Date: Wednesday 21 October 2015
Young ballet dancers have been backed by our East Midlands team with a sponsorship deal worth £500!
The money will be used by English Youth Ballet to go towards scholarships for young dancers taking part in the group’s unique shows, where they rehearse with professional dancers before performing with them in major regional theatres.
Janet Lewis MBE, the founder and director of English Youth Ballet, says: “We have now developed into a highly successful youth dance company, doing eight or nine projects a year in different regional towns and cities.
“As far as young people are concerned, they have the opportunity to perform in a full-length ballet with eight professional ballet dancers.”
Lucie Grundy, Sales Manager for Taylor Wimpey East Midlands, says: “It may seem a bit of a leap from buildings to ballet, but as a local housebuilder we like to support the communities in which we build.
“This is a fantastic and rare opportunity for young people to find out about what it takes to perform at a very high level. “
Next year’s nine English Youth Ballet shows include Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, to be staged at venues throughout the country, including the Theatre Royal in Nottingham.
At each theatre, English Youth Ballet will be looking for around 100 local young people aged from eight to 18 to complement the professional dancers.
“We draw the young dancers from dance schools within about a 50 mile radius of the theatre,” explains Janet. “We hold auditions six months in advance in each area and up to 400 promising young dancers will apply for the 100 roles.”
The selected young dancers pay for the exciting experience of rehearsals and performance with professionals, but the company has also launched the EYB Development Trust, set up to offer financial support to promising young ballet dancers from poorer backgrounds.
Janet says about 800 young ballet dancers get the “professional show” experience every year, meaning more than 10,000 dancers have benefited since EYB was founded in 1998.
“We’re a performance company, and even if dancers don’t go on to be professionals themselves, they learn an enormous amount from the experience,” she says.
“You see what it’s like to work with professionals – how they prepare, how dedicated they area – but you also learn things like teamwork, discipline and gain self-confidence.”