Laura is living her dream at first NI Ballet Company

Laura Patton
Laura Patton

Just 10-years-old and already Laura Patton has pirouetted into her dream world and been accepted into the first National Ballet Company of Northern Ireland.

And she is the youngest member of the company which has just been established here.

Unlike England, Scotland and Wales, until now Northern Ireland has not had a national ballet company and hundreds of young hopefuls auditioned to get a place.

And Laura, who is a pupil at Magheralin Primary School, is also a member of the Jennifer Marshall School of Dance and has been dancing since she was four years old.

The son of Isobel and Gary Patton, Laura has an older brother Matty (13) who is more into kickboxing, according to their mum.

Isobel said her daughter has four parts in Sleeping Beauty, plus a solo role.

“She lives to be on stage,” said mum Isobel. “As far as she is concerned so long as she can dance she is happy.”

Isobel explained that Laura wanted to audition when she found out that the first national ballet company was to be set up in Northern Ireland.

Company Director Tammy Conn of ConnFidance said: “Our youngest company member Laura, what a joy she is. Make your dreams a reality, sweetheart. Dream big.”

Laura has competed in Newry and Portadown festivals over the last four years and has won many medals and trophies for Ballet, lyrical, modern and character. She just got her ballet grade one exam and passed with a distinction and is hoping to do gradetwo in November along side working toward her first modern exam and starting tap.

Laura said: “I feel like I am floating and no one else is around. I just want to dance forever.”

The first full length ballet to be performed by the company will be the Nutcracker on February 27.

Her primary school have also supported Laura allowing her to use the assembly hall after school to practice. The principal and her husband, Gillian and David Napier, will be attending Laura’s show in The Grand Opera House.