Young ballet dancers from across south east London are reaching the final stages of rehearsals for a big Bromley theatre show.

The English Youth Ballet’s Giselle is at The Churchill Theatre on Friday (August 15) and Saturday (August 16) and features 107 dancers chosen at auditions earlier in the year dancing alongside six professional principals.

More than 250 youngsters tried out for a part.

By the time the show comes to Bromley in 11 days time, the cast will have clocked up 60 hours of rehearsals at Cleeve Park School in Sidcup where they are treated like professionals and work closely with the principals.

Nine-year-old Green Street Green School pupil Ben Andsell, of Barkwood Park, Orpington, will play one of the aristocratic boys who Giselle looks after.

He has been dancing since the age of three or four and studies at Lucy Griffiths Dance and Theatre Academy.

He said: “I think since I was about 3 or 4 when I started dancing.  I did it really just for a bit of fun.  I hoping to build up my strength and get better by dancing with EYB.  

“The rehearsals at EYB are always quite challenging but also very fun.  

“There’s always quite an intense section at the start of rehearsals where we warm-up and do ballet class.  

“We also have to understudy each others’ parts in case someone is ill – it’s quite hard because I am understudying some of the older boys (but it’s always fun).

“When I am older I would like to be a dancer and live the dream. I do all sorts of dance but I would have to say ballet is my favourite kind of dance."

Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School student Isabella Kibble, 16, trains at Doreen Bird Junior School. She said: “I dance every day of the week and I just love it.  Giselle in Bromley will be the 5th time I have danced with EYB.

“I love doing EYB as it is great experience and I think it really gives me a confidence booster.

“It’s a great opportunity to perform with a professional company in a real professional theatre and be inspired by the professional dancers.  

“I enjoy dancing with other dancers from the area and seeing how amazing everyone is – it inspires me to work harder and achieve what I want to do, which is dance.”

One of the six principals, Australian Brenden Bratulic, 30, said: “The Bromley cast of Giselle are very bright and are picking up the choreography quickly.

“The young boys in the production are doing especially well – and that’s not just because I am coaching them.

“We are having fun in the rehearsals and the boys seem so hungry to learn more and more.  I find it very rewarding working with them." 

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