A SCHOOLGIRL from Ashbourne has been selected in a major audition for the English Youth Ballet.Rebecca Blenkinsop, 15, is currently studying for her GCSEs at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Ashbourne, but has been attending dancing lessons since she was just four years old.
Her mother, Elizabeth Blenkinsop, said: “Some friends at school started going to dance classes so she asked if she could go as well.” “Most of them moved onto other things but Rebecca stuck with it.” Rebecca was training at the Ashbourne School of Dance when she spotted a poster advertising auditions with the English Youth Ballet for their summer production of ‘Coppelia’ at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham.
Out of 175 girls who auditioned in February, Rebecca was chosen as one of the final 50 successful applicants.
The English Youth Ballet is one of the largest ballet companies in Britain, bringing together professional principal dancers from around the world with ballet students selected for their talent and potential.
Rebecca said: “I’ve always enjoyed dancing and never wanted to do anything else.
“I’m not nervous now but I get a bit more excited on the night.” Rebecca is now facing a gruelling training regime to get ready for the three performances next week.
Her usual two and a half hours of training a week will be upped to six hours a day for the next ten days.
Rebecca said she is ‘looking into’ a career in dance, and not ruling out a full time dance school.
She said: “I think it would be a good opportunity, but I like the mixture between QEGS and dance because it means I get a bit of time off from dance.” The English Youth Ballet’s production of Coppelia is being performed at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham on Friday, July 30 at 7.30pm and Saturday July 31 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.