BALLET dancers took a break from the stage to give a twirl at a city school.
Pupils from Southwick Primary School got the chance to meet the dancers behind gothic fairytale Beauty and the Beast, which is at the Sunderland Empire.
They were able to see Birmingham Royal Ballet’s intricate costumes up close, learn more about dance and see a live scene from the show.
The session, entitled Ballet? What’s That?, took place thanks to support from The Cultural Spring project, which is aimed at boosting arts in the area, and Sunderland Empire’s Creative Learning Department.
Pearl Chesterman, director for learning at Birmingham Royal Ballet, said: “Ballet comes with a lot of stereotypes – that it’s ‘posh’, ‘it’s not for the likes of us’, or ‘it’s only for girls’.
“It can be quite scary to go into the Sunderland Empire or a theatre environment if you don’t know about it. So Birmingham Royal Ballet is bringing ballet out into the community to show people what we do.
“I’m hoping that it will build audiences for the future, and that there are maybe people who will take up dance as a recreational activity, or young children who may be interested in taking up dance in the future.”
Hollie Coxon, creative learning manager at Sunderland Empire, said: “The Creative Learning department at the Sunderland Empire is absolutely thrilled to be part of bringing Birmingham Royal Ballet to the Southwick community. Events such as Ballet? What’s That? are such an important element of bringing our communities closer to the fantastic productions we have on show at the Empire.”
l Beauty and the Beast is at the Sunderland Empire until tonight.
Tickets are available from 0844 871 3022.