Wokingham teens are living their dream on stage as they join the English Youth Ballet

Emily Mugnier and Madeline Box.

Pirouettes have landed success for two local teens selected to perform in the English Youth Ballet’s latest spectacular.

The award-winning dance company held auditions earlier this year for their performance of Cinderella in Hollywood.

Director and founder of the English Youth Ballet (EYB) Janet Lewis said: “We saw a very pleasing standard at the audition and it was lovely to see lots of enthusiasm”.

Among the 100 dancers selected for the show were teenagers Madeline Box and Emily Mugnier who both attend The Olivia Dance Academy, based in Wokingham.

Dance coach Monica Tapiador is leading rehearsals for the show in Oxford next weekend.

She said: “The young dancers are treated like professional dancers during rehearsals. We work them hard but the results are fantastic.

“They learn what the life of a professional dancer is like. They are living their dream and they just love it.”

And 14-year-old Madeline who has thoroughly enjoyed the experience so far said: “They make learning really fun and help you if you get stuck. It’s amazing to dance with the professionals.

The teenager added: “When I’m older I want to run my own dance school. I’d love to teach others ballet.”

The performer – who discovered her passion at the age of four – is described by her Mum Lynne as a hard worker with much dedication.

Ms Box said: “It has been lovely to see her progress and growth in confidence over the last few years.

“Maddie has always loved to dance but her passion for ballet didn’t really strike until she was about 12 when she got her first pair of pointe shoes.”

Set in 1950s, Cinderella in Hollywood draws its inspiration from the star struck romance of film star Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier.

And just like the fairytale, EYB’s Cinderella is a tireless worker challenged with the distasteful selfishness of her sisters’.

But in this version, the princess’ duties lie in the costume making department of a Hollywood film set. And her fairy godmother is the phantom of her late mother.

Choreography for Cinderella in Hollywood has been directed by Janet Lewis and her team.

Principal performers include professionals from across the globe such as Monica Tapiador who has travelled from Spain to play Cinderella.

She said: “My interpretation of Cinderella is very different to the Disney movie. Through my performance I try to present my character as a real girl that the audience can identify with.

“The choreography incorporates modern ballet so my body is having to adapt to unfamiliar ways of moving.”

And 13-year-old Emily will also take part in the performance. She said: “I’ve really enjoyed learning the routines and have made lots of new friends through English Youth Ballet.

“I performed in the junior section of the school a few years ago but dancing for their senior group has really helped my ballet progress.

“I’d love to teach ballet or perform as part of a dance company when I’m older.”

The young ballerina has 10 years of dance lessons behind her and is a member of both the Olivia Dance Academy and Elmhurst Ballet School.

Her Mum Amanda said: ”I’ve enjoyed watching Emily progress in something she loves. It is always fantastic to see your child develop in an area they are passionate about.”

Cinderella in Hollywood will be performed on Saturday, June 14 and Sunday, June 15 at the New Theatre, Oxford. Tickets start at £13. For more details, or to book, call 0844 871 3020 or log on to www.atgtickets.com

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