Young dance aces in action


A quartet of talented young dancers from the area will be among the cast of a professional production of the ballet Giselle, which can be seen in Nottingham this week.

Toni Cairns, 13, from Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Toby Williamson, 11, from Selston, Emma Hayes, 18, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, and Peter Hill, 15, from Ravenshead, are appearing in the English Youth Ballet production, which can be seen at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, on Friday and Saturday (July 22-23).

English Youth Ballet (EYB) held a big audition for the ballet in April. Nearly 300 young hopeful dancers turned up to the two auditions.

Director and founder of EYB, Janet Lewis, was on the lookout for the hottest young dance talent to join her award-winning company for the production in Nottingham. The lucky dancers heard they had been accepted on the day.

Miss Lewis said: “EYB is all about providing extra performance experience to young dancers. We saw a very pleasing standard at the audition today and it was lovely to see lots of enthusiasm.”

EYB has helped many of the UK’s top talent springboard their training progress and careers into some of the world’s greatest ballet companies – including the Royal Ballet Company and English National Ballet.

Emma Hayes, one of the quartet of local dancers taking part, explained: “I started dancing when I was three years old. I’m not sure why I started. I think my mum just took me along with my friends. I do ballet, tap, disco and street dance. I am looking forward to dancing with everyone at EYB and dancing on the big stage with the big audience in Nottingham. When I am older, I would like to become a dancer. I have been accepted into a Jelli Studios in Liverpool for a year so I am looking forward to that. I’ll be learning all types of dancing there.”

The ballet will star international principal dancers Adele Robbins, Amy Drew, Monica Tapiador, Oliver Speers, Richard Read, Brenden Bratulic and Trevor Wood.

Tickets to see English Youth Ballet perform Giselle can be purchased at the box office on 0115 989 5555 or online at

The four local dancers are pictured (Photo by Ben Garner)