Pendle dancers land roles in professional panto

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It has proved quite a year for one established Pendle dance school. And it ended on an absolute high as three students bagged themselves a role in their first professional panto.

The Helen Green Academy of Dance have been hard at work over the past 12 months, as they set up their own dance troupe Rock-It for the First World War centenary, and even appeared on the Sky hit show Got To Dance.

And now Brooke Green (11), Ruby Miller (10) and Mia Holden (11) have continued the school’s success story, with Brooke and Ruby dancing their way into Halifax’s “Jack and the Beanstalk” and Ruby earning herself a place in Southport’s “Sleeping Beauty”.

Hundreds of hopefuls were put through their paces during a day of gruelling auditions, and out of the eight dancers trying out from the Colne academy, six made it through to the final cut.

The latest achievement has been the cherry on top of the cake for teacher Helen Green, who couldn’t be prouder to see her stars gain a performance licence and become involved in all the slapstick and silliness that comes with panto.

The 39-year-old, who began teaching 22 years ago, said: “This is the first time the girls have auditioned for anything like this. They have had a fantastic time. It has been a lot more tiring than they thought, but it has been quite a big thing for all of them.

“It is an amazing achievement, and I am really proud of them. They were up against girls who were 14 and 15 who have been auditioning for 10/11 years, and they have walked in first time and got the job.

“It has been an amazing year - we don’t know how we are going to top it. We have a few plans up our sleeves, but we can’t tell you just yet. But exciting things are about to happen, and it is all going to go haywire again!”

Over the years, Helen has seen many of her students go on to do “fantastic things”, and recently she had student Geraldine Bell, from Colne, return from a stint in Disneyland Paris.

This year, the qualified teacher has branched out more into the world of theatre, with a focus on jazz helping dancers with their performance ability.

Jack and the Beanstalk runs until Sunday, and Sleeping Beauty ends tomorrow.