IF it hadn’t been for the age of some of the performers, you would never have known this was not a professional cast.

Under the direction of former Royal Ballet dancer Janet Lewis MBE, English Youth Ballet tours the country visiting nine different venues each year, giving young, local dancers the opportunity to perform with international professionals.

Now in its 19th year, the company has gained a formidable reputation for classic and dramatic productions of the famous full-length ballets.

The show chosen for Bournemouth was the magical tale of Sleeping Beauty, who pricks her finger after a curse placed on her by the wicked Carabosse and can only be awakened by the kiss of her Prince.

More than 100 local young dancers, aged from eight to 18, were cast in the ballet, showcasing the wealth of dance talent in the area.

Clever choreography, along with lavish costumes and the glorious Tchaikovsky score made for a truly professional production.

Adele Robbins was simply beautiful as Aurora, alongside her dashing prince, played by Brenden Bratulic, while a suitably regal Amy Drew oversaw the proceedings as the Lilac Fairy, and battled with the evil Carabosse, played perfectly sneeringly by Steven Wheeler.

But, of course, full credit must to go each and every one of the young dancers, right down from the tiny monsters and songbirds, through to the older guests and soloists.

Each and every one of them danced their hearts out, making for an impressively polished, professional production.