Ballet brilliant

The Nutcracker has been dazzling audiences since Tchaikovsky wrote it in the 1890s.
The Nutcracker has been dazzling audiences since Tchaikovsky wrote it in the 1890s.

A young Lanarkshire dancer will join the Russian State Ballet Academy of Belarus as it presents The Nutcracker at Airdrie Town Hall on Friday.

Erin Gallagher (13), a pupil at the Valerie Brown School of Dance which holds classes in Motherwell and Hamilton, was given the opportunity after promoters Amande Concerts asked Valerie to provide a young dancer.

Erin (pictured) has been training with Valerie for the last ten years attending weekly ballet, pointe, tap, modern and acro classes and is working towards her RAD Intermediate.

She also dances with Ballet West and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as well as being a competitive Highland Dancer who takes part in many events across the country.

Valerie said: “A lot of the girls were very keen for the opportunity and I decided that our candidate should come from the intermediate ballet class as it is a vocational examination class for girls who are looking to become professional dancers.

“Erin is a very talented dancer, but there are several others I would have had no problem putting forward. However, the promoters asked for the smallest girl to fit the role so it was out with the tape measure which actually was the fairest way to decide.

“Being part of The Nutcracker will give Erin a great insight into what goes on behind the scenes at a big company performance, and what to look forward to as she pursues her own career.”

The Nutcracker features a timeless score from composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and tells the story of Marie, a rather sad little girl, whose godfather gives her a nutcracker doll as a present on Christmas Eve which turns into a Prince, and from there the magic takes over.

The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets costing £18 (£17 concession) are available by calling the box office on 01698 403120 or go visit NLC entertainment