 120 dancers who will perform to Tchaikovsky’s memorable score, played by the English National Ballet Philharmonic.

Amazingly, Ciara, who attended Houghton Primary School and later St Bede’s in Cambridge, only started to take her dance lessons seriously 18 months ago and applied for Tring with just days to spare after taking lessons at the Generations Dance Academy in Huntingdon for some extra tution.

“She had been attending classes with John Dowson at the St Ives School of Dance since she was little, but she’d never been into dancing at all and had been through long periods where she really wanted to give up,” said Ciara’s mum Nina.

“I kept her going as it was good for her coordination and a good physical activity and then in September 2014 she very suddenly and out of the blue decided she wanted to be a dancer and started to apply herself and go to lots more classes. In the new year she told me she wanted to audition for ballet school. I didn’t think anything would come of it as she has only been dancing properly for a term, but thought that she should go for the experience. Ciara checked everything out online herself and discovered there were only two days left before the final audition day, so she prepared the application and emailed it to the school.”

Ciara auditioned and was offered a full time boarding place, but Nina says she was unable to take up the place immediately as she didn’t have the money.

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“I went away and thought very seriously about it all and decided to remortgage the house to pay for the first year and then we would see how she was getting on. By the time I had got back to the school there were no boarding places left and she was offered a day place.”

Ciara was offered a full-time boarder place in January and Nina admits it is a huge financial strain so she has been fund-raising.

“It all seems to have paid off though. Despite being far behind the other students at Tring when she joined (as most had already been there for two years) Ciara has worked incredibly hard and was chosen to perform in Swan Lake next month. It’s a massive achievement in such a short space of time and she has done it all herself. I’m very proud of her for that, let alone that she is going to be dancing at Royal Albert Hall.”

INFO: www.gofundme.com/ciara-dance-fund.