A quartet who attend a Blackburn dancing school will form part of an English Youth Ballet production of Swan Lake.

Performers from Wilpshire-based Chantelle's Dance Academy have been selected for the line-up when the ballet stages the Tchaikovsky classic at the Victoria Theatre in Halifax this June.

Nicha Hilton and Emilia Dullenty, both aged eight, and Zoe Ashton and Francesca Dewhurst-Slattery, both aged 11, made the cut for the prestigious show.

Ben Garner, English Youth Ballet marketing manager, said the selections, as part of an 80-strong Swan Lake cast, were a "superb achievement" for the girls.

He added: "The young cast were selected in hugely competitive auditions.

"They are currently experiencing the life of a professional dancer in rehearsals. They are super excited, as they will perform alongside international professional dancers."

Francesca and Nicha attend Mellor St Mary's Primary, Emilia is at St Leonard's Primary in Langho, and Zoe attends Ribblesdale School.

Youth ballet principal Ann Wall, who will be starring as Odette, the White Swan, in the production, has welcomed the new cast members.

Before joining the EYB she danced with the Ballet Cymru.

She said “I wish I had danced with EYB when I was young.

"The dancers learn so much about performance skills and the artistry of ballet.

"I love working as a principal dancer with EYB because I get to dance challenging and iconic roles and I also teach the young dancers and see them progress.

"The sets and costumes in the production are superb and the whole experience is one the young dancers, and the audiences, will never forget.”

Janet Lewis, EYB director, added: "Our aim is to provide performance experience to aspiring young dancers in beautiful venues close to where they live.

"The young dancers get to experience what life is like in a professional ballet company.

"They learn about developing their artistic and performance skills as well as improving their technique.

"I am always amazed at how quickly the young dancers progress and how positive they are when presented with new challenges."

The production will be staged at the Halifax theatre on Friday, July 7, and Saturday 8.