Huntingdonshire dancers in rehearsals for professional ballet production of Coppelia

Dancers in photo (from left to right): Texas-Rose Allard, Lauren Burford, Tegan Slowe, Brooke Slowe.

Dancers in photo (from left to right): Texas-Rose Allard, Lauren Burford, Tegan Slowe, Brooke Slowe. - Credit: Archant

Four dancers from the Huntingdonshire area are in rehearsals for a professional ballet production of Coppelia, which opens in March.

Texas-Rose Allard, aged 17, from Little Paxton, is a pupil at the Stage Right Centre for Performing Arts; Lauren Burford, aged 13, from Hartford; Brooke Slowe, aged 10, from Brampton and Tegan Slowe, aged 15, are all pupils at Hinchingbrooke School and members of the Generations Dance Academy.

Coppélia, presented by the English Youth Ballet, is at the Watersmeet Theatre, in Rickmansworth, on March 2/3. The ballet will star international principal dancers – Samantha Camejo, Monica Tapiador, Caroline Cabot, Phillip Tunstall, Phillip Bollev and Trevor Wood. All the soloist and corps de ballet roles in the production will be performed by 75 of the finest dancers (aged from eight – 18) from the region.

The English Youth Ballet (EYB) held a huge audition for the ballet at the Watersmeet Theatre in November and 150 young dancers turned up for the two auditions.

A spokeswoman for the EYB said: “The excitement and atmosphere at the theatre was electric.

The lucky dancers heard whether they had been accepted on the day. EYB is all about providing extra performance experience to young dancers. We saw a very pleasing standard at the audition 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.”

Rehearsals for the ballet are taking place at the St Joan of Arc School, in Rickmansworth.

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Brazilian principal dancer Samantha Camejo will be dancing the leading role of Swanhilda and she is training the young cast in rehearsals. She previously danced with the English National Ballet and said: “The young dancers are treated just like the professionals in the rehearsals with EYB. They discover what having a dance career might be like - both in the studio and on the stage. It is an amazing experience for them.”

The young cast will rehearse for just 10 days for the production. During that time, the EYB 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 learned that day.

British principal dancer and coach (who also previously danced with English National Ballet) – Phillip Tunstall added: “I enjoy meeting all the talented young dancers up and down the UK. I really try to mentor and inspire the young dancers and help inform them about the profession.”

Tickets for Coppelia can be purchased at the box office on: 01923 711063 or by visiting: