AWARD-winning Royal Ballet dancer Leigh Alderson from Portadown didn't forget his roots when he put together a star-studded show for his successful Haiti fund-raiser concert at the Market Place Theatre, Armagh, recently.
Alongside the talents of high-ranking professionals from the world of the arts, including ballet dancers Kyle Davey and Elena Savva and famed singer/songwriter Jerry Burns, Leigh was determined to include some home-grown talent from the dance school at which he put on his first pair of ballet pumps - the Donna Whitten Dance School in Portadown.
Leigh attended the local dance school until his own raw talent was discovered at the tender age of 11 when he first packed his bags and set off from his Deramore Drive home for the bright lights of London.
And four of the senior girls from Donna Whitten Dancers were thrilled to be asked to dance alongside Leigh, Kyle and Elena at his triumphant return to the local stage and in front of a home crowd last Saturday night.
The girls, Jenny Abraham, Chloe Bell, Alex Symington and Catherine Dennison, learned the contemporary routine for '4Chrome Songs' just a few days before curtain-up - and while still in the middle of A-Level, AS and GCSE exams.
But their efforts were well rewarded at the end of the night when Leigh acknowledged the high standard of dance from local dancers and paid tribute to all the young dancers, including younger members of Donna Whitten Dancers who performed in a modern ballet he choreographed this year entitled, 'Ballet Rocks'.
Leigh now flies out to Canada to take up a new position with the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada after a successful period dancing as principal with Cork City Ballet in Ireland.