Maitland dancer Will Dyson is set to perform in a string of shows at the State Theatre in Sydney over the next fortnight as part of the Bonnie Lythgoe pantomime Sleeping Beauty – A Knight Avenger’s Tale.
The production starts on Friday and 13-year-old Dyson has spent the week in Sydney for rehearsals before the run of 16 shows.
More than 300 people auditioned for the role in February and Will was one of 12 kids selected for the production. It was the first musical theatre role he had ever auditioned for.
Will said it will be a “new experience” to perform at the State Theatre for the first time and said he was looking forward to beginning his first paid professional role.
“I’m feeling really excited about the show because it’s just great to work with all the choreographers who will be a part of the show,” he said.
“Especially meeting people and working with Bonnie Lythgoe’s a big privilege because she’s done so much work in the industry.”
Will attends Hunter School of the Performing Arts and trains at Premiere Elite Dance studio on the Central Coast.
He dances five to six times a week, and travels to and from both the Broadmeadow school and the Central Coast studio on weekdays.
Last year, Will and fellow Maitland dancer Ella Cox were named Junior Dance Group World Champions at the World Championship of Performing Arts in Long Beach, Los Angeles. The duo outclassed teams from New Zealand and South Africa to win the grand final of the competition, which drew performers from more than 40 countries.
However, Sleeping Beauty – A Knight Avenger’s Tale presents a new challenge for Will as it incorporates singing.
“I was practicing my lyrics for the show, but they teach us the choreography in rehearsals,” he said.
“I’ve been learning my songs so I know them.”
Will’s mum, Jeannie, added: “He’s been singing for a couple of years. He’s a strong dancer, he dances at an elite level in all genres, but he’s only relatively new to singing. He’s doing well.”
Sleeping Beauty – A Knight Avenger’s Tale runs from July 13 to July 22. It tells the story of Princess Aurora, who is put to sleep for 100 years and can only be awoken by the kiss of a prince.