Video: Leeds children put through paces with Northern Ballet dancers

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These tiny dancers are en pointe to taking their first steps into the world of ballet.

Youngsters from St Philip’s Catholic Primary, in Leeds, were introduced to the art of dance and the theatre with the help of the city’s very own Northern Ballet dancers.

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Pupils took part in a special morning of dance and storytelling as they were put through their paces ahead of the company’s latest production Peter Pan.

The workshop, which is part of Northern Ballet’s START project for schools, aims to introduce children to the world of theatre.

More than 750 pupils from 21 schools in West and South Yorkshire have been given the opportunity to explore the story and characters from Peter Pan. They will then be among the first to see Northern Ballet’s dancers take centre stage for their latest production at Leeds Grand Theatre during the opening performance next week.

Jo Dean, Northern Ballet’s learning project manager, said: ‘The START project enables us to work with young people in the local community who don’t normally have access to the arts due to economic, social and cultural barriers.

“Our research shows that more than half of the children who have participated in the project to date have never been to the theatre before with even less having seen a dance performance.

“By giving them the chance to both join in with and watch dance, we hope to break down these barriers and show them that the arts are accessible to everyone and that there are local theatres where they can go to enjoy it.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming hundreds of young people from local schools to the theatre for the very first time.”

The START project, which is supported by the Audrey and Stanley Burton Charitable Trust, also helps to provide teachers with a greater understanding of dance education.

Peter Pan will be performed at Leeds Grand Theatre from December 11 to 20.

For more information visit: leedsgrandtheatre.com or contact 0844 848 2700.

BALLET IN SPOTLIGHT

Based in Leeds, Northern Ballet, performs throughout the UK as well as overseas.

The company tours widely with its ballets for children. The first two, The Ugly Duckling and Three Little Pigs, were adapted for television by CBeebies.

Northern Ballet’s START project, which is supported by the Audrey & Stanley Burton Charitable Trust, has been designed to introduce pupils to the world of theatre and dance as well as to provide teachers with a greater understanding of dance education. Thousands of pupils have taken part in the scheme.

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