Northampton schoolgirl lands role in English National Ballet's Nutcracker

Sophie will be performing in The Nutcracker at theLondon Coliseum from 13 December to 20 December, in 12 shows,eight days a week. Credit: Jane Ellis Designs.
Sophie will be performing in The Nutcracker at theLondon Coliseum from 13 December to 20 December, in 12 shows,eight days a week. Credit: Jane Ellis Designs.

A talented schoolgirl from Northampton will be performing in the English National Ballet's adaptation of Nutcracker at the London Coliseum this Christmas.

Tring Park School for the Performing Arts student Sophie Carter, 11, of East Haddon, is set to play the Clara in Nutcracker.

Sophie, who joined Tring Park School this September in Year 7, started at her mum Natalie's dance school - the Northamptonshire School of Dance - when she was just two.

There she had classes in ballet, contemporary, street and tap.

However, Natalie says it was during a performance Still Life at the Penguin Café at the age of seven that Sophie really discovered her passion for dance.

She said: "I'm extremely proud. She's worked really hard, it has not fallen on her lap. To get the Nutcracker is the icing on the cake for her, she's so lucky to get this part.

"I remember when I first looked at her on stage, there was something in her eyes. The whole audience went quiet and it was beautiful.

"She has always loved dancing since she was two-years-old, she couldn't stand still. It's okay being a technical dancer but you need to have someone who has passion and that drive."

She then went on to attend the Classical Ballet Academy every Sunday at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts as well as dancing at the Royal Ballet School Junior Associates on Saturdays.

And for the last two years, former Pitsford School pupil Sophie has had lead roles with the Junior Company of the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain, performing at the galas at Sadler's Wells.

After dancing with National Youth Ballet, Sophie was certain that dancing was going to be her life and auditioned for a full-time place at Tring Park School, which she secured. She is now a full-time student and boarder, returning home to Northampton at weekends.

Tring Park School is world famous for its dance credentials, having produced many a professional star and choreographer, including director and choreographer Drew McOnie, who won the 2016 Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for his work on In the Heights.

Drew is currently directing King Kong the Musical on Broadway, which previewed last week