Dancing to their dreams

Lucy Moat and Ciara Donnelly in rehearsals for Swan Lake. Picture by Ben Garner.
Lucy Moat and Ciara Donnelly in rehearsals for Swan Lake. Picture by Ben Garner.

Two talented young dancers are stepping up to the professional stage after landing roles with the English Youth Ballet (EYB).

Fifteen-year-old Ciara Donnelly, of Stakeford, and 11-year-old Lucy Moat, of Choppington, have been chosen among the region’s 100 top young ballet stars to perform in Swan Lake at the Sunderland Empire, sharing the stage with international principal dancers.

Lucy, who has been dancing since the age of five, said: “I saw a performance of ballet and really wanted to do it. I am looking forward to dancing with English Youth Ballet so that I can dance on a big stage and get all the experience.

“In the future I would like to be in more productions and I’d like to teach ballet as well.”

And Ciara, who attends King Edward VI School in Morpeth, is also looking forward to the challenge.

She said: “I started dancing when I was four because I always used to like to dance.

“Dancing with English Youth Ballet is a great opportunity to perform on a professional stage in a professional show. It’s going to be great. I think my favourite ballet is Swan Lake too.”

The pair were selected for the roles from nearly 250 young hopefuls, aged eight to 18, over two auditions.

Rehearsals are taking place at Walker Technology College under the guidance of the EYB’s principal dancers, including Oliver Speers, who also stars as Prince Sergei.

He 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 their dream and they just love it.”

The well-known ballet, with a score by Tchaikovsky, runs at the Sunderland Empire tomorrow (Friday), at 7.30pm, and on Saturday, at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. For tickets, call 0844 871 3022 or visit www.atgtickets.com/sunderland