There are 12 young dancers from Rickmansworth, Watford, Croxley Green, Bushey and Kings Langley currently in rehearsals for a professional production of the ballet Coppélia with the English Youth Ballet.

They are working alongside star international principal dancers, from the world’s most renowned ballet companies, Samantha Camejo, Monica Tapiador, Caroline Cabot, Phillip Tunstall, Phillip Bollev and Trevor Wood at Watersmeet on March 2 and 3.

Watford Observer:

Brazilian principal dancer Samantha Camejo will be dancing the leading role of Swanhilda and she is training the young cast in rehearsals. She previously danced with the English National Ballet.

She says: “The young dancers are treated just like the professionals in the rehearsals with EYB.

“They discover what having a dance career might be like - both in the studio and on the stage. It is an amazing experience for them.”

The charming story of Coppélia follows the escapades of the dreamy Franz and how he comically falls in love with a beautiful, life-like doll. The doll – Coppélia – is created by the eccentric, yet mysterious inventor, Dr Coppelius.

The hilarious plot thickens when Franz’s jealous lover, Swanhilda, takes her friends on an adventure into the spooky house of the mad inventor to confront her rival.

Of course, the story ends happily after the truth is uncovered.

The whole town joins the most extravagant wedding celebration for the smitten Franz and Swanhilda.

The choreography is adapted from Arthur Saint-Léon’s exquisite original.

The adaptation has been created by Director Miss Janet Lewis and her team of international principal artists who coach the young dancers.

Much of Leo Delibe’s beautiful orchestral score to the ballet will be instantly recognised. The stage designs for the ballet are by Sebastian Petit and the costume designs are by Keith Bish.

English Youth Ballet (EYB), one of the UK’s largest ballet companies who previously won The Stage Award for special achievement in regional theatre, held a huge audition in November.

Around 150 young hopeful dancers attended the two auditions which were held on the stage in Rickmansworth, with dancers being told if they had been accepted on the day.

From Watford is Milla Acornley, 11, Sophie McGinn, 10, Eda Sazova, 8, and Ella Wheatley, 11, from Rickmansworth is Sara Holton, 16, Hok Yau Si Tou, 16.

From Croxley Green is Charlie Thompson, 9, Alice Ruttley, 10, from Kings Langley is Amy Reid, 18, Felicity Funnell, 13, Kitty Collins, 8, and from Bushey is 11-year-old Sienna Barrett.

Director Janet Lewis sexplains: “EYB 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.”

Watersmeet, High Street, Rickmansworth, WD3 1EH, Friday, March 2 at 7.30pm and Saturday, March 3 at 2pm and 7.30pm. Details: 01923 71106