Norfolk on point

Amy Drew of the English Youth Ballet (left) with Carbrooke dancer Katherine Ward

Amy Drew of the English Youth Ballet (left) with Carbrooke dancer Katherine Ward - Credit: Ben Garner

The English Youth Ballet’s production of Sleeping Beauty marks an exciting time for 100 of the area’s finest young dancers

Juggling her GCSE exam revision with rehearsals for a lavish ballet production is making for a busy time for 16-year-old Katherine Ward. But the young dancer, from Carbrooke, near Watton, has her sights set on pursuing ballet training and the chance to appear in her fourth production by the English Youth Ballet is an opportunity too good to miss.

Katherine, a student at Wayland Academy, has been dancing since she was five and trains at the Judith Fox Ballet School in Wymondham. She is one of 100 young people from Norfolk and Suffolk chosen at auction to dance in the solo and corps de ballet roles of this production which will take to the stage of the Theatre Royal in Norwich on June 24 and 25. Preparation includes intensive rehearsals at Sprowston High School, where Amy Drew, one of EYB’s principal dancers and pictured here with Katherine, will coach the young people. Amy is dancing the leading role of Aurora in the production and is one of seven professional principals in the company. She says: “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!”

Katherine first appeared in an EYB production when she was 10 - coincidentally also Sleeping Beauty - and danced in Giselle and Swan Lake too. The award-winning EYB has been a launchpad for young talent and there are now ex-EYB young performers in some of the world’s best companies, including the Royal Ballet.

Sleeping Beauty will be presented by English Youth Ballet at the Theatre Royal Norwich on June 24 and 25. Tickets from the theatre’s box office; 01603 630000;

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