Students of The Royal Ballet School appear in BBC Two documentary, Dancing the Nutcracker
Over the Autumn term, a secret project was brewing at The Royal Ballet School. As our students took class, attended auditions and worked hard in rehearsals, they were followed by a BBC film crew who discovered exactly what goes into staging The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House.
The documentary followed alumna Francesca Hayward as she began her debut season as a Principal of The Royal Ballet. This year she performed the Sugar Plum Fairy for the first time on the Opera House Stage. We met Francesca's first ballet teacher Valerie Le Serve, who spoke of her leaving to go to White Lodge:
'When she went to White Lodge I really missed her in class but you can't stop your pupils from forwarding their careers. It's what she had to do, my loss was their gain.'
The documentary also followed our students as they prepared their for The Nutcracker. White Lodge Programme Manager, Hope Keelan spoke about what it means to our youngest students to take part in this iconic festive performance:
'The moment we start Nutcracker, the children realise why they're here. It's a golden opportunity for our children to experience what it's like to be on the Royal Opera House stage.'
At the Upper School, 3rd Year student Nadia explained how it felt to perform alongside the Royal Ballet company for the first time:
'This is the dream. This is one of the most amazing stages in the world - it's such an honour to be on it.'
Watch the documentary, Dancing the Nutcracker - Inside the Royal Ballet on iPlayer now.
See your responses to the documentary on our Storify.
The Nutcracker ends on 12 January at the Royal Opera House.