TWO Worcester girls are to have the perfect Christmas present after securing roles in a prestigious festive ballet.

Ten-year-olds Katie Webb and Emily Hunt are preparing for their places within the Birmingham Royal Ballet's production of The Nutcracker at the city's Hippodrome, which starts next Friday.

The girls, both pupils at Northwick Manor Primary School, are students at the Harlequin Dance School and have been travelling to Birmingham every day for the last two weeks to attend final rehearsals.

But Katie is no stranger to the theatre's stage. Earlier this month she performed solo as the theatre was re-opened after its major refurbishment on Tuesday, November 13.

However the youngster, who practises six other variations of dance and won four gold medals in the All England Dance Championships in August, says despite having such a major part, she wasn't nervous.

I found it quite exciting, said the youngster, who lives in Eastbank Drive, Barbourne, and has been dancing since she was four.

As I like ballet dancing so much I found it really enjoyable, and am looking forward to taking part in The Nutcracker.

And after taking up ballet just three years ago, Emily's part in the ballet is no mean feat.

Like Katie, she wants to persue a career as a professional ballet dancer, and hopes landing such a plum role will help her hit the big time in what is, a very competitive field.

But the girls say despite the hard work and desire to be professional dancers, they have a great time.

We both have a lot of friends at Harlequin and have a great time when we go to lessons, said Emily, who lives in Park Avenue, Barbourne.

We enjoy our dancing and seeing our friends, and because we have such a great time we want to learn.