A talented Leyland dancer is taking centre stage as she performs with one of the country’s biggest bands.
Not only is Laura Rylands part of the professional dance troupe performing with Take That on their 36-date UK tour, she is also being thrust into the spotlight herself with a special solo part, dressed as a Geisha girl.
Proud mum Mairie-Louise Rylands, from Nookfield, said: “She really is living the dream. She’s definitely a local girl done good.”
Laura, who also works as a model, was just 14 years old when her mum took her to see teen idol Justin Timberlake perform on stage.
“She decided there and then that she wanted to be dancing on a big stage in front of a massive audience,” Mairie-Louise said.
Laura, now aged 26, attended the Christine Clarkson Dance Studio in Leyland, which is now Dance Talent Studio.
After leaving Leyland St Mary’s High School, she started training at Phil Winston’s Theatreworks College in Blackpool, before following her dream and moving to London.
“She’s done so well,” her mum added.
“She toured with Take That five years ago as well, and their choreographer has employed her a few more times since then, such as for the Olympic closing ceremony. She’s also done the X-Factor and the Brit Awards, but she just phones me up half an hour before it’s due on the TV to tell me!
“She’s just so busy, but I put the TV on and go ‘Woah, that’s my girl!’
“I take photos of the TV and put them on Facebook for everyone to see. I’m so proud.”
A highlight in Laura’s career was when she appeared in London’s Summertime Ball in 2013 - hosted by none other than Justin Timberlake.
“That was a complete thrill for her,” Mairie-Louise said. “But she’s still grounded and such a positive thinker, which says a lot in that industry.
“Her primary school headteacher, Janis Burden from Moss Side Primary School, is also really proud of her and she shows DVDs of Laura’s performances to the children to inspire them; to tell them they can be anything they want to be.”
She really is living the dream. She’s definitely a local girl done good.Mairie-Louise Rylands
Mairie-Louise is now excited about seeing her only child on stage in Manchester later this month, before the UK leg of Take That’s tour ends in June. They will then jet off to Denmark in October for the European stint, and will visit places such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.