Monday, 15 August 2022

Ballet-loving twin sisters to perform in Swan Lake

Ballet-loving twin sisters to perform in Swan Lake

TWIN sisters from Sonning Common have been chosen to perform with the English Youth Ballet in Swan Lake.

Lena and Julia Karnacewicz, who are 11, auditioned for the show virtually in July last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They will be performing at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The pair, who live in Maple Close with their parents Peter and Marta and previously lived in Henley, have been dancing since the age of four.

They started with JD Dance and learned a variety of different styles including ballet, contemporary, classical and tap.

However, the branch closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic and the twins took a short break before moving to Dance Connection in Wallingford.

Mrs Karnacewicz said: “We never wanted to push them too much into dance. We wanted to give them the opportunity to do different things but classical and ballet is something they are good at and they enjoy.

“They have both said they want to go to a dance college after secondary school as it’s what they love to do — it’s a passion.”

The girls, who attend Trinity Primary School in Vicarage Road, Henley, won two gold medals performing as a duet at the annual British Arts competition when they were eight and nine.

Julia said: “I love to dance because it’s a way of expressing what you are feeling but without words. I enjoy it so much. Every dance class is an opportunity to learn something new and to improve. I love all styles but contemporary/lyrical and ballet are my favourites. They are the more classical styles and I feel the most confident in them.

“Rehearsals are amazing but also very tiring. At the end of the day we watch the professional dancers and they are incredible.

“They inspire me and when I watch them I think, ‘That’s what I want to do when I’m older’. I was so excited when I got this part but also proud of myself for working hard to achieve this.

“It will be a fabulous experience. I’m a little bit nervous because we are performing in a big theatre with lots of people watching but definitely more excited than nervous.

“I would like to get the leading role in a performance like the black swan in Swan Lake or Clara in The Nutcracker.”

Lena said: “I love dancing because I feel like I can really express myself. I was generally quite shy but performing and dancing has helped me gain my confidence.

“I also love dancing because being able to do all the moves and pushing yourself to learn new ones is an amazing feeling. When you have finally perfected a move you have been learning you feel fully satisfied.

“I do lots of styles of dance and I love them all equally but ballet has something magical.

“Rehearsals are always challenging and really make me push myself. I enjoy watching all the older and professional girls dance because they really inspire me.

“When I got a part in Swan Lake I couldn’t have been prouder or happier. I felt like all the hard work had a lovely effect. I felt like my dreams were coming true and that I could really achieve my life goals. Of course, I am feeling a little nervous about the performances but I’m sure we will make it. The reward will hopefully be the beautiful applause we get from the audience and some unforgettable memories.

“I would like to become a professional dancer. I hope and dream to one day dance on the biggest stages and perform the main roles. Life is an adventure and I love mine.”

The twins, who also play netball and do gymnastics, have been travelling to Aylesbury for rehearsals every weekend.

Mrs Karnacewicz said: “Auditioning during the lockdown was really difficult. They had to record all the dances and watch them back.

“When they found out they had got the parts they were extremely happy as Swan Lake is probably every ballet dancer’s dream.

“It was good that they both got places as they are twins and are very competitive.

“They now spend their time at rehearsals, which are mostly learning the routines as there are four different parts. They are also making new friends who are also crazy about ballet, which is nice.

“They are more excited than nervous because they have performed quite a lot with the previous dance company and they were on the stage at a really young age.

“It’s always easier for them as they have each other. They have something really special between them.

“My husband and I are incredibly proud of our twin daughters and we’ve got tickets to see them performing, which is so exciting.”

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