Leyland dancer lands role in Disney’s Cinderella

Professional dancer Yasmin Harrison, from Farington, Leyland
Professional dancer Yasmin Harrison, from Farington, Leyland
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It was a dream come true for Leyland dancer Yasmin Harrison when she was told: ‘You shall go to the ball’.

It was a dream come true for Leyland dancer Yasmin Harrison when she was told: ‘You shall go to the ball’.

“It was magical – I couldn’t believe I’d made it into a Disney film!”

Leyland dancer Yasmin Harrison

The 24-year-old has landed a part in Disney’s new live action adaptation of the classic tale, Cinderella.

Former Lever House Primary School and Worden High School pupil Yasmin auditioned for the role in December 2013, and will appear on the big screen when the film is released later this month.

She appears in the ballroom scene where Cinderella famously meets her Prince Charming, and the job involved 10 gruelling days of 17-hour stints for Yasmin.

“I’ve been waiting ages for it to come out,” she said. “I saw it last week and there’s a lot going on in the ballroom scenes, so I was looking out for myself.

“It was strange to see myself, but it was great seeing my name in the credits.”

After Yasmin auditioned for the part in the film - which is directed by Kenneth Branagh and stars Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother and Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother – dance rehearsals started just 10 days later, and lasted three weeks.

A couple of weeks later, filming began in Pinewood Studios, London.

“We had to start the day at 2am,” Yasmin said. “It took four hours to do hair and make-up and get us in our dresses, then we were working until about 7pm every night.

“It was mostly dancing but we also stood in the background as guests at the ball when Cinderella met the Prince.

“There’s also a bit where the Prince gets chased by the Ugly Sisters, so we danced around that part too.

“It was very tiring, and one day they just did a full day of filming our feet.

“I’ve grown up with the original Disney Cinderella film too, so it was amazing to be involved in this one. It was magical – I couldn’t believe I’d made it into a Disney film!”

Yasmin, who grew up in Farington and trained at Christine Clarkson’s Dance Studio in Leyland, which is now Dance Talent Studio, has a wide ranging portfolio.

She’s appeared on The X Factor and The Voice, as well as dancing in concerts for Rita Ora, Union J and Little Mix.

She’s now working on the West End musical Memphis until October, and has previously danced in the stage production of The Bodyguard.

Proud mum Christine said: “She’s done extremely well, and we’re under no illusions about how difficult the industry can be.

“She’s grounded though – she always remembers where she came from.

“It’s like she’s keeping Christine Clarkson’s legacy going. She died five years ago and never got to see Yasmin dance professionally.

“But Yasmin started dancing with her when she was 18 months old, so she owes a lot of her success to Christine.”