Three Sheffield girls are dancing for joy after being selected from hundreds of others to perform in a professional ballet.
Melissa Mills, aged 13, Tessa Raby, 15 and Maya Wicken, 17, were chosen to perform in the Nutcracker after auditioning for roles with 200 dancers from across the north west.
The talented trio are now rehearsing for the production, which is to be staged at Buxton Opera House on November 13 and 14.
Melissa, from Stannington, attends Bradfield Secondary School and is a member of Middlewood Dance and Theatre School.
She will be joined on stage by Tessa, from Ringinglow, who attends Silverdale School and is a member of the Bailey Cox Dance Academy and Maya, from Stannington, who is a student at Hillsborough College and a member of K D Dance.
The dancers have 10 rehearsal days to perfect their parts before taking to the stage.
Nutcracker will be presented by English Youth Ballet and star international principal dancers Amy Drew, Adele Robbins, Monica Tapiador, Richard Read, Brenden Bratulic, Julianne Rice-Oxley, Oliver Speers and Steven Wheeler.
All the soloist and corps de ballet roles in the production will be performed by 91 dancers, aged between eight and 18, who attended two auditions to land the roles.
Principal dancer Amy Drew, who stars in the production and is training the young cast during rehearsals, said: “Rehearsals for Nutcracker are going very well in Buxton and I am really enjoying getting to know the young dancers.
“It is wonderful having such talented young people all in the same place and working together.
“I think that there is a unique and wonderful synergy that takes place because all the dancers learn so much from watching each other and from watching the professionals too.
“Our production of Nutcracker is very colourful and magical and I think that the young dancers are really excited about getting on the stage at the Buxton Opera House.”
Oliver Speers, one of English Youth Ballet’s principal dancers and will star in the role of the Nutcracker Prince, 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.”
Over 200 young hopeful dancers whop live withing a 100 mile radius of Buxton Opera House auditioned for roles.
Director and founder of English Youth Ballet, Janet Lewis, said: “English Youth Ballet is all about providing extra performance experience to young dancers.
“We saw a very pleasing standard at the audition today and it was lovely to see lots of enthusiasm.”
Call 01298 72190 for tickets.