Dance academy

Five students from Rennie Dance Academy to appear in The Nutcracker

Four of the students from Rennie Dance Academy who appear in an English Youth Ballet production of The Nutcracker. From left to right: Gabriel Walker-Rhymes, Holly Hicks, standing, Mirabelle Hogan, kneeling, and Cara McLean.

Five students from the Rennie Dance Academy will perform in a Nutcracker production with the English Youth Ballet (EYB) next week.

The five auditioned successfully in the last lockdown and will be performing at the Hawth Theater, Crawley, on Friday November 19 and Saturday November 20.

Auditions were particularly difficult as students were required to submit videos demonstrating their skills at each level rather than the usual live audition experience. They only met on casting day.

Amber Mason, one of five Rennie Dance Academy students to dance with the English Youth Ballet this month.

Competition was also fierce, with EYB receiving more than 300 applications for the 88 places available at the company.

Students have been rehearsing at Crawley since September and will perform alongside professional dancers.

Rennie Dance Academy director Kirsten Rennie said she was very excited to be back dancing on stage after all of the restrictions last year.

Live audience

She added, “It’s wonderful for the students to have the opportunity to perform live in front of an audience again. They have had so many events canceled recently that it’s great to see the light at the end of the tunnel. “

The students are: Holly Hicks, 17, Lindfield, Gabriel Walker-Rhymes, 12, Maresfield, Cara McLean, 11, Cuckfield, Mirabelle Hogan and Amber Mason, both 9, Burgess Hill.


Rennie Dance Academy had its own challenges during the coronavirus pandemic, as the school had to move from its premises to Newick. They are now based at Uckfield College and Isfield Village Hall.

Kirsten said: “The past 18 months have been a steep learning curve and we’ve had to adapt quickly, but nothing takes the place of feeling like you’re back together in a live class with other dancers.”

Details of all available classes can be found online at

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