11:10AM, Wednesday 01 February 2012
Starring in a West End ballet is many young girls' dream.
But for two Windsor friends the dream has come true.
Ella Vickerman, 13, of Kings Road, Windsor is to dance the lead in the West End in a ballet based on the famous children's story A Little Princess.
Her friend Lottie will be danced by ten-year-old Robyn Dennis, of York Road.
For mums Anna and Helena, Sunday has become the day when they take turns to drive their daughters to rehearsals in London.
Both girls were among the 500 hopefuls who auditioned for parts in the show, which is choreographed by Royal Ballet soloist Samantha Raine for London Children's Ballet. Only 55 were picked to take part.
The two only met and discovered they were near neighbours after they had been cast.
Ella's proud dad Brett said she started dancing at five. The family lived in Cyprus where they ran a restaurant and then imported wine. Brett said: "A ballet teacher told us she had a perfect physique and feet for dancing. It was all news to us. We thought she had just been enjoying an after school activity."
They moved to England so Ella could progress. She soon won a rare scholarship to study at the famed Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.
Ella danced in London Children's Ballet last show Rumplestiltskin in a variety of small parts.
But her dad said: "She was completely confident she would get the lead this time. We kept trying to warn her not to get her hopes too high - but she did it."
Ella already knows she wants to be a ballerina. Robyn, a pupil at St Bernard's Prep School, Slough, is not sure yet, despite being singled out when she attended the Heidi Rhodes School of Dancing in Windsor.
But mum Helena and dad Nigel are happy. Helena said: "She is loving it. She plays Lottie, the heroine's friend - a naughty little girl who gets angry for her friend."
The show can be seen at the Peacock Theatre at Sadlers Wells from April 19 to 22.
More than 50 street parties are set to take place this weekend across the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and the surrounding areas.
An independent report into a Conservative councillor has found a breach of the Royal Borough’s code of conduct in a document seen by the Advertiser.