Dozen talented Dacorum dancers set to perform in the English Youth Ballet's Swan Lake

The performance was originally due to take place in 2020 - but was cancelled due to Covid

By Laura Hutchinson
Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 11:51 am
Left to right: Front line – Grace Payne, Sadie Bentley, Joseph Phillips, Billy Rowlands, Heidi Batchelor-Hannaby, Tilly Warr; Back line – Ruby Cousins, Millie Cousins, Giselle Bradley, Violet Tree Wright, Jessica Fenwick, Sienna Permal
Left to right: Front line – Grace Payne, Sadie Bentley, Joseph Phillips, Billy Rowlands, Heidi Batchelor-Hannaby, Tilly Warr; Back line – Ruby Cousins, Millie Cousins, Giselle Bradley, Violet Tree Wright, Jessica Fenwick, Sienna Permal

The show must go on for dozen talented ballet dancers from Dacorum who are set to perform on stage alongside international professionals.

The youngsters are part of the cast of the English Youth Ballet’s Swan Lake, which will be performed at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury later this month.

The ballet was originally set to be performed in 2020, but was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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But luckily the performances have now been rescheduled and the young dancers will finally get their chance to shine on March 22 and 23.

Dancer Joseph Phillips, 10, from Tring, said: “I started dancing when I was four years old, I used to go and watch my older cousins dance classes and really enjoyed watching them so I decided to join in and loved it

“I get so much enjoyment from being a dancer and feel so much excitement every time I perform on stage

“I’m really excited to be performing swan lake with EYB and love coming to every rehearsal, I’ve made so many friends and the teachers are all lovely

“Last year I was chosen to perform with the English National ballet as part of the cast of the Nutcracker at the London Coliseum, it was the most magical experience that I will never forget and made me want to be a dancer even more.”

Grace Payne, 17, from Tring added: “I’ve been dancing for as long as I can remember! There was something so inviting about the love and passion dancers have for their craft, I always wanted to join in. Watching professional ballet dancers showed me I was able to express myself in such a graceful way, while being physically strong. I wouldn’t change my hobby for anything.

“One of the best feelings about being a dancer is the freedom we are given. There are so many ways to express yourself in dance, which makes each time more interesting, no two dances are the same. Secondly, I love the release dance brings, there is something so relaxing about letting go and releasing tension. Emotion plays a large part in dancing, so whatever is going on in personal life, can be used for good use, to enhance performance.

“It’s such a great opportunity to be with English Youth Ballet. I cannot help but feel excited and thankful I am able to perform and do what I love. Everything is well organised, and the coaching I get helps me to improve both my technique and performance. A great experience to remember!

“Dancing is not just about movement, a large part includes acting and projecting emotion to the audience. There is so much more than just learning the steps, which I think an overlooked aspect of dance. Through my interests of acting, I have found that dance shares a close link, giving my performance more feeling and passion.”

The 12 from Dacorum who were chosen are:

From the Jayne Marie Dancing School

Heidi Batchelor-Hannaby, 13, from Berkhamsted, a student at Ashlyns School' Ruby Cousins, 13, and Millie Cousins 11, from Hemel, who attend Astley Cooper School; Jessica Fenwick from Hemel Hempstead, who attends John F Kennedy RC School; and Tilly Warr, 13, from Berkhamstead who attends Ashlyns School

From Tring Park dance school

Sadie Bentley, 13 from Tring; Giselle Bradley, 9, from Tring, who attends Tring Performing Arts school, Grace Payne, 17, from Tring, who studies at Berkhamsted Sixth School; Sienna Permal, 11, from Berkhamsted who attends Ashlyns School; and Joseph Phillips, 10, from Tring, who attends Tring Performing Arts school.

From Kaso School of Dance

Bill Rowlands, 12, who attends The Grange School

From Bicester Dance Academy

Violet Tree Wright, 9, who attends Bierton Combined CofE School.