A Barking girl is achieving her dream since she was a toddler to perform ballet on stage with a professional company.
Georgia Kongolo, 11, was chosen to join the 80-strong cast of English Youth Ballet’s Cinderella in Hollywood at Dartford’s Orchard Theatre on August 18 and 19.
“I started ballet at the age of three,” young Georgia recalls. “I saw a girl in a tutu coming out of her ballet class when I was two-and-a-half and wanted to join.
“But I had to wait till I was three. The best feelings is that I can express myself and have fun in dance.”
The pupil at Barking’s Riverside Primary School also likes “doing other things” like contortion and playing in goal at football. But her real love is ballet.
“I’m hoping to learn about becoming professional while rehearsing,” she added.
Georgia was selected in auditions in May to perform with international professionals.
Principal ballerina Lyndsey Fraser, who previously danced with the Vienna Festival Ballet, stars as Cinderella.
She said: “I wish I had danced with English Youth Ballet when I was young. They learn so much about the art of ballet.”
The story is set in the era of 1950s Hollywood movies, inspired by film star Grace Kelly who met Prince Rainier of Monaco at a press party and later married him to become a princess.
Cinderella is a seamstress on a film set and the Fairy Godmother is the spirit of her late mother, a former movie star of the 1930s. Her wicked step-sisters are Hollywood starlets competing for film roles.
Cinderella meets the prince at the press party but flees at midnight, accidentally dropping a silver shoe as the only clue to her identity.
The young cast is rehearsing at weekends at Cleeve Park School in Sidcup, south London, experiencing the working life of a professional dancer.
English Youth Ballet’s director Janet Lewis said: “The children are dancing again since the pandemic lockdowns with a sense of freedom that is boosting their self-confidence to perform on stage.”
Many in the past have later joined professional companies like English National Ballet, Northern Ballet and the Royal Ballet.
For tickets for Cinderella in Hollywood, call 0343 310 0033 or visit the “orchardtheatre.co.uk” website.