These two tiny dancers from Leeds will perform with international stars in a lavish production of Swan Lake

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Hand-picked dancers, including two talented youngsters from Leeds, will perform alongside international stars in a classic performance of Swan Lake in York, by English Youth Ballet.

Eight-year old Ella Reynolds from Middleton is one of the youngest dancers in the ballet, and she is joined by another south Leeds ballerina, Poppy Simpson, 12, from Morley. The talented pair are both students at the Rachael Swann School of Dancing, and were selected from 150 hopefuls at a competitive audition in June by English Youth Ballet.

EYB’s large cast ensures the ballet is performed with the grandeur originally intended, with eight professional principals and 90 dancers aged eight to 18, from across Yorkshire.

English Youth Ballet held a huge audition for Swan Lake at the Grand Opera House in June.

Director and founder of EYB, Miss Janet Lewis MBE, said: “EYB is all about providing extra performance experience to young dancers. We saw a very pleasing standard at the audition and it was lovely to see lots of enthusiasm.”

Rehearsals for the ballet are taking place at St Peter’s School.

Monica Tapiador is one of EYB’s principal dancers and previously danced with English National Ballet. She coaches the young dancers in rehearsals and will star in the role of Odile – the Black Swan.

She said “The young dancers are treated like professionals during rehearsals – we work them hard but the results are fantastic! They are living their dream and they just love it!”

English Youth Ballet’s acclaimed production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is set in 1895 Imperial Russia and tells of love, rivalry, greed and murder.

The inventive choreography has been created by artistic director Janet Lewis and her team. Imperial Russian-era stage designs are by Sebastian Petit, and 240 elaborate costumes are designed by West End theatre costume-maker Keith Bish.

Professional principal dancers include British stars Phillip Tunstall, Oliver Speers, and Steven Wheeler. Monica Tapiodor is Spanish, Clare Corruble is French and Samantha Camejo is Brazilian. Swan Lake shows at the Grand Opera House, York, on September 27 at 7.30pm and September 28 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. For tickets visit: or call: 0844 871 3024.