Dancers gear up for the show of their lives with a part in Swan Lake

READY TO PERFORM The young dancers who will star in Swan Lake at the Kings in Southsea
READY TO PERFORM The young dancers who will star in Swan Lake at the Kings in Southsea
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YOUNG dancers will take to the stage of the Kings Theatre in a production of Swan Lake.

Working with the English Youth Ballet, 56 aspiring dancers will perform in an adaptation of the production.

Rehearsals start this weekend at King Richard School, Allaway Avenue in Portsmouth, and the youngsters will be put through their paces.

Sandra Smith, promotions manager at the theatre, said that she’s really looking forward to it.

‘I can’t wait and we already have 1,400 tickets that have been sold,’ she said.

‘It is great to have eight of the best dancers from the EYB dancing alongside the 119 performers that were cast.

‘Students at the EYB who aren’t participating are so impressed that they’re joining the audience to watch their fellow dancers perform.’

The dancers won praise from Janet Lewis, the director of the show, who said: ‘The young dancers from Portsmouth and the surrounding areas are learning the advanced choreography very quickly with 10 days remaining to put the show together.

‘This production will be an exciting and beneficial experience for the children, exposing their potential and setting them up for further opportunities in life.’

Local dancers include Matthew Dummer, 11, from Fareham and Eleanor Leslie, 17, from Portsmouth.

Three performances will be staged in total, on Friday, October 18 at 7.30pm and Saturday, October 19, at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Swan Lake is the biggest and most dramatic production for the English Youth Ballet, costing around £50,000 to put together.

To buy tickets call (023) 9282 8282, or visit


Matthew Dummer is 11 and lives in Fareham.

He is dancing the roles of the Tsar’s nephew and a Neapolitan dancer.

‘I started ballet when I was two. I love doing the lessons because as I grow up I learn how to be a perfect dancer.

‘In Swan Lake I will hopefully get to accomplish new moves and then I can show them to my dance teacher. I like performing – the more I do it the more I won’t be afraid when I do it. I’ve seen parts of Swan Lake and it looks really good.

‘When I am older I would like to be the Master of Ballet and teach ballet.’

Eleanor Leslie, 17, lives in Portsmouth.

She goes to South Downs College and she will be dancing as one of the swans in the production.

‘I started ballet when I was four. It was because my sister danced and my mum asked me if I wanted to do gym or dancing and I chose dancing.

‘I enjoy how it feels when you are dancing as part of a group.

‘I can’t wait to dance with everyone at EYB especially as a swan.

‘In the future I would like to go to performing college or university to study dance. I would like to work as a performer or a choreographer.’