Portsmouth girls dance their way to the West End

(l-r) Ruby Cunningham and her friend Bryony Way, both from North End, Portsmouth. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (142238-6610)
(l-r) Ruby Cunningham and her friend Bryony Way, both from North End, Portsmouth. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (142238-6610)
Picture: Pierandrea Guarnieri

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THEY have been dancing for years and now Bryony Way and pal Ruby Cunningham have won a part in the West End production of Billy Elliot.

Bryony, nine, and Ruby, 12, will both star as ballet girls in the show which is in the heart of London.

The girls auditioned for the show and were thrilled when they were told they would be performing on stage three times a week.

Bryony, from Locarno Road in Copnor, who has been dancing since she was two, said: ‘It feels really good. I can’t wait to be in the show.

‘I can’t really explain it but I really like dancing. I feel excited.

‘I can’t wait to do it. I have always wanted to do this.

‘When I am older I want to be a dance teacher and travel round the world dancing.’

The girls had to attend three auditions, lasting hours each 

Bryony’s mum Hayley Way, 37, said: ‘It’s amazing.

‘She’s always wanted to be in the West End so to do that at the age of nine is brilliant.

‘I can’t wait. I’m really excited. It’s brilliant for her.

‘She’s worked really hard. She trains every day. She lives and breathes 

‘It’s fantastic. We are both over the moon.

‘We were pacing up and down the hallway during the auditions.’

The girls will both perform three times a week for six months.

One performance will be on a Thursday whilst the others will be at the weekend, meaning they won’t miss out on much time at school.

Both children attend local dance groups.

Ruby has only been dancing for the past two years.

Her mum Lisa Cunningham, 35, from Kirby Road in North End, added: ‘We are over the 

‘I feel like it’s not real until I see her up there.

‘I went to the auditions but it was a little bit surreal because all these children go to stage school.

‘She is absolutely ecstatic. She’s done really well in the space of time since she has been dancing.

‘It’s something that she’s always wanted to do.

‘Coming at the age that she is is very surreal and she’s achieved so much in a short space of time. We are really happy for her.’