Bolingbroke ballerina performs in prestigious televised performance of Romeo & Juliet

Year 13 Tanisha performing in Sir Matthew Bourne's acclaimed production of Romeo & Juliet


A talented ballet dancer from Bolingbroke’s sixth form was part of a prestigious performance of Romeo and Juliet which was screened on national television last weekend.


Tanisha has been dancing since the age of six, and is a member of the Royal Academy of Dance where she obtained a Grade 1 in Classical Ballet, as well as having done a pre vocational course at Rambert Classical and Contemporary Dance. She also enjoyed taking part in BeDance with her friends at Bolingbroke.


Tanisha was fortunate enough to be chosen to be part of the London Young Cast for the new production of Romeo and Juliet by the renowned English choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne, which was performed around the country last year, and broadcast on Sky Arts last Sunday.


Tanisha says that dancing has been a great release from her academic studies, and now has ambitions to become a professional ballerina


“As a young cast member I was required to attend three weekend workshops through the year leading up to the performance and then complete a two week intense rehearsal period before the two weeks of performances at Sadlers Wells in August 2019,” said Tanisha. “I was very lucky to perform in the cast that they chose to film for cinema release and DVD.


Tanisha was cast in the role of Faith, a shy character in the asylum. “The story is set in the future where love is forbidden” explained Tanisha. “The young people, including my character, were put in the asylum for being too emotional.”


But how did she get involved in the production in the first place? The New Adventures team (Matthew Bourne’s company) decided to seek out new young dance talent and provide them with the opportunity to perform with their professional company. The idea was that each young cast would perform with the professional company as they toured at the location of each local young cast.


“I saw an advertisement calling for young dancers (16-19 years old) to audition for the young cast members in 14 different locations around the UK,” she said. After a two stage audition process in London, including an initial online video application, and a studio audition, Tanisha was offered a part.


Tanisha said she was “very excited” about appearing on national TV in the performance, though admitted to some nerves too! “I was looking forward to some of my friends being able to watch. I was quite nervous before it went to air, but enjoyed watching it with my family. My younger sisters hadn’t seen the performance before Sunday evening, as the production is rated 12+ and has some mature themes so we didn’t take them to the theatre last year. I think they enjoyed it!”


After such a wonderful experience, Tanisha says that one of the highlights of the experience was rehearsing in front of Sir Matthew Bourne and the New Adventures team, and working with professional dancers and learning from them.


“Another highlight was definitely attending a Gala Event after one of the performances and trying to spot Bruno from Strictly. Most of all, I was grateful to perform on Sadler’s Wells stage with lots of passionate people.”


Tanisha is now awaiting her final A level results, but has deferred a place at Bristol university to study Civil Engineering to take up a place at the Rambert Ballet School where she has been offered a place on their Foundation Dance course where she will be training full time next year. “I would like to explore whether professional dance is something that I may be able to do,” she said.


“At this stage, the plan is to experience full-time dance and see how that goes first. I would love to be member of a professional dance company but I know that it is so competitive to get a place – there are just so many talented dancers out there. For this reason, I will still continue to keep up my knowledge for entry to a university course."

Whether she is succesful in attaining her dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer or not, Tanisha says she wants to keep on dancing. "Dancing has been a great release from my academic studies (especially during GCSEs and A-levels)," she said. "It has helped me to be organised and structure my week, it keeps me fit and I have made some really great friends. It is just lots of fun, and I feel lucky to have dance in my life. I particularly enjoy performing because on stage I can become different characters and express myself through the music using movement."