A BUDDING ballet star is gearing up to perform alongside professional dancers in the love story Coppelia.
Xander Bevan, aged 11, a pupil at Clevelands Preparatory School, in Chorley New Road, Bolton, was selected from more than 200 young hopefuls, by English Youth Ballet, at an audition in February.
He has been rehearsing with professional dancers and will appear in the show, at The Plaza in Stockport, for three performances on June 13 and 14.
Xander, who attends the Anna Christie School Of Dance, in Chorley New Road, had to overcome teasing from other youngsters when he first started but he was determined to follow his dream and is delighted to have landed the spot in Coppelia.
The young dancer, of Platt Lane, Atherton, said: “I started to do ballet when I was six because a ballet teacher came to my school and asked if I would like to join her school because there wasn’t many boys.
“My favourite dancer was Wayne Sleep. I would like to be a professional dancer when I am older.”
Dad Lee, who owns audio visual specialist company Leapfrog, based at Hunger Hill, said: “I’m extremely proud. At first, when I got a phone call when he was six saying he had shown an interest in joining a ballet school, I thought this will be a short term thing.
“He’s really impressed me with how he’s stuck with it. He’s never looked back since.”
Ten-day intensive rehearsals for Coppelia started at Stockport Grammar School last month with international stars, including Australian principal ballerina Amy Drew who will play the lead role of Swanhildam.
She said: “The young dancers we are working with in Stockport have great energy and attack. Working in a professional environment gives the students a unique insight into life in a ballet company.
“Xander is so lucky. I wish there had been something like English Youth Ballet when I was training. I feel very privileged to be a principal with English Youth Ballet as I get to work with some of the UK’s most talented young dancers. I find them incredibly inspiring.”