Ballet star Emma’s screen success

Emma Wilson who is appearing on Channel 4's Big Ballet
Emma Wilson who is appearing on Channel 4's Big Ballet

A dance -loving mum is settling into her new found fame as one of the stars of Channel 4’s Big Ballet.

Emma Wilson, 38, of Liversedge, is one of 18 who were chosen from 500 hopefuls to appear on the show.

Mentored by Wayne Sleep, the dancers, all deemed too big to be ballet stars, go through rigorous training before performing Swan Lake at St George’s Hall, Bradford.

The second episode was shown on Channel 4 last night.

Primary school teacher Emma said she wanted to inspire young dancers to believe they could perform, no matter what their size.

Now 5ft 8ins and size 14-16, she was told as a child she was too tall to be a ballet dancer.

She said: “Before it aired I was thinking, ‘what have I done?’ But I am really pleased with the way it’s been edited.

“My husband John and I sat down with a glass of bubbly and some nibbles to watch the first episode. My daughter Alex and son Joshua stayed up to watch it with us.

“It’s been very positively received and generally the feedback has been brilliant.

“We were the fifth most tweeted topic on Twitter on the first night! It seems to have captured people’s imaginations.”

Emma said the second episode, aired last night, showed the group travelling to London to watch Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake.

She said: “It was staggering. We got the opportunity to watch him rehearsing his dancers and got to ask him questions afterwards. He was very positive about Big Ballet.

“He casts the swans as men, and the prince is a man too, so it’s very different, and more accessible.”

And Emma, a pupil at Timesteps dance school, said the dancers had found the media’s interest in the series surprising.

She said: “It’s been a media circus and it’s very weird –we’re just not used to it.”

“Everyone has been really positive about it and everyone seems to be saying that we’ve done something worthwhile, and that’s important to us all.”

The final episode airs on Channel 4 on Thursday February 20 at 9pm.