Swan Lake

18th May 2024
Audience Reviews
Cast Biography

Audience Reviews

  • Stephen and Imelda- we were both blown away by this performance, beautiful performance
  • I’ve never been to a ballet before, it was my first time. I was totally entranced, I absolutely loved it
  • How the dancers remembered all those steps I’ll never know, wonderful from start to finish
  • It was absolutely brilliant. The standard was incredible and it was beautifully presented. (Dance teacher)
  • I enjoy watching (Second Chance Ballet) because it is people with real bodies, it is much more interesting and engaging
  • As a member of the audience. I thoroughly enjoyed the performances. The costumes and music added to the theatrical ambience. Very professionally delivered. I was enchanted by the dancers. This was my first ballet and prior to it was a bit concerned that I would not be able to follow it but I was mesmerised from the beginning and didn’t notice the time going in. The explanation of gestures used in the leaflet really helped
  • Very good production hard to believe it was an amateur show
  • I watched the matinee performance of Swan Lake yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was beautifully danced and the costumes were lovely. The story was well portrayed and we were delighted to be transported to the lake and palace. Very entertaining performance
  • This is my first ballet show and I didn’t know what to expect. I really enjoyed it and I think I will be watching more ballet show going forward. I didn’t know ballet is so expressive and how it told the story without any dialogue.
  • Wonderful to see everyone’s hard work come to fruition! A good opportunity to see what it’s possible to accomplish as an adult learning ballet. Fantastic performances all round! The leads were truly awe inspiring.
  • I have enjoyed the performance thoroughly. What I liked most was the mix of dancers from all ages, there was a room for everyone to perform. All the best.
  • Fantastic performance, loved the energy of the dancers!
  • Swan Lake was the best Second Chance Ballet Performance ever! It was so well cast with a fantastically diverse range of dancers all dancing brilliantly. Thank you for an inspiring evening.
  • Another fabulous performance from Second Chance Ballet in Swan Lake. We’ve seen all the shows so far and like the others it did not disappoint! From the costumes to the choreography and the teamwork of all the dancers, we were very impressed. Looking forward to the next one!
  • This was my first ballet and I fell in love with ballet through the second chance group. It was amazing to see the talent of so many people of different ages coming together to put on such a professional performance. The joy that was exuded by the cast made me want to sign up immediately! Recommend highly
  • Comments on how wonderful the performance was and so looking forward to our production in the autumn very disappointed to hear not until next year. The production was so professional we get better every year! Costumes were amazing!
  • Second Chance ballet dancers brought the magic of Swan Lake to life capturing the essence of this timeless ballet. The costumes were beautiful and the dancers were graceful and elegant, making this an afternoon to remember. Looking forward to next year’s performance.

Cast Biography

Lyylia Koivuniemi (Odette/Odile)

Lyylia is a Finnish ballerina with soon a decade of work experience in the fields of dance, acting and performing. She has performed in various classical and neoclassical productions, world premieres, galas, tv appearances, competitions and tours in Europe and Asia. She is currently working full-time at Tanssiteatteri Eri in Turku, Finland. Besides that she also does guest performances in Finland and internationally and runs her own company Casualbutpro that offers classes, workshops and summer courses for dancers in Finland.

Renato De Leon (Prince Siegfried)

Born in El Paso, Texas, USA, Renato De Leon is a freelance professional ballet dancer. After graduating from the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C., he spent a year at Houston Ballet II before embarking on his European journey. De Leon previously danced at the Czech National Ballet in Prague, Czech Republic, and the Polish National Ballet in Warsaw, Poland, where he performed pieces by world-renowned choreographers such as Jiri Kylian, George Balanchine, and John Neumeier. He currently lives in Berlin, where he runs a ballet collective called Ballet Sur_real that combines electronic music with classical dance. He participates in various film and T.V. projects and is a principal guest dancer on international tours with the Prague Festival Ballet. Aside from dance, De Leon is also a dance teacher, model, actor, and D.J. and is pursuing a communications degree from Penn State University.

