DANCING is not just a hobby for Lydia Mackett – it’s in her blood.
Seventeen-year-old Lydia from Gosport has been dancing for as long as she has been able to stand, and is now on the verge of reaching the big time.
Lydia, who has severe hearing loss, has been cast for the professional ballet production of Sleeping Beauty at the Dartford Orchard Theatre on Friday, August 25 and Saturday, August 26.
Although this is now her fifth professional performance, it is the first time that she will be ‘en pointe’ for the whole show.
Her mother, Debra, says that Lydia’s dream of making a career out of dance is fast becoming a reality.
She said: ‘Lydia has been working really hard for a very long time now – and it is wonderful to see her on the cusp of her big break.
‘The time and effort she has put into performing is staggering – she is up in London each week for dance practice, and has sacrificed so much to achieve her goal. She has one more year at South Downs College – they have been so good to her there.’
Lydia’s hearing problems have always been something that she has had to overcome.
But, according to Debra, it is something that she has learned to conquer.
She said: ‘Lydia’s hearing problems had a bit of an impact on her exams, where she couldn’t hear the start of the music. That is something that has only happened twice – so she’s learned to tackle the issue and progress with the job in hand.’
Lydia – who was named Stage Star of the Year in 2014 at The News Youth Awards – was cast after auditioning through the English Youth Ballet this year.
Of the 200 dancers who auditioned, Lydia was one of the few to be given a role.
Principal artist Brendan Bratulic said: ‘The young dancers are treated like professional dancers during rehearsals – we work them hard but the results are fantastic.
‘They learn what the life of a professional dancer is like.
‘They are living out their dreams and they love it.’
Principal dancer Amy Drew says that the dancers in Sleeping Beauty all have a bright future ahead of them.
She said: ‘The advice that I give to the young dancers is that ballet is hard.
‘But, if you love it, dance can be a beautiful and fulfilling career.’