More than 100 three-and-four-year-olds from Calderdale made their stage debut this week but were in safe hands, thanks to experienced TV and panto star Neil Hurst.
Neil, a singer, actor and comic, wrote and took part in his first ever babyballet show at the Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield. The song and dance academy, based in Halifax, is now the UK’s leading pre-school dance concept with over 10,000 youngsters attending 1,000 classes all over the country.
The Halifax babyballet show called `Twinkle’s Big Day Out’ was watched by more than 400 people. Also on stage were babyballet characters, Twinkle and Teddy the Bears, Flutterby the Fairy and Chuck the Cowboy.
Neil, an ex-pupil of Brooksbank School, Elland, who hails from Halifax and has appeared on West End stages and TV shows like ITV’s All Star family Fortunes as Vernon Kay’s sidekick, played Granddad Jack in the babyballet show.
Last year the company brought out its first DVD which featured Neil as Granddad Jack.
It has had rave reviews from child experts and parents and to date more than 2,000 have been sold.
The two shows were choreographed, produced and directed by babyballet owner Claire O’Connor and teachers, Donna Greenwood and Laura Simeunovich. Other teachers taking part in the show include Elizabeth Gunson, Lucy Crabtree and Hannah Butcher.
“It was a brilliant day and at times there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. The youngsters were amazing and enjoyed the experience and we were all so proud of them,” said Claire.