Calderdale dancer's dreams come true in professional production of Coppélia

A young Calderdale dancer is set to star in an English Youth Ballet production coming to Bradford this month.

By Abigail Kellett
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 12:00 pm

Isla Watkins-Barnett, 13, from Luddenden Foot is featuring in Coppélia, the charming story ballet about the escapades of the dreamy Franz and how he comically falls in love with a beautiful, life-like doll.

The show will be performed at St George’s Hall, Bradford on April 22 and 23.

Calder High School pupil Isla is currently experiencing the life of a professional dancer in rehearsals.

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Isla Watkins-Barnett. Picture: Ben Garner

The dancer, who attends Whiteleys' Academy Of Performing Arts in Halifax, is part of 70 young dancers from the local area in the cast of Coppélia.

They have joined the six principal dancers at the English Youth Ballet who have danced with major ballet companies all over the world.

Isla's mum, Lucy Watkins, has expressed her pride in her daughter's achievement.

"She makes me so proud with all her hard work, juggling high school, dance classes and now rehearsals is a big ask but she gives it her all," she said.

"Isla is super thrilled that she got through the auditions to secure her place and she’s loving the experience so far, she has so much support from her dance school Whiteleys' Academy who really push her to be the best she can be."

English Youth Ballet is one of the UK’s largest ballet companies and previously won The Stage Award for special achievement in regional theatre.

The choreography for Coppélia is adapted from Arthur Saint-Léon’s original. The adaptation has been created by Director Miss Janet Lewis and her team of international principal artists who coach the young dancers.