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Tauranga dancer in spotlight

Budding dance star Sophie Lane.

When the Royal New Zealand Ballet performs the Auckland leg of its Sleeping Beauty season this year, one of the lilac fairies in the cast will be a talented 11-year-old from Otumoetai Primary School.

Sophie Lane trains at the I-Dance studio in Gate Pa and won a part in the RNZB production after auditioning with hundreds of other young dancers in Auckland.

The show opens at the Kiri Te Kanawa theatre in Auckland on Thursday, December 3, and runs through to Sunday, December 6.

Training means that Sophie and her dance teacher mum Hannah have been driving to Auckland for practice every second Sunday, a regime that will culminate with a week of rehearsals in the theatre itself before the show opens.

“She’s very excited. I’ve told her about how big the theatre is there. It’ll be her biggest audience ever,” Hannah says.

Hannah doesn’t think her daughter will be daunted by the large crowd because Sophie loves being on stage and performing.

“She was so excited when she ran out to tell me she’d got through… and put into the best [children’s] part.”

The young dancer is also keen on singing and acting and appeared in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with the Tauranga musical theatre earlier this year.

Despite COVID-19 seeing the cancellation or postponement of various competitions and performances in 2020, it’s actually been a good year for Sophie and her dancing.

She appeared in the I-Dance production of Our Little Mermaid at Baycourt in Tauranga and competed in Dance NZ Made - an inter-school competition where she was awarded the top Year 7 student over the whole country.

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