A YOUNG dancer from New Haw will be among the cast when the renowned Central School of Ballet presents a dazzling programme at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford on Thursday next week (8 June).

Clara Ngo, 18, a former pupil at St John The Baptist School in Woking, is one of the graduating stars of the Ballet Central tour, which is made up of 32 dancers. The tour began in Dunstable on 4 May and concludes at the Britten Theatre in London on 13 July.

“In Guildford I will be dancing in Blind Optics by Darshan Singh Bhullar, Mirror Mirror, by Michael Pink, Dextera by Sophie Laplane and The Queue by Morgan Runacre-Temple,” Clara said.

“I am excited to work with Morgan Runacre-Temple. I look forward to her rehearsal process creating a new work for us. I saw one of her works at Birmingham Royal Ballet and I found it so engaging and interesting.”

Looking back, Clara believes her interest in dance was sparked by a chance present.

“I don’t specifically remember becoming interested in dance, but my mum says that she gave me a toy dressed as a ballerina,” Clara said. “Then I asked her to take me to a ballet class. She didn’t think much of it but I started nagging her to go and she eventually took me at the age of four.

“I’m so lucky that my parents were fully supportive of me and they’ve supported me through the hard times. They drove me to my dance classes every day – luckily just a 10-minute drive away! – and took me to the All England dance festivals all around the country.

“My dad is very musical and works as a self-employed piano tuner and technician, and my mum helps to run his business. He also received a Bachelor’s Degree in composing, conducting and harmonising at Saigon City Conservatoire in Vietnam and he also sang and conducted in a choir in Vietnam.

“And my teachers at Susan Robinson School of Ballet inspired and pushed me to be who I am today. Miss Sue, the founder and principal of the school, was my first teacher. She really taught me the true meaning of dance and ballet. She inspired me to dance from the heart and perform big to the audience.

“Another teacher was Miss Gretchen, who continually pushed me to do my best. I’m grateful to them both.

“In fact, my first performance I remember was with Susan Robinson’s La Fille Mal Gardee. I was a baby duckling!”

Clara made her professional stage debut as a party girl In Northern Ballet’s Nutcracker at around 13 years old when it toured to the New Victoria Theatre in Woking.

“I remember it being lots of fun, exciting and nerve-racking all at once,” Clara added. “It was magical stepping onstage and watching the pros dance right in front of us and acting with them.”

Clara also has happy memories of her time at St John the Baptist.

“I had a good time at SJB with a wonderful group of friends,” she said. “As my ballet and dance classes were after school, sometimes finishing at 9pm, I would have to complete homework late at night or stay after school if I had a later ballet class.

“I remember during my GCSEs living in the art department during lunch and after school to finish my art course work.”

Having graduated from the Central Ballet School, how does Clara see her future?

“I would love to work for the Northern Ballet, especially after dancing with them before, but I’ll be happy dancing anywhere on stage to show my passion for dance,” she said.

“I am excited to experience life on the Ballet Central tour and creating the magic on stage.

“People should come along to watch young aspiring artists share their passion for dance. They will be in for a thrilling evening!”

n FOR more details and to book, visit www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk.