Two young dancers were in a twirl when they had a chance to appear alongside Scottish Ballet’s leading performers.
Abby Dickson and Fay Livingstone, both 12, have been practising their pirouettes since almost as soon as they could walk.
Their hard work paid off when the pair were invited to take part in the leading ballet company’s premiere production of ‘Hansel and Gretel’.
The schoolgirls attend Stenhouse School of Dance in Falkirk and also take part in Scottish Ballet’s junior associate scheme which aims to inspire and help young dancers to progress.
Both girls were invited to audition through the scheme and were talented enough to be selected from the hundreds of would-be ballerinas who wanted to take part in the performances.
Irene Langlands, principal of Stenhouse School of Dance, was delighted that, once again, two of her young protégées were working with a professional company.
She said: “Both girls have been dancing since they were tiny tots and have worked very hard to reach this level.
“They had a lot of hard work to do with a heavy schedule of rehearsals but did extremely well and had a thoroughly enjoyable experience.”
The girls had to juggle the rehearsals and dancing lessons with their schoolwork – Abby at Larbert High and Fay at Bo’ness Academy. But they were delighted when their hard work culminated in them taking part in several performances.
Abby was on stage at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow and Fay at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh.
They appeared alongside former Stenhouse pupil Natasha Watson in choreographer Christopher Hampson’s version of the Brother Grimms’ fairytale.
Natasha was signed up for the tour which had further dates in Aberdeen, Inverness, Newcastle and Belfast, and has just completed its world premiere run.
The 17-year-old from Newcarron is currently studying classical ballet full-time at Ballet West in Taynuilt, near Oban.
Also a talented actress, she was given her place in Scottish Ballet’s winter season after winning a bronze medal at the Genée International competition in September, the only Scot to make the finals, which attracted more than 70 competitors from around the world.