A schoolgirl ballerina who appeared on TV’s Supersize v Superskinny has landed a place in a top ballet production – after piling ON enough weight to perform.
Petite Caitlin Anstis, 13, weighed just six stone when she went on Channel 4’s Supersize vs Superskinny Kids in March in a bid to improve her pitiful diet.
The teenager appeared with tubby schoolboy Declan Garner who tipped the scales at an alarming 11st 6lb thanks to a diet of fizzy drinks and fatty snacks.
Experts on the show warned she would not make it as a professional dancer unless she doubled her calorie intake from 1,500 to 3,000 each day.
They feared her low weight made her prone to osteoporosis and weak bones and said she would not have the strength to become a prima ballerina.
Four months on, 5 ft 3 Caitlin, of Bristol, has gained more than a stone – taking her weight to just over seven stone – and is continuing to stick to her healthy diet.
She has also been selected by English Youth Ballet to perform two parts in a performance of Coppelia at the New Theatre in Cardiff alongside international stars of the dancing world.
Proud mum Jayne Anstis, 40, said Caitlin was ”over the moon” she had won a place on the stage.
She said: ”We were so proud Caitlin, she was absolutely delighted to have been picked. She has been doing so well with her eating, she is trying really hard.
”She put on 9lbs during the programme and she has continued to gain weight. The other day she told me she is more than 7st.
”Caitlin has to make sure she gets 3,000 calories each day because she does so much dancing.
”She eats really healthily and snacks a lot between her classes to keep her energy up and make sure she is getting enough.
”It is really unlikely she would have done so well if she had not changed what she was eating and put on the weight.
”Everyone has noticed an improvement in her dancing and herself since she went on the programme.”
Caitlin first began dance classes aged just two-and-a-half – and was determined to become a professional dancer by the age of seven.
She dances for a staggering 21 hours each week and will take up a place at top dance school The Hammond, in Chester – costing £25,000 a year – this September.
The teenager auditioned for a place in the English Youth Ballet’s performance of Coppelia in Cardiff in February alongside dozens of dancers her age.
She was ”delighted” when she was told she had been picked on the day of her audition and has been practising with the troupe for 12 hours each weekend.
Caitlin will perform the part of a morning hour and also a czardas character in the dance, which tells the story of a life-size dancing doll.
But she almost never reached her potential after weighing a tiny six stone back in March due to her narrow diet of crisps, chocolate and sweets.
Her worried parents, care assistant Jayne and BT planner Graham, 46, contacted the Supersize vs Superskinny programme and were delighted when she was accepted onto the show.
Mother-of-three Jayne added: ”We were really nervous at first because we didn’t know how it would come across but everyone was brilliant.
”So many people have come up to me and said how their children are picky eaters too. It is a real problem for young people.”
Caitlin was taught the importance of healthy eating and experts told her to eat double her calories and snack between classes to keep her weight and energy up.
She is now continuing to gain weight and retain strength and hopes to become a professional dancer after finishing school.
Coppelia will be danced at the New Theatre in Cardiff on July 29 and 30. More information can be found at www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk
Breakfast: Small bowl of dry cereal or a piece of cheese on toast
Lunch: Jam sandwich
Dinner: One fish finger or sausage, boiled potatoes, a few carrots or a small pizza
Snacks: Crisps, sweets, chocolate, ice cream
Breakfast: A bowl of cereal with milk or toast
Lunch: Ham or cheese sandwiches, yoghurt, fruit, juice drink and a chocolate bar
Dinner: Pasta or a pork chop, potato wedges and salad or vegetables followed by fruit and ice cream
Snacks: Fruit, chocolate, jelly beans, crisps, nuts