Behind the beauty of ballet's facade lies a life of rigour and repetition. A dancer's task is to convey grace and effortlessness while behind the scenes muscles are aching, toes are breaking and budgets are constantly getting cut. Every dancer nurses some sort of injury - their feet are often known to bleed during a performance. But though the secrets backstage are sometimes shocking, it is through strict training, endless rehearsals and seamless choreography that the unparalleled splendour of ballet is created.
The prime age bracket for a dancer is their late teens/early twenties. Nancy Osbaldeston is one of the most promising young ballerinas currently at The English National Ballet. This March she will compete in the Emerging Dancer Competition against five other up and coming young members of the company. The competition is in its third year, and is a platform to nurture and encourage young talent.
Nancy Osbaldeston, pictured here in blue, promoting the Dance GB project
Warming up before rehearsals
Her day begins at eight-thirty in the morning. Breakfast is followed closely by warm-ups and then a succession of classes which gradually increase in difficulty and skill. Competition is fierce amongst the dancers but they are ultimately united and support is generously given. It is clear that ballet is a job; the whole day is dominated by it. After classes finish, rehearsals begin and it's all rounded off by shows. Despite the gruelling nature of this daily routine, it is the life they have chosen. Osbaldeston smiles throughout the day obviously relishing an opportunity that few are fortunate enough to ever experience.
Osbaldeston 'en pointe'
Additonal Reporting by Angelica Pursley for Crane.tv
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