Halton ballet dancer gets major role

Errin Whalley.
Errin Whalley.

Battling delayed growth didn’t stop this young ballet dancer pirouetting her way to right to the top.

Ballet is in Errin Whalley’s blood.

But the Halton schoolgirl spent most of her time in hospital after her body stopped growing at 11 years-old.

Due to a delay in her growth hormones Errin experienced intense pain in her bones and thyroids.

Now little Errin is pirouetting and spinning her way across several stages across the country and has landed a major role in the national production of Giselle.

Parents, Myette and Mike Whalley are over the moon to see their daughter transform and develop as a dancer.

Myette said: “It is lovely to see her developing as a dancer and seeing her enjoy something so much.

“It was quite worrying at the time when she was in hospital, she has always been small but she is catching up now, she is getting stronger and taller.”

Giselle will be a first for Errin as she will use the art of pointe for the first time.

Pointe work is when ballet dancers perform steps whilst on the tips of the toes, with feet fully extended and wearing pointe shoes, a structurally reinforced type of shoe designed specifically for the purpose.

Traditionally ballet dancers ofted had to perform without the aid of the shoes.

Errin will also be mixed with older dancers for the first time in the Bradford performance.

Ever since she was taken to see the Nutcracker at just three-years-old the classical dance has never left her heart.

Creativity also runs in the family as Myette and Mike run the theatre company Whirlwind Theatre.

Errin has come a long way since her first ballet lesson at Halton Village Hall.

The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, she has been part of them all, winning several medals and even gaining two Blue Peter badges.

Myette said: “You have got to be very dedicated and balance school life at the same time as well.

“Sometimes you have to nudge her and say ‘come on do your homework’ but I suppose any mum does that.

“The future for Errin is working really hard, she trains all the time.

“It is hard for women to get into the professional leagues, you have to be really outstanding, it is easier for the boys as there are less going in, but I am so proud of her.”

Giselle will be presented by English Youth Ballet at St George’s Hall, in Bradford from June 5-6. Tickets can be purchased at the box office 01274 432000 or at www.bradford_theatres.co.uk.