Washington pupils swan about with the ballet

Birmingham Royal Ballet's Susie Cox working with year 5 pupils at Rickleton Primary School, Washington.
Birmingham Royal Ballet's Susie Cox working with year 5 pupils at Rickleton Primary School, Washington.
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Budding ballet stars proved they were ‘tutu’ good at a special workshop.

A choreographer and pianist from Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) took a break from the company’s run of Swan Lake at Sunderland Empire to deliver a ballet lesson at Rickleton Primary School, Washington.

Birmingham Royal Ballet's Susie Cox working with year 5 pupils at Rickleton Primary School, Washington.

Birmingham Royal Ballet's Susie Cox working with year 5 pupils at Rickleton Primary School, Washington.

For many of the year 5 and 6 pupils it was the first time they had danced, and they got a taster in the art form from the best in the business.

Year 5 teacher Samantha Patterson said: “BRB were brilliant with them. The pupils went from knowing nothing about ballet to putting together their own sequence.

“There were 120 children who took part. Many of them had never danced before, but they really enjoyed it. It’s good for them to experience something completely different.”

She added: “We’ve been doing some learning and literacy around Swan Lake, so the children already knew about the characters. The music alone was brilliant, to have a pianist come into school.

Birmingham Royal Ballet's Susie Cox working with year 5 pupils at Rickleton Primary School, Washington.

Birmingham Royal Ballet's Susie Cox working with year 5 pupils at Rickleton Primary School, Washington.

“I think a lot of them by the end had an appreciation for ballet.”

Pearl Chesterman, director for learning at Birmingham Royal Ballet, said: “We were delighted to reach out to the enthusiastic children of Rickleton Primary School, giving an insight into the magical world of Ballet and our iconic production of Swan Lake”

Swan Lake opened at the Empire last night and runs until tomorrow.

It tells the story of a grieving prince who witnesses the transformation of a swan into a beautiful princess.

Birmingham Royal Ballet's Susie Cox working with year 5 pupils at Rickleton Primary School, Washington.

Birmingham Royal Ballet's Susie Cox working with year 5 pupils at Rickleton Primary School, Washington.

Compelled by an evil spell to spend her days in the form of a bird, she can only be saved by the power of love.

•To read a review of Swan Lake click here