YORK Theatre Royal has been putting the Yorkshire into its production of panto classic Cinderella this year.

No fewer than five of the six-strong dance team involved in the show hail from God's Own County - many of them from York itself.

Choreographer Hayley Del Harrison said she was determined to employ dancers from the North.

“There’s a lot of talk about supporting regional artists in theatres across the country but it’s rarely implemented,” says Hayley, who danced professionally in the West End and Europe but was born in York herself.

“There was no way we were going to do a London audition before we put out a casting call in Yorkshire. As it happened we didn’t even need to do a London audition because we found exactly what we were looking for on home grown soil. And they’re absolutely fantastic.”

Hayley trained at the Northern Ballet School in Manchester – where two of the Cinders dancers, Tom Yeomans, from York, and Lauren Richardson, from Helmsley, also trained. Cinderella marks the professional debut of both.

Tom appeared in youth roles with amateur companies York Light Opera Company and York Stage as a youngster while taking lessons at the local Patricia Field School of Dancing.

“I’m loving doing pantomime - it’s such a fun thing and good experience," he said. "And I get to stay at home with my family at Christmas too.”

Lauren is also relishing the opportunity. “I used to watch pantomime when I was a little girl and think, ‘I’d like to be one of those dancers’. My passion just grew and grew,” she said.

Another dancer making her professional debut is Ella Guest, also from York. She began dancing as a child. “I started when I was young and absolutely loved dancing and singing and acting,” she says.

She has seen pantomimes at both the Theatre Royal and York Grand Opera House. She’s even appeared in one - Cinderella at York Barbican a decade ago.

Also making her professional debut is Hull-born Amy Hammond, who grew up in Driffield.

Christian Mortimer, meanwhile, is back in the city where he studied singing, acting and dancing for four years at York College – and back living at home with his parents in Harrogate.

The sixth – and non-Yorkshire - member of the ensemble, Luke Lucas trained at Liverpool Theatre School in his home city.

Cinderella continues at York Theatre Royal until 2 January. Tickets from 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

Over at the Grand Opera House, meanwhile, from Saturday until January 9 you'll be able to see panto Grand Dame Berwick Kaler and his crew in Dick Turpin Rides Again - tickets from atgtickets.com

The Rowntree Players' panto Dick Whittington is also on this Saturday at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre - tickets from josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk