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How ’bout that, WordPress has forms.

So we thought this would be a good way for you to tell us about your (or your son’s) school.

Current Boys’ Program List

 

Felix Brook, 10, has landed a role in LCB's Little Laord Fauntleroy (Peterborough Telegraph) 2016

 

Peterborough Telegraph
April 18, 2016

 

Felix Brook (10) of Ermine Crescent, Stilton, has followed in the footsteps of the fictional ballet star by defying gender stereotypes to land a part in Little Lord Fauntleroy. Felix was chosen as one of 60 dancers from around 600 who auditioned for the performance despite only taking up ballet in late 2014.

The Stilton Church of England Primary School pupil was inspired to take up dancing simply by turning off the light with his feet, and after giving ballet a go he soon became hooked by it.

Felix’s mum Sadie said: “He’s always prancing around. We tried lots of things like football and hockey with the school but he did not really enjoy it. I can’t remember who suggested it but we said try gymnastics or ballet. He said he can’t do ballet because he’s a boy, but he tried it and his teacher said he has real talent. She has taken him under her wing.”

Felix goes four times a week to classes at Tu Danse in Newark Road, Peterborough, where he has been welcomed with open arms and encouragement.

Sadie said: “They’ve been brilliant. Not many boys dance with them.

Felix Brook, 10, only start ballet lesson in 2014 (Peterrborough Telegraph) 2016“It’s given him a focus. In the last year he’s knuckled down at school a bit more. He did get a lot of stick at the beginning from the other boys but he’s really good at it, and he’s feisty.

“We always said we will encourage him and push him while he enjoys it. He says he’s going to dance for ever. I’m massively proud – it makes all the travel worth it.”

And it appears that Felix’s love of dance is not just confined to a ballet class. Sadie added: “He’s dancing down the aisle of Tesco, on the platform at the train station – he just does not stop, it’s brilliant. He’s just our little Billy Elliot. He’s read the book and watched the film a hundred times. He loves it.”

Felix will be on stage at the Peacock Theatre from April 21-24 as he performs for the London Children’s Ballet.

The youngster is very excited to perform live again and, not just content with four days in the West End, he is already looking ahead to a career in ballet.

Felix is booked in for a week at the Royal Ballet School this summer and will soon be applying for a full-time ballet secondary school.

And at the same time, he will continue to show people that ballet is something for both boys and girls.

He said: “Some will be nice about it and some people take the mick.

“At first I cared and got a little bit upset but now I’m not bothered.

“I normally have a show at the dance studio and a couple of my friends came and they really liked it.”

 

© 2016 Johnston Publishing Ltd

 

 

By Nina Amir
Mysoncandance.net
March 31, 2016

 

This past November 2015, my son, Julian Amir Lacey, premiered in the lead role of the three-part ballet, Manon, produced by SemperOper Ballett in Dresden, Germany. This famous ballet was choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan, and the MacMillan Foundation chose Julian to perform the principle part in two of six performances.

Julian danced the role of Des Grieux, and partnered Sarah Hay, who played Manon. Hay recently starred in the Starz limited-series Flesh and Bone, was nominated for a Golden Globe and won a Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film.

Manon was Julian’s largest and hardest role to date. However, it was not just technically difficult but artistically and dramatically challenging as well. Many male dancers wait their whole career to perform this particular role, and he did it to rave reviews at the age of 21.

I asked Julian to share what dancing this role was like for him. I hope parents and aspiring young male dancers will find his experience useful.

Contents:

  • How did you feel and what did you think or feel when the MacMillan Foundation selected you to dance the role of Des Grieux?
  • Why is the role of Des Grieux difficult—not just technically but emotionally and dramatically or artistically?
  • Did you struggle with self doubt at any point, and how did you overcome it?
  • What did it feel like to perform in your first three-part ballet?
  • Do you have any tips for boys who have to get through similar stressful situations when they find themselves in a difficult role?
  • What did you learn from the experience that you can use going forward—or that others can learn from as well?

 

 

Read Julian’s response here: http://mysoncandance.net/2016/03/male-ballet-dancers-perspective-on-performing-manon/

 

Copyright 2016 Nina Amir

Posts tagged  Nina Amir / My Son Can Dance

 

Amari Webb-Martin, 12, has been dancing since he was three (Newham Recorder) 2016

 

By Kat Hopps
Newham Recorder
April 12, 2016

 

[London, England] – Amari Webb-Martin, of Chichester Close, successfully auditioned for a role in Little Lord Fauntleroy, which runs for four nights at Peacock Theatre from Thursday, April 21.

