A ST Gabriel’s School pupil achieved her dream of appearing in a professional performance of Sleeping Beauty with the English Youth Ballet on May 19.
Imogen Strong has been dancing since she was three and at the tender age of 10 has not only been accepted into the Royal Ballet School’s White Lodge, but was also chosen to perform in the EYB’s production of Sleeping Beauty at the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre.
Her mother, Cari Strong, said: “She’s really excited about the production. She had her hopes set on a particular role, and wanted a pointe part.
“So she’s very excited that she has an important role as one of Aurora’s friends and will be on stage for a lot of the show.
“She loves the costumes. She says they are frilly and netty.”
The auditions for the EYB production were held in March and more than 150 hopeful dancers auditioned.
One hundred of the young dancers (aged from eight to 18) were successful and performed in the show.
Ten days of rehearsals took place at Harewood College, with the cast being coached by Amy Drew and Brenden Bratulic, the EYB’s principal dancers.
Mr Bratulic 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.”
Imogen will leave home to board at the Royal Ballet’s White Lodge in September.
Ms Strong said: “She is incredibly excited, but it doesn’t seem real that she is one of only 12 in the world to get into one of the top three ballet schools in the world.”
Imogen was one of 12 students to be accepted out of thousands of international applications.