CHILDREN from the district are taking part in a professional production of the ballet Swan Lake.

The three youngsters from Keighley’s Sara Packham Theatre School will perform with English Youth Ballet at the Grand Opera House in York next month.

Eleanor and Annabel Fikkert, 11 and nine, of East Morton, near Keighley, and Isla Kinnear, 10, of Farnhill, between Skipton and Keighley, were chosen following auditions in June.

Eleanor attends the Hammond School, one of the country’s leading dance schools, after being awarded a scholarship earlier this year.

Annabel attends St Joseph’s Primary School in Ingrow, while Isla is a pupil of Kildwick Primary School.

The trio are spending their summer holidays rehearsing for September 27 and 28 performances of the classic ballet as part of a 90-strong group chosen from the most talented young dancers in Yorkshire.

Monica Tapiador, one of the principal dancers at English Youth Ballet (EYB), is coaching the youngsters in rehearsals and will also star in the role of Odile – the Black Swan.

She has danced with English National Ballet.

She 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!

“The advice I give to the young dancers is that ‘ballet is hard’.

"But, if you love it, it can be a beautiful and fulfilling career.

“Keep your head up, and if you face rejection, just keep working hard and focus on your dreams, they can come true!”

EYB is one of the UK’s largest ballet companies and previously won The Stage Award for special achievement in regional theatre.

Its productions involve international principal artists sharing the stage with the top young talent from the local area.

A spokesman said: “EYB’s large cast ensures the ballet is performed with the scale and grandeur which was originally intended.

“The company is made up of eight professional principals and 90 local dancers aged eight to 18.”

English Youth Ballet perform full length productions of classical ballets with professional principal dancers in the leading roles in regional theatres across the UK, giving young dancers outside London an opportunity to perform within a professional setting. The EYB production of Swan Lake will be on September 27 at 7.30pm and following day at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Visit or call 0844 871 3024 to book tickets for Swan Lake.