A young girl from Launceston is set to get the experience of a lifetime as she has been chosen to take part in a classic ballet.
Lili Shaw, 12, recently received the news that she had been selected to perform in the English Youth Ballet’s rendition of Swan Lake.
Lili, who is a ballet scholar at St Joseph’s School in Launceston and also trains with a local ballet school, was one of hundreds to audition for the opportunity, and now thanks to her hard work, she will be portraying the role of a ‘Little Mariinsky Dancer’ at the New Theatre in Oxford later this month.
Despite many others also hoping to get a spot on stage, Lili is the only dancer from Cornwall who was lucky enough to be chosen to be a part of the show.
Established in 1998, the English Youth Ballet invites young up-and-coming talent from across the country - outside of London - to perform alongside international principal artists and take part in large-cast, full length, classical ballet productions. Children can be aged from eight years old to eighteen years old and each year the professional principal dancers are joined by 100 young dancers to present up to nine productions in cities and regional areas throughout the UK.
The English Youth Ballet’s presentation of Swan Lake in Oxfordis a lavish production and will star eight international principal dancers and showcase the talents of 90 young dancers from the across the country.
The English Youth Ballet has been known to act as a springboard for young dancers, offering them experience in large scale productions and the opportunity to be watched by big audiences.
When Lili learnt of her success, it was excitement all round!
“I was really excited because there were lots of people at the audition and at the end we all had to stand on stage holding our numbers and they called the successful numbers forward,” she told the Post. “The girls either side of me didn’t get called so I felt a bit bad for them, but I was really happy I got in.”
For Lili, dance has been a big part of her life, having danced since she was only 18 months old: “I spent the first term clinging to my mum’s leg, but can’t get enough of dancing now. I’m really excited to have started pointe training and I’ve been cast en pointe for Swan Lake.”
However, despite this experience, even the most mature of dancers would be feeling the nerves.
“I’m a little bit nervous,” said Lili. “But it’s good to be nervous because it means you’ll try your hardest. I love performing though so I’m more excited than nervous.”
Lili will be performing at the New Theatre in Oxford on June 16 and 17.