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On Saturday 12 January, we made the first of five wishes come true as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations.

Lily Douglas, aged 11, was surprised by Scottish Ballet Principal dancers who revealed that her dream of dancing with the company, taking a backstage tour, and watching Cinderella would come true.

An avid dancer and a huge ballet fan, Lily has been battling a form of childhood cancer called ‘Ewing’s Sarcoma’ and has recently been undergoing rounds of treatment. A family friend submitted a wish on Lily’s behalf to our Five Wishes campaign for her to spend the day with the company. 

Thinking she was attending a workshop at Theatre Royal Glasgow, Principal dancers Bethany Kingsley-Garner, Constance Devernay and Sophie Martin surprised her and announced that she would, in fact, be welcomed to watch the company take their morning class, before joining them on stage.

Dame Darcey Bussell greeted Lily with a special video message before she was taken on an exclusive backstage tour to the dancers’ dressing rooms and to see the sets, costumes, and props.

On stage, Principal dancer Christopher Harrison, dressed as The Prince, presented Lily with her own custom, bejewelled pointe shoe, before she and her family and friends took to their seats to watch the magical performance of Christopher Hampson’s Cinderella.

‘I am delighted that Scottish Ballet were able to make this wish come true for Lily. There were so many wishes for us to choose from, but we were all inspired by Lily’s story and her love and passion for dance. She really deserved to have this opportunity to dance with Scottish Ballet, and I hope she had the most wonderful day.’

Dame Darcey Bussell

‘I can’t believe Lily’s wish was chosen. When I found out I was over the moon; it was so difficult to keep the news a secret, but the surprise was worth it. From the minute we arrived, we were made to feel so welcome by Scottish Ballet and it was an incredible experience. Lily had an amazing day, and she loved being part of the company.’

Jane Douglas, Lily's mother

Over 400 wishes were submitted to our Five Wishes campaign, with over 100,000 votes cast by the general public. The top 50 were presented to a celebrity judging panel which includes Dame Darcey Bussell, Susan Calman, Fred MacAulay, Janice Forsyth, Christopher Hampson and Principal Dancer Christopher Harrison, with full details of the five wishes announced on Thursday 31 January.

This was chosen as the first wish alongside a submission for a fellow ballet lover, Rosie Mitchell, aged 7, who was similarly being treated for cancer. A surprise visit to Rosie’s dance school took place in Greenock on Tuesday 18 December 2018 to share with her that her wish had been chosen. Very sadly, Rosie passed away in January 2019 and Scottish Ballet have been liaising with the family to pay tribute to her memory.