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12-year-old Derbyshire ballet dancer to appear in prestigious production of Swan Lake

today23 September 2022 1

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A 12-year-old Derbyshire schoolgirl will be performing in a prestigious production of Swan Lake. Hannah McCullough won a spot in the English Youth Ballet’s production, which takes place this weekend.

Hannah, a year eight pupil at The Long Eaton School, saw off competition from scores of other hopefuls to appear as one of the swans. She was one of the youngest dancers to scoop a senior role in the performance.

Now she is preparing to take to the stage at Stoke-on-Trent’s Regent Theatre. The production aims to give young ballerinas a chance to perform with professional dancers outside of London.

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Ahead of her appearance in the Potteries, Hannah said: “I was so pleased to find out I had won the role in Swan Lake. I have always loved dancing. I find it a very expressive art form and I would love to be a professional ballerina in the future.”

It’s not Hannah’s first appearance with the English Youth Ballet. Having started dancing at the age of three, she first performed with the company at The Theatre Royal in Nottingham aged eight, before winning another spot in a production of The Nutcracker at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre last Christmas.



Hannah auditioning for Swan Lake
Hannah auditioning for Swan Lake

Hannah trains at the Arabesque Dance and Theatre Company in Long Eaton where she has classes in ballet, tap and theatre, plus rock and roll, dancing for hours every night of the week. Last year, as a junior associate of the Royal Ballet, she also travelled to Birmingham once a week in order to train.

Mum Laura said: “I’m so proud of Hannah. She works so hard and has always been highly motivated. She’s always been interested in music too – she could actually read music before she could read a book.

“The school has been brilliant in supporting Hannah in her ballet – without that, she wouldn’t have been able to get these amazing opportunities. We’re very grateful to them.”

The Long Eaton Academy principal Richard Peel added: “Here at The Long Eaton School we are so proud of Hannah and of all our students who do such interesting things outside school. It’s very important to us here that education is as broad as possible, and opportunities to appear in a prestigious ballet production such as this one are just brilliant. Hannah puts in so many hours into her training and it’s great to see her enjoy such success in her ballet at such a young age.”

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