FOUR young Penarth dancers join the English Youth Ballet for a performance of Cinderella in Hollywood.

Charlotte Ganderton, 11; Lucy Ganderton, 13;, Tilda Niemela, 10; and Lilyana Niemela, 13; have all been selected to join the English Youth Ballet performance after a competitive video audition earlier this year.

Around 150 dancers auditioned for a role, but only 70 made the final cut.

Lilyana goes to Stanwell School and is training at the Mandy & Shirley Morris School of Dance. 

She said: “I had my first ever ballet lesson when I was about two years and 10 months old in a local church village hall. 

“It was my dad who signed me up for it because I was always moving and dancing to music all of the time and because my sister had recently been born so he thought I might enjoy something that was just for me.

“I love to dance as it is fun, I enjoy the challenges of learning new routines/choreo and the sense of achievement that comes from it.

“I’m looking forward to EYB to get stronger when dancing on pointe than I already am and I’m pleased about the whole experience of being part of this exciting production.

“Dance is my life and in addition to ballet I enjoy competing in other styles such as lyrical, jazz and acro.”

Cinderella in Hollywood is set in 1950s Hollywood and is inspired by the story of how actress Grace Kelly met and eventually married Prince Rainier of Monaco.

There will be three performances of the show at the New Theatre in Cardiff between Friday, August 19, and Saturday, August 20.

By the time of the performance, the cast will have rehearsed for 60 hours over 10 days of rehearsals at weekends.

English Youth Ballet director Janet Lewis said: “The cast have shown great enthusiasm and excitement in their rehearsals so far.

“The children are obviously so pleased to be back dancing again and taking part in a ballet that they love.

“Since the past year of Lockdowns with the many restrictions, they are displaying a sense of freedom that is boosting their self-confidence and wellbeing.

“The cast are working hard not only on their ballet technique but on their performance quality that expresses the part they are dancing.

“The incentive is to be back performing again in the theatre.”