Alison CannonAlison has been dancing with Second Chance Ballet for several years, participating in The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. She is looking forward to dancing in the Spanish dance during Swan Lake.
Alison GarstinAlison started dancing at age six and took a break in her early twenties due to career and family. She was delighted to join Silver swans after retirement where she rekindled her love of ballet.
Bridie MayfieldBridie started ballet at 2 in Australia, studying at the Queensland Ballet School with Mary Heath. She began her own company, Brutal Ballet in 2009, and regularly performs at alternative dance events in Sweden. Bridie joined Second Chance Ballet in 2023.
Carole MartinCarole started ballet as a child in France. This show will be her fifth performance since joining Second Chance Ballet in 2016. She enjoys the camaraderie with her fellow dancers and is grateful for the roles she has danced to date. Swan Lake is a favourite and she has loved this experience.
Cat FeganCat joined Second Chance back in 2017, having loved ballet as a teenager and was delighted to be a cygnet in Swan Lake that year. Since then she hasn’t missed a performance, taking part in Giselle, Nutcracker & Sleeping Beauty and is looking forward to being a swan again!
Danielle Shipman
Danielle wanted to dance from the age of three but it took a further 20 years to join a class and get started. Finally she had the confidence to perform in the Nutcracker at 37!

Since then she has danced in The Sleeping Beauty, and now Swan Lake, her favourite ballet.
Donna NichollDonna started dancing at the age of twenty-nine where she quickly found Second Chance Ballet to be her home. She enjoys performing and was in Second Chance Ballet’s recent production of The Sleeping Beauty being involved with the corps de ballet as much as possible.
Eithne AngeloneEithne is delighted to get the opportunity to perform as a Sean in Sean Lake. She thoroughly enjoyed her last performance in Sleeping Beauty. Having started ballet as a teenager she was delighted to come across Second Chance Ballet and get back to class and to the stage.
Geraldine ElliottGeraldine has loved ballet since she put on her first pair of ballet shoes when she was 3! She has been part of second chance ballet since 2014 and has participated in a number of performances and is thrilled to join this years swan lake performance.
Helen BaronHelen is delighted to have found Second Chance Ballet and has enjoyed the opportunity to reignite her love for ballet, having taken classes as a child. Helen took part in The Sleeping Beauty and feels privileged to also be part of this Swan Lake performance.
Jill CrawfordJill was in her 30’s when she discovered Second Chance Ballet. With a few stops and starts over the years, she feels blessed to be able to dance, learn and (slowly) improve each week. The fun, excitement and pride in taking part in Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, is the icing on the cake!
Julian MaitlandJulian joined the Silver Swans 18 months ago – his first experience of ballet. He finds it great to keep fit and flexible, but it is much more difficult than it looks. He looks forward to Swan Lake as it will be his first time on stage.
Karina MooreKarina is an Employee Fundraising Manager and a composer/musician. Karina joined Second Chance Ballet in 2016 and has enjoyed performing some of her favourite roles – Clara (Nutcracker) and Red Riding Hood (Sleeping Beauty). Karina is currently writing a children’s musical, ‘Eddie and the Alien’.
Khushali Kanjee MillsKhushali’s ballet journey began in her childhood and since joining Second Chance, she has taken part in two productions. Last autumn, she experienced the life-changing joy of motherhood. Balancing the demands of caring for baby Donnacha, she enjoys personal time through attending ballet rehearsals.
Kristopher SpencerKristopher was born in South Shields and began dancing at age 2. In 2005, when he was 13 years old, Kristopher was the winner of a Critics Circle National Dance Award. Kristopher then went on to train in Dance & Musical Theatre at Bird College, London.
Lynn MellorLynn attended ballet and Irish dancing classes from a young age into her twenties. Lynn is enjoying the Silver Swans Ballet classes which she joined two years ago, a great way to keep fit to lovely music! and she is looking forward to taking part in the Swan Lake performance.
Maggie MooreMaggie joined a beginner’s ballet class 2 years ago, having no previous ballet or dance experience. She works in the NHS and took up ballet as she feels that learning to dance has physical benefits and is a great way of relieving stress. Also, the music is wonderful! This is her first performance.
mia raineyMia has been dancing ever since she was 4 with Rana’s School of Ballet, and has loved ballet ever since, dancing with High Pointes Youth for a year in 2018.Currently completing Advanced 1 with her exceptional teacher Rana, she joined Second Chance Ballet last year and cant wait to perform with them!
