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A year-long role in Swan Lake awaits young dancer PJ
A FORMER Knutsford High School pupil is ready to embark on a year-long journey as a dancer in a world-famous production.
PJ Hurst is rehearsing for Matthew Bourne’s modern re-interpretation of Swan Lake, which opens at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth in October.
It signals the start of a hectic year for the 22-year-old, who will perform up to six times a week, but PJ feels privileged to be involved in such a prestigious show.
“I’m excited to get going,” said PJ, whose career started at the Cheshire Dance Bracket in Knutsford.
“It will be my life for a year.
“It means living out of a suitcase for a year, staying in digs, spending all week doing shows and then moving on to the next town.
“But it’s great to be working with the company.
“I was living from week to week doing freelance and different jobs to keep myself going after I graduated.
“I’ve ran into a mate I haven’t seen in seven years, Tom Cummings, who I danced with in Chester, and now he’s in Swan Lake too.”
PJ’s past and the influences on his blossoming dance career are something he is extremely grateful for, from Lisa Scott at Knutsford High School to Vicky Sheard, Jo Rhodes and Julie Williams at Homegrown Dance Theatre.
“Lisa invested time in me and helped me to be able to express myself through dance,” he said.
“I was always very well supported.
“When I started in the Youth Company I was in year 10 and the youngest one, I really looked up to the year 12 and 13s.
“Vicky, Jo and Julie organised trips to London and I had the chance to meet people from all over the country.
“I’ve been able to do some teaching and creative pieces for them – it’s nice because of the links to where I came from.”
Teaching is something the London Contemporary Dance School First Class graduate sees as part of his future.
He said: “I want to get people interested in dance.
“It can be great for rehabilitation.
“I’ve worked with children in hospitals using movement as part of their recovery and with some who have been excluded from school.
“That was challenging – but it was very rewarding to see them react positively.”
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