The Kingsford Community School pupil, who has been dancing since he was about three, was one of 60 children out of 600 in total to get a part.

He said: “I’m having the best time at London Children’s Ballet and I am looking forward to the opening night. Being a part of this ballet production is fantastic and I think all boys should be able to pirouette, leap and glissade!”

The young twinkle-toed performer won several ensemble parts in the production including a hot dog seller, Earl’s Court dancer and church goer.

Prior to winning the role, he performed in theatre production Treasure at Finsborough Theatre, danced at the O2 and even sang in a teen pop band that appeared on Britian’s Got Talent

Amari is also accomplished in tap, modern, contemporary and acro dance.

Mum Kelley Webb-Martin said she was very proud of her son’s “determination, dedication and humility”, especially as he has often had to accept rejection for roles along the way.

She said: “He works very hard and he is one of these humble people who does his best.”

The Kerry Jane Academy Of Dance student officially started dance lessons aged three but first learnt his moves on the dance floor at just 18 months old, when he would watch his sister, Zakira Webb-Martin, 14, perform in dance classes at the same school in East Ham.

Kelley said: “I had to run to the shop and I left him with the dance people and he sat up and watched all the people. He then started to walk and he just started to go on to the dance school.”

The mum-of-two added that Amari “still loves it” and is undeterred by any social pressures that he may face along the way.

She said: “You do not see many boys who do step and modern dance so it is really brave of him to something really classical. Boys doing ballet isn’t as popular as other dances but I’m pleased that he continues to pursue and enjoy it.”

 

© 2014 Archant Community Media Ltd

 

 

Pierson Feeney, 11, at the Gulf Coast School of Performing Arts (John Fitzhugh. Sun Herald) 2016-01

 

By Justin Fitzhugh
The Charlotte Observer
March 30, 2016

 

[D’Iberville, Mississippi, USA] – D’Iberville Middle School student Pierson Feeney finds himself checking the clock often when he has down time in class. The 11-year-old said he anticipates dismissal so he can hop on the bus and head to the Gulf Coast School of Performing Arts.”I’m always looking at what time it is, wishing it was time to go so I could go to dance,” he said.

Some classmates don’t understand Pierson’s passion for ballet, hip-hop, house, ballroom and contemporary dancing. In fact, he often faces ridicule from his peers. “At school, they’ll make fun of me, saying dance is all for girls,” he said. “I know girls do dance a lot, and it’s most[ly] girls in dance (class), but boys do it, too. If anybody says anything to me, I just ignore them.”

Many D’Iberville Middle students have never seen him on stage, nor do they understand how the art form changed his life for the better, the sixth-grader said. Pierson was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder when he was 4. By the time he was 6, he began to show differences in behavior that led doctors to put him on morning and night doses of prescription medicine.

Now, Pierson is a different child. He says his dance is how he gets out his frustration and how he gets his excitement out.

But it seemed to make his condition worse, Pierson’s mother, Marsha Feeney, said. By the time he was 9, it was hard for the family to go out in public together. Pierson had developed ticks, and medical professionals diagnosed him with Tourette Syndrome.

Marsha Feeney was desperate to help her son. She noticed that Pierson constantly shuffled his feet, so she asked if taking tap dancing lessons would be something he would like.

“His ADHD was disrupting our whole family,” Marsha Feeney said. “We, at the time, could not go to dinner. We could not go to birthday parties. We pretty much stayed home.

“Now, Pierson is a different child. He says his dance is how he gets out his frustration and how he gets his excitement out.”

What started as a couple of tap classes now encompasses every single dance class offered at Elaine Kulick’s performing art school: ballet, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, ballroom and house. He also takes tumbling and acting classes. “It was as if God whispered and said, ‘We need to find a useful and productive use of all this energy,’ ” she said.

In two years since, Pierson’s technique has improved tremendously, and he earned a spot on the Gulf Coast Performing Arts Center competition dance team.

“When I first started, I didn’t know anything and it was really hard,” Pierson said. With ADHD he said he couldn’t control himself. Whenever you take class, you have to focus more. I started learning how to control myself because you have to be quiet in class and pay attention.”

After a year in dance, the ticks were gone. Pierson was off of almost all medication, but Marsha Feeney said her son still takes a low-dose of the ADHD drug Concerta before big tests or important days at school. Pierson goes to dance every single day after school and often stays until 8 p.m. or later. By the time he gets home, he’s covered in sweat and he’s oftentimes so worn out that it’s easy for him to fall asleep.