Mollie DaviesMollie has danced both contemporary and ballet from a young age, with a local dance school back home in Wales. Mollie joined Second Chance as a return to ballet after finishing university.
Patricia RobinsonPatricia started dancing as a little girl in Lisburn with the Joyce Higgins School of Ballet . Finding Second Chance Ballet has allowed her to continue her lifetime love of dancing . Patricia is very proud to be director of Second Chance Ballet . She is also Chairperson of Maiden Voyage Dance
Paul McMahonPaul has had no ballet knowledge or training before joining Second Chance Ballet in October 2023. After figure skating off and on for 15 years he wanted to add something different to his repertoire so signed up and is now making his debut performance.
Rachel BradyRachel has been part of Second Chance Ballet since 2015. She has taken part in previous performances including, La Bayadere, Swan Lake, Giselle, and The Nutcracker. She enjoys performing as part of the corps de ballet.
RainaRaina danced as a little girl and returned to ballet as an adult to complete the RAD Grade 8 exam. She hopes to keep dancing.
Susan DaySusan has kept up her ballet training since 11 whilst working in different cities. However Second Chance Ballet Company is unique in offering the chance to perform in a full ballet and this makes it very special. We are all thrilled to be part of Swan Lake and hope to make Chee Chong proud
Sinead ElmoreSinead joined Second Chance in 2019 and made her stage debut in the Nutcracker! Sinead now takes ballet classes at Clare Novaes Ballet School as well as Second Chance, and will be dancing in a Brutal Ballet production later this year. She is thrilled to be dancing as a swan in Swan Lake!
Anne ChevalierAnne is so grateful to have found Second Chance Ballet and started ballet later in life. She enjoys the beautiful music in classes which give a full mind and body workout and she has grown in confidence to participate in Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and, now, Swan Lake.
David FloydWith some trepidation, David stepped out of his comfort zone and into his first ballet class in his mid-sixties. Keen to add some form of dance to a range of fitness activities, he has never regretted choosing ballet, finding classes challenging but hugely enjoyable and rewarding.
Chantal SaundersChantal has danced since toddlerhood and ballet is her first love. After a six year hiatus from ballet, due to work and family commitments, she joined Second Chance Ballet in the Autumn of 2022 and this will be her second performance with the studio.
Styliani TompaziStyliani joined second chance ballet in 2021 at the age of 26. She had the pleasure to participate in the Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake with hopefully more to come!
Paula RicePaula was an avid Irish dancer growing up, and missing dancing, decided to give Ballet a go as an adult. She has been hooked ever since! It is the perfect way to relax at the end of the week, and she enjoys all the build up to the shows with an amazing bunch of dancers and friends.
Kathy HamillKathy joined Second Chance Ballet in 2018. She previously had no ballet experience but was hooked from the start! She loves improving and expanding her abilities. Taking part in The Nutcracker production 2020, The Sleeping Beauty 2023 and now Swan Lake has given Kathy a great sense of achievement.
Ruth McKittrickRuth discovered the joy of ballet through Ruth Adams and has loved extending this joy through CheeShong’s classes and recently moving onto pointe.
Margaret Mc GahanI started Irish dancing at age four but sadly not ballet. Music being my subject I participated in many Opera and musical theatre productions. This is my third production with Second Chance ballet and I feel so privileged to be training with the amazing Cheeshong and all the lovely Silver Swans
Eri AntonakakiEri is a beginner ballerina who embarked on her graceful ballet journey in Second Chance Ballet as an adult a few years ago and absolutely fell in love with it. Under CheeShong’s nurturing guidance, she realised that it’s never too late to follow your passion and shine under the spotlight!
Liza BulhakovaAt 20, Liza moved to Belfast and joined the Second Chance Ballet School, reigniting a passion for ballet. The joyous rehearsals have prepared Liza to spread her wings once more in tonight’s “Swan Lake” performance, embodying the grace and flight of a swan.
Sydney HoltOriginally from the states, Sydney moved to Belfast in 2020 to begin work on her PhD at Queen’s. This is her first performance with Second Chance Ballet and she looks forward to many more!
Fiona McCannFiona joined our classes having enjoyed other forms of dance over the years but never having done ballet. She took part in last year’s performance of Sleeping Beauty and is excited to be back, this time as a Spanish dancer and swan.