East Haddon schoolgirl lands leading role in London Nutcracker ballet

Sophie will be performing in The Nutcracker at the London Coliseum (Credit: Annabel Murphy Photography)
Sophie will be performing in The Nutcracker at the London Coliseum (Credit: Annabel Murphy Photography)

A talented schoolgirl from East Haddon has landed the lead role in The Nutcracker ballet in a run of shows London this Christmas.

Sophie Carter, 11, is a student at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts and will play Clara in the English National Ballet's adaptation of the Tchaikovsky composed ballet.

Sophie started dancing at two years old at her mum Natalie's school - the Northamptonshire School of Dance - where she learned ballet, contemporary, street and tap dancing.

However, Natalie says it was during a performance Still Life at the Penguin Café at the age of seven that Sophie really discovered her passion for dance.

She said: "I'm extremely proud. She's worked really hard, it has not fallen on her lap. To get The Nutcracker is the icing on the cake for her, she's so lucky to get this part.

"I remember when I first looked at her on stage, there was something in her eyes. The whole audience went quiet and it was beautiful.

"She has always loved dancing since she was two years old, she couldn't stand still. It's okay being a technical dancer but you need to have someone who has passion and that drive."

Sophie attended the Classical Ballet Academy every Sunday at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts and danced at the Royal Ballet School Junior Associates on Saturdays.

For the last two years, the former Pitsford School pupil has had lead roles with the Junior Company of the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain, performing at the galas at Sadler's Wells.

After dancing with the National Youth Ballet, Sophie was certain that dancing was going to be her life and auditioned for a full-time place at Tring Park School.

She is now a full-time student and boarder, returning home to East Haddon at weekends.

Sophie will be performing in The Nutcracker at the London Coliseum from December 13 to 20.