TWO young dancers have met celebrities of the dance world as part of a campaign to encourage boys to take up dancing.

Sam Piercy and Jack Gibson, who attend the Kirkham Henry Performing Arts Centre in Malton, were invited by The Royal Academy of Dance to the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel at the event to encourage the next generation of male dancers.

Sam and Jack were transformed into animated cartoon characters for a CBeebies television programme about boys loving Ballet.

Angela Kirkham, director of Kirkham Henry, who attended the event along with the boys' family and friends, said: "The Royal Ballet School and now The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) are using the film to encourage boys to dance.

"They showed the film at the beginning of the event which was attended by many celebrities in the dance world, including Darcy Bussell, Wayne Sleep, Irek Mukhamedov, Arlene Phillips, Craig Revel-Horwood and many principal dancers from both The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet.

"The boys together with Ella, Sam’s sister had their photograph taken with most of the famous people and RAD will be using some of the photographs to promote their project."

Sam and Jack Gibson were chosen for the CBeebies programme by the producer Claire Taylor, who had studied at Kirkham Henry as a child.

Teachers at the centre recommended the two boys, who had recently performed in Coppelia with Ryedale Youth Ballet, for their sense of humour and love of dance.

The production team recorded Sam and Jack’s story told in their own words at Kirkham Henry. Photographs of the boys were also taken so the animators could use them and keep their story as faithful as possible.