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Young dancer, 12, scoops Swan Lake role

GRACEFUL: Jeanelle Hamilton

YOUNG DANCER Jeanelle Hamilton’s nimble feet have barely touched the ground over the past year – and now she is about to fly again after winning a coveted place in the English Youth Ballet’s production of Swan Lake.

The 12-year-old ballerina, from Handsworth in Birmingham, scooped her first major role a year ago in the same ballet company’s production of Sleeping Beauty at Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre.

Last month she was setting the stage alight at Birmingham’s New Alexandra Theatre after beating hundreds of hopefuls for a part in the musical production of 42nd Street.

Over the past 12 months the Arabesque Dance Academy student has been hard at work taking part in dance competitions and festivals, while taking up gymnastics to improve her flexibility.

Jeanelle, who hopes to travel the world as a professional dancer when she’s older, won certificates of merit in junior modern, junior ballet, junior tap and Acro while participating in the Associated Board of Dance Scholarships.

In July she came home with a national trophy for her tap dancing after competing in a competition in Wales.

Now she is concentrating on three performances of Swan Lake being staged at Stoke-on-Trent’s Regent Theatre on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 September, with a Saturday matinee performance.

Proud dad Andy, a youth officer, said: “There were hundreds of young people auditioning for Swan Lake and Jeanelle, who plays a courtier, has worked so hard with at least ten long rehearsals.

“She’s extremely dedicated trying to fit in schoolwork with practising which has meant a lot of travelling for this production as we’ve been travelling up and down the M6 sometimes twice a day.

“She has an exceptional talent, so we do all we can to support her because this is her dream. She was dancing virtually before she could walk.”

Jeanelle added: “I am not complaining because from day one I have always wanted to be a dancer. Thanks to my mum and dad, they are helping me to live my dream.”

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