A PUPIL from Kingsclere Performing Arts College will be dancing the title role in a performance of Coppélia by the English Youth Ballet (EYB) next month.
Martha Croggon, aged 17, who studies in Kingsclere and lives in Newbury, will be dancing alongside international principal dancers Samantha Camejo, Monica Tapiador, Caroline Cabot, Phillip Tunstall, Phillip Bollev and Trevor Wood at Rickmansworth Watermeet.
Miss Croggon’s mother, Lorraine Croggon, said: “She has been doing ballet on and off since she was five years old.
“At 14 she started dancing at JLD School of Dancing in Kingsclere and that was when she decided she wanted to be in performing arts.”
Miss Croggon loves to sing and act, can play the cello, piano and guitar and can tap dance and is proficient in contemporary dance as well.
“She joined Kingsclere Performing Arts College when it opened in September 2017 and she hopes to go on at 18 to do a degree in performing arts,” Mrs Croggon said.
Miss Croggon has danced with the English Youth Ballet before, with performances of Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Ballet Etudes and The Nutcracker and was invited to audition for Coppélia by the company.
She was competing against seven girls for the title role and they all had to perform various exercises en pointe.
Mrs Croggon added: “She burst into tears when she got the part of Coppélia and said ‘I don’t know whether to laugh or cry’.
“She is really excited about the part and is really looking forward to it.
“She has had semi-solos with the EYB before, but this time she will have a solo and will be dancing the finale with the principal dancers.”
The Brazilian principal dancer Samantha Camejo, who is dancing the lead role of Swanhilda, is also training the young cast in rehearsals.
She said: “The young dancers are treated just like the professionals in the rehearsals with EYB.
“They discover what having a dance career might be like – both in the studio and on the stage.
“It is an amazing experience for them.”
Coppélia will be performed on March 2 and 3 and tickets can be purchased at the box office, by calling 01923 711063, or by visiting www.watersmeet.co.uk