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My Day with Miss England!

Published on Tuesday 17 July, 2012

When I was first approached about giving Miss England a masterclass to help her back into dancing shape for the Miss World contest I was a little concerned! What if she couldn't dance at all? Had two left feet?

Viki Westall & Charlotte Holmes, Miss England

Further alarm bells started to sound as I discovered that not only did she want a ballet class, but also a piece creating for her to perform in the 'Talent' section of the Miss World competition, just 10 weeks away. How on earth was I meant to create a piece on someone I'd never met before, to be performed at a major competition in just 2 hours? And especially as there was not going to be time for me to rehearse her further?

I felt better after speaking to Charlotte on the phone. She was articulate, confident and passionate about dancing. She had done ballet from a young age but was completely up front about being very out of practice. She promised me she was stretching as we spoke in the car coming up from Cornwall!

I chose the theme tune from Downton Abbey to dance to, I felt we need something quintessentially British to represent England out in China. I was also familiar with the feel and flow of the music as our lovely Academy pianist Dave Plumpton plays it in class for me, and I have seen the kids being carried along to greater expanse and performance in response.

Charlotte turned out to be a deserving star. She had a great sense of humour and work ethic so we sweated and laughed a lot during our session together. Although decidedly rusty she did have grace and musicality and I hope I have created a piece to show her off to her best advantage. She knows she has to work hard to get her body back into practice but I have seen the determination in her lovely green eyes so wish her every success.

She sent me a lovely text afterwards, thanking me for working with her: 'I can't stress how much having you to choreograph this has helped me. I had a fab time and you are a wonderful lady. I shall do my best for you!!'

Never a dull moment at Northern Balllet!

View more photos from Charlotte's day with Viki Read Viki Westall's biography

The views expressed in blogs are those of the author and not necessarily of Northern Ballet.