Martin Harvey (pictured), who recently joined the cast of Dirty Dancing in the West End (See News, 1 Oct 2008), has won the Spotlight Best Male Dancer (Classical) prize at this year\'s Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards, announced today at Sadler’s Wells.

Prior to crossing over to musical theatre, Harvey, who plays Johnny Castle, was a leading ballet dancer, and today\'s award was given in recognition of his 11-year career at the Royal Ballet. During that time he danced many of the great principal roles in ballets including Mayerling, Onegin, Romeo and Juliet, Manon and Giselle.

Other winners announced today included the English National Ballet who won the Dance Europe Award for Outstanding Company, and choreographer Richard Alston, who was awarded the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.

Martin Harvey is joined in Dirty Dancing by Leanne Rowe, making her stage debut as Baby Houseman, and fellow principals Nadia Coote (Penny), David Firth (Max Kellerman), Robin Chalk (Neil Kellerman) and Josie Kidd (Mrs Schumacher).

Dirty Dancing has been adapted for the stage by the film’s screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein, who presented Harvey with his award. The musical had its world premiere in Sydney in 2004. It had its UK premiere on 24 October 2006 (previews from 29 September) at the Aldwych, where it’s currently booking until 27 March 2010.

- by Theo Bosanquet