High Legh ballet dancer dazzles at national competition

Knutsford Guardian: Hannah Gerrard Hannah Gerrard

A KNUTSFORD schoolgirl took home top prize after her perfect posture and en pointe poses impressed judges of a national ballet competition last month.

Hannah Gerrard, of High Legh, was named winner of the Junior Vacani Award for the ‘Joy of Dance’ at this year’s Cecchetti Classical Ballet Awards held at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London.

The 12-year-old competed against 46 other dancers from ballet schools across the country at the November 23 event but Hannah emerged triumphant.

Hannah, who has been dancing since the age of three, said: “I felt overwhelmed, surprised and happy – a mixture of emotions in a good way.”

The Cecchetti Children’s Award and Mabel Ryan Awards are organised by the Cecchetti Group and are part of the annual Cecchetti Classical Ballet Awards. The aim is to encourage dance quality and to demonstrate the high standard of children training in the Cecchetti Method.

Hannah, who wishes to train as a professional ballet dancer in the future, is a student of Kate Simmons Dance School in Warrington.

Her skills have impressed her tutors since joining the school in 2008 and as well as winning external awards, she was also awarded the Grade 1/2 ballet cup from the school in 2009.

Tracey Moss, Deputy Head of the school’s junior programme, said: “Hannah is a hard working and dedicated student - she is part of our graduate programme for talented students.

“She shows great promise in all genre of dance and we are thrilled with her achievement in winning this award and hope she will go on to win many more.”

Hannah, who has recently taken her Grade 6 ballet exam, now has her focus firmly on the future and next year’s Cecchetti Classical Ballet Awards.

“I want to work through all the grades. I will be old enough for the Middle category next year so would very much like to do that competition,” she added.

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