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The show must go on: Lili from Altarnun wows audiences

English Youth Ballet's Nutcracker will be at Princess Theatre, Torquay, this October after devastating cancellations in 2020. With them, the production will be taking Altarnun youngster Lili Shaw, an extremely happy young dancer who has been cast in this highly anticipated show.

Ten-year-old Lili and the rest of the cast were devastated when their 2020 performances were cancelled due to the pandemic, but are now delighted to be going ahead with their rescheduled performance dates and will be at Torquay's Princess Theatre from Friday, 29th to Saturday, 30th October. Lili and the cast are all excited to be performing alongside international professional dancers.

Lili, who goes to St Joseph's School in Launceston and lives in Altarnun, is training at Nicky Brice Ballet. Lili said: "I started dancing when I was 18 months old because my mum thought I'd have fun. I clung to her and refused to dance for a whole term!" After overcoming her initial doubts, Lili fell in love with dance and has continued ever since. She said: "The best feelings about being a dancer are happiness and being challenged. Dancing always makes me feel happy. I love learning new choreography and enjoy being challenged by more difficult moves. I feel really excited to be a part of English Youth Ballet. I love performing on stage."

But dance isn't the only thing Lili is good at, as the ten-year-old added: "I also love maths and engineering. I think I'd like to be a dancing engineer when I'm older!"

Lili Shaw, 10, from Altarnun, is performing in English Youth Ballet's 'Nutcracker' this autumn

There will be three performances of English Youth Ballet's acclaimed ballet, 'Nutcracker' and will star international principal dancers and showcase the talents of 45 young dancers from the South West - including Lili, who auditioned virtually for the show in July 2020 alongside 130 other young dancers to make the final 45.

The cast have rehearsed for 60 hours over ten days of rehearsals at weekends at Paignton Academy, allowing the youngsters to experience the working life of a professional dancer.

Tickets can be bought at the box office on 0333 009 6690 or at


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