Vinny Vickers (10) and Lucy Wellington (9) are nervously anticipating their upcoming debut with the Royal New Zealand Ballet — dancing in the November performance of Hansel and Gretel in Dunedin. Both Wānaka Primary School students study ballet at Dance Wānaka under the tutorage of Anna Thomas.
For Vickers, studying ballet as a boy can come with extra challenges but he has proven he has the mettle to stick with his chosen art form — an art form which Prince William recently confirmed was also a favourite of Prince George. That admission sparked a global #boysdancetoo movement with tens of thousands of male dancers posting their support to boys who love ballet.
Vickers has danced since he was four and has no intention of stopping. “I like dancing to classical music,” he said. A natural-born performer, Vickers is energised on stage. “I wanted to be in something lots of people would see and get the chance to dance on the stage in front of lots of people.”
The pint-sized pirouetter said the audition was “nerve wracking” because the height limit was 135cm and he scraped in quite literally by a hair’s breadth.
For Wellington, part of the attraction of dancing with the RNZB is the costuming. “I’m looking forward to the costumes because I like dressing up.” Also a natural performer, the chance to dance on a large stage to a packed house with a company of professional dancers is a once-in-a-lifetime experience which she said is “very exciting”.
Both children will be dancing the roles of little birds who eat the breadcrumbs left behind by Hansel and Gretel as they wander deeper into the forest.
There is one performance only. Dunedin, November 30, Regent Theatre.