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On Sunday 26th November English Youth Ballet is auditioning for roles in a production of Coppélia at Darlington Hippodrome.

At the audition 100 young male and female dancers aged eight to eighteen from across the region will be offered the chance to rehearse with and then dance alongside international professional principal dancers in the production for three performances which will be presented at Darlington Hippodrome from 13 to 14 April 2018.


Photo: Ben Garner
The charming story of Coppélia follows the escapades of the dreamy Franz and how he comically falls in love with a beautiful, life-like doll. The doll - Coppélia - is created by the eccentric, yet mysterious inventor, Dr Coppelius. The hilarious plot thickens when Franz’s jealous lover, Swanhilda, takes her friends on an adventure into the spooky house of the mad inventor to confront her rival. Of course, the story ends happily after the truth is uncovered. The whole town joins the most extravagant wedding celebration for the smitten Franz and Swanhilda.

Award-winning English Youth Ballet (EYB) is now in its 19th successful year and is one of the largest ballet companies in the UK. EYB is a national touring ballet company with Director - Janet Lewis MBE at its helm. Miss Lewis enjoyed an illustrious dancing career with the Royal Ballet Company and London Festival Ballet dancing alongside such greats as Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev. The company consists of a core team of 8 international principal dancers, 2 artistic ballet staff, 2 wardrobe mistresses and 4 theatre technicians. The principal dancers have danced in some of the world’s greatest companies including English National Ballet, La Scala and the Royal Ballet. EYB is highly regarded for presenting lavish, large-scale classical ballets and critics have praised the quality of the beautiful sets and costumes. 

Photo: Peter Mares
EYB Director Janet Lewis says: “The EYB audition is an experience in itself. EYB is all about performance experience and this starts at the audition as the dancers are given a regular ballet class on the stage. Parents and family are encouraged to watch from the auditorium. We are looking for young dancers of all abilities who can show the audience how much they enjoy their dancing."

The policy of EYB is to give professional performance experience to young dancers in beautiful venues close to where they live. The young dancers benefit from being coached and mentored by the professional dancers in an 11-day rehearsal period which takes place out of school hours. They gain a unique insight into what it is like to be a professional dancer.  

Young dancers have said “EYB is the best thing I have ever done”. Parents have said “it is lovely to see my daughter gaining in confidence.” Teachers have said “EYB inspires young dancers and you notice something different about them in class when they return.”

Audition Details

Each audition will take the form of a regular ballet class. Dancers will find out on the day if they are successful. It is advisable to register for the audition in advance but it is possible to register on the day (please arrive 30 minutes early to register). The audition fee is £15.00 and all dancers participate in a full ballet class. Parents are invited to watch the audition.

Auditions will be held on Sunday 26th November 2017 at Darlington Hippodrome, Parkgate, Darlington.

3pm to 4.45pm audition for dancers aged 8 to 11, and 5.15pm to 7pm Audition for dancers aged 12 to 18.

For more information and to register for the audition please contact EYB either by telephone on 01689 856747 or by email:

For more information about English Youth Ballet please visit

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