Collier Row dancer to perform in Swan Lake ballet


Leila Pacey will perform in English Youth Ballet's Swan Lake - Credit: English Youth Ballet

A Collier Row dancer will perform in a ballet show a year later than planned.

Leila Pacey, 18, was cast in English Youth Ballet’s production of Swan Lake in February last year, where she auditioned alongside 180 hopefuls.

The show was due to take place in August 2020, but the cast were left 'devastated' when it had to be postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Now, Leila said the rehearsals have been "exhilarating" and she is "excited" to finally perform in the show.

Leila, who has been dancing since she was two years old, will play a swan in the ballet.

She is also a violinist and pianist and was awarded a music scholarship at Ashbourne Independent Sixth Form College in west London.

She said: "Dancing makes me feel free, it is like an escape from the real world.

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"I’m able to forget about anything troubling me and completely immerse myself into the routine, where nothing else matters but my body and myself.

"Dancing also makes me feel confident to express my emotions.

"Communicating physically, allowing these feelings to move through the body, out of the body and in doing so, to move others."

Leila has been awarded an unconditional offer to study a BA (Hons) contemporary dance degree at London's Trinity Laban Conservatoire in September.


The dancers have been rehearsing at the weekends - Credit: English Youth Ballet

English Youth Ballet director, Janet Lewis MBE, added: “The cast have shown great enthusiasm and excitement in their Swan Lake rehearsals.

"The children are obviously so pleased to be back dancing again and taking part in a ballet that they love.

"Since the past year of lockdowns with the many restrictions, they are displaying a sense of freedom that is boosting their self-confidence and wellbeing.

"The cast are working hard not only on their ballet technique but on their performance quality that expresses the part they are dancing.

"The incentive is to be back performing again in the theatre.”

The students have been rehearsing in bubbles and with safety precautions in place, and will have rehearsed for 60 hours in total, over 10 days during the weekends.

The production will star six international principal dancers and 64 young dancers from Kent and the south east.

There will be four shows held at Churchill Theatre in Bromley from Saturday, August 28 to Sunday, August 29.