Loanhead dancer’s dream comes true

Alyssa Taylor will be dancing with the Scottish Ballet this Christmas
Alyssa Taylor will be dancing with the Scottish Ballet this Christmas

A young Loanhead dancer will have a Christmas to remember when she has a starring role in Scottish Ballet’s production of Cinderella.

Alyssa Taylor (10) will perform in the seasonal show at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, from December 5 to 31 and at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow, for five days in January.

The Loanhead Primary pupil, a member of the Morningside Dance Academy, underwent a rigorous auditioning process to secure a part in the show.

Mum Kirsty, a dance instructor, explained that Alyssa, a Scottish Ballet Junior Associate, was one of around 500 P6 and P7 pupils to audition from across Scotland.

The number was whittled down to 40 in both the P6 and P7 age groups from which only six dancers were selected to perform in the Christmas classic.

Alyssa will play one of the stepsisters and will take part in 16 performances over the festive period.

Rehearsals have already started in preparation for the show. Alyssa will be training eight hours a week before the curtain goes up.

Kirsty said: “It involves two hours every day and the next again week they will be in the theatre for three hours. It is quite a lot of time.

“Alyssa has had to get a little bit of time off school but the school has been very supportive.”

Alyssa began to dance when she was three years old thanks to mum’s work with the Morningside Dance Academy. Alyssa takes classes in ballet, tap, modern and jazz.

She regularly competes in dance competitions around the UK and in April this year came sixth in Scotland for ballet and fifth in Scotland for modern in the BATD Scottish Championships. She has won more than 40 trophies and over 175 medals.

As a Scottish Ballet junior associate, Alyssa attends a weekly class in Glasgow. The course includes ballet, body conditioning, character and creative movement. Students have the opportunity to learn some of Scottish Ballet’s repertoire taught by company dancers.

Kirsty and family – husband Grant, son Kieran (6), and Alyssa – recently moved from Gorebridge to Lyme Kilns View, Edinburgh. Kieran is also a keen dancer.

Kirsty added: “Grant and I are extremely proud of Alyssa. She loves to dance, so performing in Cinderella is a dream come true.”