Ahead of the Brigitte Gauci Borda School of Dance’s 25th anniversary special, The Sleeping Beauty, we go behind the scenes to discover what it really takes to be a professional ballerina.

Andrea Portelli will be dancing the parts of Little Red Riding Hood and one of the Lilac Fairy’s attendants.

“Ballet is a passion that defines who I am. There are no hard or worst parts about ballet. I am happiest when dancing.”

Andrea Portelli


Nicholas Aquilina will be dancing the part of Blue Bird.

“I was 10 years old when I started learning ballet, and the hardest thing is that no one ever tells you that it’s actually the most athletic type of dance there is.”

Nicholas Aquilina


Lynne Salamone Reynaud will be dancing the part of the Lilac Fairy.

“When you take up ballet or dance in general, it becomes your way of life; your love, your laughter, your sacrifices, your pain and your family – and I would know, I’ve been dancing ever since I was 5.”

Lynne Salomone Reynaud - Photo by Tonio Lombardi for Style on Sunday Magazine

Photo by Tonio Lombardi


Ella Camilleri will be dancing the part of Cinderella.

“I think I’ve been dancing before I started walking, and one of the things that always surprises me is how a ballerina needs to be a graceful athlete. Our job is to make something that is very physically and mentally demanding look effortless.”

Ella Camilleri


Andrea Bartolo will be dancing the parts of the Ruby Jewel and one of the soloists in the Garland Waltz.

“What still fascinates me about ballet is how a particular move can look so simple yet require so much strength. We all strive to be better with every single rehearsal and we can sometimes be too critical of ourselves.”

Giulia Calleja will be dancing the part of the Fairy of Generosity.

“When performing a particular role, it isn’t just about learning the steps and movements, but about practising the routine over and over until its perfect.”

Andrea Bartolo and Giulia Calleja


Erika Gatt Coleiro will be dancing the part of the Silver Jewel.

“I was 4 years old when my parents enrolled me into my first ballet class, but no one ever told me how physically demanding dance would be or how hard it would be to give up once I started. I simply love the sense of happiness and satisfaction experienced after each performance!”

Erika Gatt Coleiro


Michaela Dimech will be dancing the part of the Fairy of Vitality.

“When you tell people you’re a ballerina, some assume you’re delicate and weak, but, in reality, dancers need to be very strong – both emotionally and physically.”

Michaela Dimech


Phoebe Schembri will be dancing the parts of the Fairy of Purity and Princess Florine.

“As a ballerina you always have to try harder – but instead of trying to be better than others, you should try to be better than yourself. And, who knows? Each experience and lesson combined might create something incredibly beautiful!”

Phoebe Schembri


Bernice Bonnici will be dancing the part of the Fairy of Courage.

“Practice is important, but as a ballet dancer you must accept any difficulties and criticism that is thrown at you. Take them as a challenge to improve, perfect and strive to be better each day.”

Bernice Bonnici


Brigitte Gauci Borda is the Artistic Director & Producer.

“As a student it had taken a lot of sacrifices, long hours of training, fatigue, pain and tears to make it, but it was exhilarating when it came to dancing on stage. Presently as Principal, it’s more about dealing with lots of different emotions; listening to and solving problems; trying to keep everyone happy; trying to cope with everything; and hardly finding any time for myself or my family. Even so, it’s exhilarating to be on stage and I get a lot of satisfaction from my students’ many accomplishments.”

Brigitte Gauci Borda - Photo by George Abdilla


The Sleeping Beauty by the Brigitte Gauci Borda School of Dance will take place at the historical Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta on the 5th December at 7.30pm and on the 6th December at 4pm. Tickets can be purchased from the MCC website.