South Shields schoolgirl's dreams come true as she prepares to perform in Sleeping Beauty ballet production

A schoolgirl is dancing her way to the top after being chosen to perform in English Youth Ballet’s (EYB’s) show of Sleeping Beauty.

By Hayley Lovely
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 11:55 am

Niamh Simpson from South Shields has been selected to join the cast of the show following a video audition earlier this year. Niamh was selected from over 150 people who sent in video auditions for a part.

The nine-year-old who attends St Gregory’s RC Primary School will perform alongside international professional dancers in English Youth Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty at the Darlington Hippodrome in three performances on Friday 10 and Saturday, 11 June.

Niamh who started dancing at just two-year-old trains at Lauren Anderson Academy of Dance and is thrilled about the opportunity.

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She said: “I feel really happy when I dance and don’t have to think about anything else, I can just dance. I also really love learning new things.

“I feel very lucky that I get to dance with so many amazing dancers and meet lots of people at EYB. I am nervous because this is the first time I have done anything like this but I am also really excited.

“Before lockdown I liked dancing but then during lockdown being stuck at home I started dancing every day to forget about Coronavirus and really started to fall in love with it. Now I just want to dance all of the time.”

EYB Principal Lyndsey Fraser who will star as Aurora in the production and previously danced with the Vienna Festival Ballet said: “I wish I had danced with EYB when I was young. The dancers learn so much about performance skills and the artistry of ballet.

"I love working as a principal dancer with EYB because I get to dance fantastic roles and teach and watch the young dancers progress. The sets and costumes in the production are superb and the whole experience is one the young dancers (and the audiences) will never forget!”

The young cast have spent 60 hours over 10 days of rehearsals at weekends at Hummersknott Academy preparing for the show. The young dancers are some of the top talents from the local area.