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Young stars get a crack at ballet
Meet the young dancers who will play lead roles in a new production of The Nutcracker.
Katie Barber and Barnaby Packham will perform in Tchaikovsky's famous ballet this November in Bingley.
Katie, ten, from Oxenhope, will share the role of Clara – the girl who sees toys come to life – with Silsden girl Lois Fitzsimmonds.
Katie, Lois and 14-year-old Oxenhope boy Barnaby are all pupils of the Sara Packham Theatre School run by Barnaby's mother Sara.
They are among several pupils who are celebrating after winning prestigious scholarships or dance school places.
Katie has been a Sunbeam in the Bradford Alhambra pantomime for the past three years, where she last year stood in for a dwarf.
She recently performed in the musical The King and I at the Alhambra as part of its national tour, and has been a Royal Ballet Junior Associate for two years and also attends the Northern Ballet Associates each week.
Barnaby recently won a full scholarship to the Yorkshire Ballet Seminars, where he will dance for a week this summer.
He was this year offered scholarships to leading performing arts schools Elmhurst and Tring Park, and accepted a place at Tring.
Fellow Academy student Hollie Smith also won scholarships to Tring Park and Hammond's Vocational School, and will join her sister Hannah at Hammond's this September.
Another student, 17-year-old Maddie Dunnett, will leave the Academy this summer to take up a place at the Renaissance performing arts college.
Molly Raw, Isabelle Roche, Leah Robinson and Katie Johnson gained reserve places for the Royal Ballet Junior Associate scheme in Leeds.
Sara, who teaches in Oxenhope and Keighley, will open a new branch in Cullingworth this September.
The school has again been selected to supply the Sunbeams – the children's chorus – for an eight-week run of the Alhambra’s pantomime, Cinderella.
The Nutcracker will be Sara Packham Theatre School's own production, at Bingley Arts Centre. Some pupils from the school have previously appeared in professional versions of the same ballet.
Sara can be contacted on 07988 484347.