Ballet dancer Emily-Joy is a real dancing queen

Ballet dancer Emily-Joy Smith, 22. Picture: Steve Omar
Ballet dancer Emily-Joy Smith, 22. Picture: Steve Omar

Ballet dancer Emily-Joy Smith is set to hotfoot it into the limelight later this month when she stars in one of the world’s most famous shows.

The talented 23-year-old is all set to take centre stage in much loved classic The Nutcracker when she appears with the Vienna Festival Ballet at York’s Grand Opera House on November 29.

And Emily-Joy, who comes from the Isle of Axholme, is hoping that her latest appearance on the stage will help her climb another rung on the career ladder after dancing for almost 19 years.

She said: “This is such an enjoyable ballet for everybody. Young, old, ballet fan or not, there is something in it for everyone.

“Every dancer in the company gets a chance to show their abilities as there are a lot of different roles.”

Emily-Joy, who trained at Joyce Mason’s School of Dance in Ashby, will perform as the Sugarplum Fairy.

She added: ”We have just started rehearsing so it’s all very exciting and there is a lot to practise. It’s a lovely role to play as it always makes you feel Christmassy.”

The Vienna Festival Ballet has 16 dancers and has performed across the UK.

Emily, a former pupil at Wroot Travis C of E School, added: “We are like a close family. We all encourage each other to make our performances better and enjoy performing to so many different audiences around the country. “There is so much talent in the company. It’s great to work in an environment with such inspiration every day.

“Vienna Festival Ballet is such a lovely company to work for – they give so many opportunities to young dancers who all love what they do.

“All the dancers are looking forward to performing The Nutcracker at the Grand Opera House in York and we hope the audience enjoys our ballet as much as we enjoy performing it.”

Emily-Joy was also an associate with Northern Ballet Theatre and a York Scholar and in 2011, left the UK to join Sarasota Ballet of Florida where she performed roles by renowned choreographers Sir Frederick Ashton, Will Tuckett and George Balanchine among others.

She added: “The York date means I get to come back to my roots and perform so close to home.

“We will also visit Penistone, Retford, Grimsby and Bridlington too, so we are all really looking forward to it.”