Schoolgirl 'feels like a star' after performing in professional production of Swan Lake ballet

Willow Rogers. Picture: Nic Lipscombe/Dance PropagandaWillow Rogers. Picture: Nic Lipscombe/Dance Propaganda
Willow Rogers. Picture: Nic Lipscombe/Dance Propaganda | Other 3rd Party
A SCHOOLGIRL has seen her ‘dream come true’ after performing on stage as part of a world-renowned ballet group.

Talented Willow Rogers, from Eastney, had dreamed of one day performing in a professional ballet since first taking to the stage as a six-year-old in a school production of Swan Lake.

Now 12, Willow fulfilled her ambition after treading the boards at The Mayflower in Southampton as part of the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of the very same show.

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Willow, who attends St Edmund’s Catholic School, said: ‘It was amazing to perform on stage and I really felt like a star for the night. My favourite part of the show was when we had to perform the swan dance.

Willow Rogers, aged 12, training with the Birmingham Royal Ballet.Willow Rogers, aged 12, training with the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Willow Rogers, aged 12, training with the Birmingham Royal Ballet. | Other 3rd Party

‘At the end of the dance we each received a flower. The audience were cheering and it felt fantastic.’

She added: ‘From the moment I did that first performance in Swan Lake (at school) I knew I wanted to be a ballet dancer.

‘It was really cool and a bit of coincidence that this same ballet should be the first big stage production I performed in.’

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The Birmingham Royal Ballet is one of three major ballet firm in Britain.

To get her place in the show, Willow had to see off competition from hundreds of children during a two-stage audition process.

She then spent eight months training with the ballet company in preparation for the show.

‘I didn’t think I would get through the auditions. I was shocked and really excited when I found out the news,’ she said.

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Proud mum, Lucinda Rogers, 40, who works as a teaching assistant in Portsmouth, added: ‘Since the age of six she has always wanted to be a ballet dancer. It was really exciting and I was so proud to see her on stage.

‘It was very prestigious to perform with the Birmingham Royal Ballet and she has given up so much time and shown such dedication. She was absolutely beaming after the show.’

On Sunday February 2, Willow joined the professional dancers on stage at the historic venue where she performed as one of the swans in front of an audience in the 2,000-people capacity theatre.

Willow now hopes to get a permanent place at a ballet school and to one day become a professional dancer.

‘I love to dance but ballet is my favourite,’ she said.

‘I would really love to become a professional ballet dancer and get to regularly perform on stage.’

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