IT is a timeless classic - but for these two dancers, performing in Cinderella is a whole new experience.

Scottish Ballet is touring its luscious adaptation of the famous fairytale and for new recruits Aarón Venegas and Rishan Benjamin it is their introduction to the festive season with the company.

For most, working during Christmas and New Year is not a happy prospect but Aarón and Rishan are relishing the chance.

"With Cinderella, we are getting to do many different roles; from Moths to Prince’s Friends," Aarón said.

"This is my first year with the company, and my first year as a professional dancer, so it’s really nice to have variety.

"In Cinderella, I have danced in the ballroom scene where I get to dance in a couple and so, with it being my first year in the company, it's nice to be able to share this moment with someone.

"With different casts I get to dance with someone different so it’s nice to get to explore different people’s way of moving.

"In Glasgow I’m also dancing the Spider and a Moth, which is exciting, alongside the Tailors and Shoe Makers which are really fun characters.

"This isn’t the first production I’ve danced in but it’s definitely the biggest.

"Last year, for example, I was studying at Royal Ballet School so I got to dance The Nutcracker with Royal Birmingham Ballet, which was exciting.

"That was one year ago so it’s great to now be with Scottish Ballet, dancing in my first production as a professional dancer."

Rishan shares her colleague's excitement about the variety in the roles offered by Cinderella, a ballet choreographed by the company's Artistic Director Christopher Hampson for Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2007,

Set to Prokofiev’s famous score, the ballet was first performed in Scotland in 2015 and is back this year after clamour from fans keen to see it again.

"With Cinderella, it’s great to be given the chance to dance different styles; from Roses to Ballroom Guests," Rishan said.

"Being engaged in everything, and having the opportunity to be on stage at different times is great.

"I'm mainly dancing the ballroom, roses and a section which just includes legs.

"With roses, it's a corps de ballet role and you have to stay in line, which can be challenging when you also have to make particular shapes.

"Within Cinderella, we get to dance different roles and also dance with different partners.

"This can be challenging but I see it as a positive as you get to learn from each person and share experiences with different dancers.

"This is the biggest production that I’ve danced in.

"At school, we got to dance multiple dance styles within a tour to prepare us for professional touring life and I’ve had to learn to prepare myself for the performances but I’ve got the hang of it, and I’m enjoying being given three different roles to dance within one performance at Scottish Ballet."

Aarón was born in Madrid, Spain and trained at The Royal Ballet School before joining Scottish Ballet in August this year.

Rishan became part of Scottish Ballet at the same time, having trained at Central School of Ballet in her native London.

Both young performers enjoyed time at home with their families over the festive season, Aarón making it home to Spain for three days while Rishan headed home to see her much-missed mum, aunt and grandmother.

After the short break, Cinderella opens in Glasgow on Friday and runs until January 12.

Having enjoyed a successful run in Edinburgh over Christmas, the dancers are excited to return to Glasgow in front of the 'home crowd'.

Rishan said: "I feel like we'll get a big reaction as it's Scottish Ballet's home town.

"I like the environment in Glasgow and I like how quiet and homely it feels, it gives me space to myself, which you don't get in London, and the people are so nice and welcoming."

Aarón added: "Performing in Glasgow is going to be special for me as it's going to be my first time performing in the city and staying at home while we perform will be great.

"I'm going to be performing more roles too which will be special.

"Glasgow is different from other places I've lived as there's lots of people but you still feel like you've got your own space."

Both dancers are confident that Glasgow audiences will have a good time at Cinderella with the piece's humour and diversity shining through.

Aarón said: "They really enjoy it, Cinderella is a very fun ballet.

"There's some funny roles such as the stepsisters and the shoe makers and the audience always laugh, which is great because being able to hear them laugh makes you feel more confident on stage as you know they're enjoying it.

"Sometimes in the ballroom scene when you see the stepsisters doing their solos it's hard as you want to laugh as well, but in this scene we're supposed to look like we are used to being at balls and doing these dances.

"It's really fun seeing dancers in the company doing these roles."

Rishan added: "Cinderella is fun and engaging and, because of this, you do get quite a reaction from the audience.

"It's really hard to stand still and not react to the funny roles when you’re on stage actually, especially when you hear the audience's reaction.

"You're just trying to keep a straight face and keep it professional. The audience reaction always brings a lot of confidence."

Before the show, both dancers have a special ritual to get them focussed and ready to take to the stage.

For Aarón, having ample time before curtain up is vital with the young dancer making a start on his make up around an hour-and-a-half before the show.

And Rishan takes comfort from her grandma and mum.

"It varies depending on the role that I’m performing but there are a few things that I always do," she said.

"Before every show I always have to make sure that I’ve warn my red headscarf which was passed down from my Grandma to my mum to me; it brings me luck.

"I also like to listen to songs on my earphones, because it brings me life.

"There’s one specific song from The Lion King 2 that always makes me feel a lot more confident and believe in myself before the performance."

While Cinderella is still very much underway, Scottish Ballet is also looking forward to next year when the company marks a major milestone.

It is the Glasgow-based ballet company's 50th anniversary and its 2019 repertoire is suitably packed with special events.

For the dancers, it means the chance to explore the limits of their talents - and means an exciting New Year to look forward to.

Aarón said: "I like the repertoire of the company because right now we are doing Cinderella but next year, within the company’s 50th anniversary, we will be doing even more contemporary work which is really nice as we will get to explore different styles of dance.

"I’m looking forward to exploring my body in different ways, and how I can manage different styles and choreography."

For information about Cinderella see:

And for Scottish Ballet 50 see