The children who are appearing in this season’s performances of The Nutcracker have already been in rehearsals for some months now, despite the Company having only returned from the Autumn tour last week. Here you can read guest posts from Hannah and Matthew, both students at Elmhurst School for Dance:

‘The rehearsals are really good fun and I think they are going very well. I love the blue dress with the ribbons on that I will be wearing. I am so excited and I am really really looking forward to all the performances! This is an amazing, fantastic and lovely experience and I am so lucky that Birmingham Royal Ballet chose me!’

‘The anticipation of starting rehearsals with the Company and performing with them at the O2 and Birmingham Hippodrome for the second time was amazing. When I found out I was to perform in The Nutcracker my excitement was unimaginable.

‘About two weeks later we had casting auditions. I was chosen to be one of the children, there is quite a lot of dancing and acting for the part and in rehearsals you have to concentrate really hard.

‘The next time we went for rehearsals we tried on our costumes. Mine is surprisingly heavy and hot, it is a cream and blue lace shirt with light beige three-quarter-length trousers and a thick jacket to match the trousers.

‘The next rehearsal we added a lot more to what we had already done and it was in this rehearsal you realised what The Nutcracker is about. If you don’t know, The Nutcracker is a very magical ballet such as dolls, soldiers, jack-in-the-boxes and lots of other magic tricks and toys. So far the rehearsals are going really well and are really enjoyable.’