Young dancer’s progress is a Joy to behold...

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It will be a family affair when Lauren Joy takes her first steps to what she hopes might become a full-time career in dancing.

The 11-year-old from St Annes has been selected by the English Youth Ballet to appear in a production of Coppelia.

It will take place at the Plaza Theatre in Stockport next month and Lauren should have plenty of support when she performs.

“We’re originally from Manchester so we’ve got a lot of family over that way who are coming to the first night,” said mum Katie, of Collingwood Avenue, Marton.

Katie and husband David didn’t perform on a stage or dance so they don’t really know where Lauren gets her talent from, but talent she has.

She has been going to Hot Foot Dance School in St Annes she was four – doing freestyle jazz dancing – and only took up ballet a couple of years ago.

Her progress since has been little short of astonishing, culminating in her being picked by the English Youth Ballet at an audition attended by 200 youngsters.

“She has always loved music, always loved dancing, and she just seems to be a bit of a natural at it,” said Katie.

“It is tough to do ballet and we’re not pushing her into it at all but her teachers think she is doing really well – and getting selected for what will be her first ever professional performance will boost her confidence.

“It will give her a massive insight into what it is really all about, all the other things that go into a big production on top of the actual dancing.

“At the moment she is talking about going to dance school when she finishes secondary school (Lytham St Annes high), so this will give her a good idea of whether that is something she really wants to do.”

Alas, Lauren’s dancing skills haven’t rubbed off on her younger brother, seven-year-old Bobby. “Dancing? No not a chance,” added Katie. “It’s football and cricket all the way for him!”

Coppelia is on in Stockport on Friday June 13 and Saturday 14. Tickets available from or 0161 477 7779.