AT seven, Bethany Bartlett took her first ballet class in Bovey Tracey.
Since then, she has danced through a twelve-year journey that now sees the Devon girl gracing the stages of London. However, unlike most professional dancers, Bethany is considered to have begun quite late, defying the odds all the more in her remarkable story of small-town success.
Her mum, Nicola, said dancing was never something they planned for her to do, only a means of an after school activity.
‘One of her friends was already doing ballet, so I found out the information, took her along and it snowballed from there.’
Bethany tried all three dances, ballet, tap and modern, before perusing her current profession. Going to practices three to four times a week and entering any z`competitions available.
Nicola said, because it was such a small school, there weren’t many opportunities for competitions. So, at age eleven, Bethany left to live in London, training with the Royal Ballet School.
Nevertheless, that wasn’t the end of Devon’s involvement in Bethany’s dancing story. During Covid Bethany came back to train at home, taking ballet classes in the dining room. So, no matter how unassuming the space, or the place, determination, hard work and talent, can get you anywhere.
Three years on and many dining room practices later Bethany is now a full-time professional ballerina at the Royal Opera House. She is currently getting ready for her next production, Don Quixote, which runs from October 4 through to November 17 at the prestigious Covent Garden venue.
Nicola said this type of story is not heard of very often and she couldn’t be prouder of Bethany.