A YOUNG Bury ballet dancer is set to star in a Christmas production of the Nutcracker by one of UK's leading dance companies.

Denis Teixeira, aged 11, who studies at the Janet Lomas School of Dancing in Bury, successfully auditioned against hundreds for one of only 16 roles in the production, to be staged by the Birmingham Royal Ballet at the Royal Albert Hall, London, from December 28 to 31.

He has since been attending weekly rehearsals at the Royal Ballet School on Covent Garden and Birmingham Ballet's headquarters in preparation.

The Christmas production is the first time that the Birmingham Royal Ballet has brought the Nutcracker to the Royal Albert Hall, and will feature 70 professional ballet dancers, a full symphony orchestra and the voice of Simon Callow as Drosselmeyer.

Denis, from Salford, only began ballet lessons less than two years ago after being spotted by ballet teacher Johanna Hadley while he was waiting outside his sister, Emily's, ballet class.

Only months after starting lessons he was accepted as a Junior Associate of Elmhurst School for Ballet, in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet, and has since passed every ISTD Imperial Classical Ballet exams with a distinction mark in the 90s.

Miss Hadley said: "I couldn’t be happier for Denis – he always works so hard.

"This is the first major audition he has attended, and to have successfully auditioned for Birmingham Royal Ballet’s professional production is a huge achievement.

"You can always tell instantly if someone would be a good dancer… even just standing in a waiting area.

"His sister is also a very talented dancer and so I just suggested that he came in to give it a go one week.

"I was delighted that he thoroughly enjoyed the lesson and continued with classes."

Denis' role in the Nutcracker adds to an already highly successful year for the young dancer who competed alongside his sister Emily in the prestigious ISTD Imperial Classical Ballet Junior Awards in Milton Keynes in October.

Going up against 51 entrants from the UK and beyond Denis claimed third place, while his sister claimed the Elizabeth Hodgshon Musicality Cup at the event