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Dance of a lifetime... 21 local girls to perform in The Sleeping Beauty with the English Youth Ballet

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 Back row: Amy Sloan; Miranda Finlay; Alexandra Dick; Lydia Rooney; Jessica Steele; Anna Kane, Jane Maguire
Middle row: Rebecca Doyle; Sarah Flavelle; Samantha Gilmore; Olivia Tweedie; Dena Philpott; Anna Tennyson, Laura Foy
Front row: Hannah Hornsby; Laura Browne; Victoria Lloyd; Anna McErlean; Emily Foster; Amelia Rose, Phoebe Boyd

Back row: Amy Sloan; Miranda Finlay; Alexandra Dick; Lydia Rooney; Jessica Steele; Anna Kane, Jane Maguire Middle row: Rebecca Doyle; Sarah Flavelle; Samantha Gilmore; Olivia Tweedie; Dena Philpott; Anna Tennyson, Laura Foy Front row: Hannah Hornsby; Laura Browne; Victoria Lloyd; Anna McErlean; Emily Foster; Amelia Rose, Phoebe Boyd

Back row: Amy Sloan; Miranda Finlay; Alexandra Dick; Lydia Rooney; Jessica Steele; Anna Kane, Jane Maguire Middle row: Rebecca Doyle; Sarah Flavelle; Samantha Gilmore; Olivia Tweedie; Dena Philpott; Anna Tennyson, Laura Foy Front row: Hannah Hornsby; Laura Browne; Victoria Lloyd; Anna McErlean; Emily Foster; Amelia Rose, Phoebe Boyd

A group of Belfast dancers have been selected to perform in The Sleeping Beauty with the English Youth Ballet (EYB).

Some 21 girls have been offered roles in the magical production by the nationally acclaimed company.

They will be taking to the Grand Opera House stage in Belfast alongside principal dancer Amy Drew (right) and six other international principal dancers following an audition in November attended by more than 300 talented young people.

The cast is in rehearsals at Methodist College Belfast at the moment ahead of three performances of The Sleeping Beauty at the Grand Opera House from April 25-26.

Australian principal ballerina Amy praised the girls' efforts so far.

"The young Northern Ireland dancers we are working with have great energy and attack," she said.

"Working in a professional environment gives the students a unique insight into life in a ballet company.

"They are so lucky – I wish there had been something like EYB in Australia when I was training.

"I feel very privileged to be a principal with the EYB as I get to work with some of the UK's most talented young dancers. I find them incredibly inspiring."

Among them is Grosvenor Grammar School pupil Jessica Steele (17), who has been dancing since she was four and loves how ballet makes her feel.

"I'm really looking forward to dancing with English Youth Ballet so that I can have the opportunity to improve my performance skills and meet the company and meet lots of new friends," she said.

Belfast Telegraph