Dancing dream comes true

Kate Buddle, of Longhoughton, rehearsing for Swan Lake. Picture by Ben Garner.
Kate Buddle, of Longhoughton, rehearsing for Swan Lake. Picture by Ben Garner.
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A talented teenage dancer is stepping up to the professional stage after landing a role with the English Youth Ballet (EYB).

Fourteen-year-old Kate Buddle, of Longhoughton, has been chosen as one of the region’s 100 top young ballet stars to perform in Swan Lake at the Sunderland Empire, sharing the stage with international principal dancers.

The youngster, who trains at GL Dance and attends the Duchess’s Community High School, was chosen to join the company’s production from nearly 250 young hopefuls, aged eight to 18, over two auditions.

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

Rehearsals are taking place at Walker Technology College under the guidance of the EYB’s principal dancers, including Oliver Speers, who also stars in the role of Prince Sergei.

He 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.”

The well-known ballet, with a score by Tchaikovsky, is set in 1895 Imperial Russia, telling a tale of love, rivalry, greed and murder as two unlikely lovers meet during preparations for the ballet.

Janet Lewis has created the choreography for the production, while some 240 costumes have been designed by West End professional Keith Bish.

It runs at the Sunderland Empire tomorrow (Friday), at 7.30pm, and on Saturday, at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.