“I like being here better than home,” Pierson said. “It’s where my friends are and where my teachers are.”

Pierson said he believes dance is what helped him get his ADHD under control. “I felt so good because I could actually do something,” he said. “Every time I dance, I feel something in my heart and my head, and I just want to keep dancing, and it makes me feel really good about myself.”

Pierson Feeney, 11, dances with Rosa Machado, 11, during a rehearsal at the Gulf Coast School of Performing Arts (John Fitzhugh, Sun Herald) 2016 

 

Dance champion

Pierson’s hard work in dance class paid off this year when he won three awards at a Hollywood Vibe dance competition at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center in Biloxi.

He earned the Junior Scholarship Award and the Los Angeles Talent Agency Award in his age division. Overall, he scored one of the biggest prizes: Regional Dancer of the Year. He will travel to Las Vegas from June 27 to July 2 and audition to be a part of Hollywood Vibe’s tour, a team that travels across to U.S. and hosts dance clinics.

Marsha Feeney and her husband were ecstatic that Pierson did so well. “He has worked very hard, and it wasn’t just given to him,” she said. “When we pick him up at night, he is so tired. … Just to win one award, we would have went home feeling like we had conquered the world.”

Pierson said when his name was called as dancer of the year, he had to pinch himself to make sure it was real. “I just couldn’t believe it,” he said.

Pierson Feeney, 11, works with ballet instructor Vasily Lunde during a rehearsal at the Gulf Coast School of Performing Arts (John Fitzhugh, Sun Herald) 2016 

 

What his coaches say

Hip-hop, house and ballroom coach Josh Burchette said he and Pierson did not get along when the then 9-year-old started taking class. “He didn’t like my classes at first,” Burchette said. But the coach discovered in class that Pierson really excelled in house, a sub-style of hip-hop dancing. “It started opening up other styles of hip-hop, and he started growing.

“House is one of those styles, you don’t normally see people learn off the bat. It’s a mature style and a mature mindset. It’s about soul. It’s about feel. For an 11-year-old to get that at that age, that can put 30-year-olds to shame.”

Burchette said Pierson is one of his best students. “He’s such an amazing dancer,” he said. “He deserves it. He deserves being called dancer of the year. I’m really proud of him.”

Jazz and contemporary coach Casie March said Pierson works hard and listens to coaches, and that helps him excel. “He’s very talented,” she said. “He puts forth 110 percent in everything he does.”

Ballet instructor Vasily Lunde said his class is one of the hardest because ballet movements have to be perfect.

Lunde said he and Pierson have butted heads in the past, but he’s a hard worker and will push himself beyond his limits.

“He’s not scared,” he said.

 

Dancing and Dad

Marsha Feeney said it was very hard for husband at first to appreciate Pierson’s passion for dance. He had to miss his son’s first live performance because of a prior engagement. But he saw his son on stage during last year’s competition, and his mind totally changed.

“As soon as Pierson got on stage that afternoon, and my husband saw him, he was blown away. He got it then, and he understood.”

Pierson said he is happy to have his father’s support. “He just didn’t think I was a good dancer because he had never seen me. He always had to go somewhere,” he said. “Now, he shows up for all of my performances and is there in whatever way he can.”

Pierson said he hopes to dance professionally in the future.

 

This story originally appeared in the SunHerald.

Copyright 2016 The Sun Herald

 

 

Xander Bevan, 12, left, on stage in English Youth Ballet's Giselle (2016)

 

The Leigh Journal
March 26. 2016

 

[Preston, Lancashire, England] – Fresh from his performance in Giselle, young dance prodigy Xander Bevan is encouraging more boys to take up ballet.

Xander, 12, danced the role of Gentleman of the Hunt in the English Youth Ballet production of Giselle at Preston Guild Hall and Charter Theatre on March 4 and 5.

The enterprising youngster has also started a company called Ballet Boy X, making it easier for boys to get hold of ballet gear.

Speaking to the Leigh Journal after the shows, he said: “The performances went very well. Ballet friends and adrenalin kept me going through the long hard days.”

Xander says he was first attracted to dancing aged six when a ‘ballet school did a presentation’ at his school. He said: “They needed boys and I offered my name. They rang my father and he was confused as we only had boys in our house! However my parents took me to the first lesson to ‘get it out of my system’ so to speak, and I’ve been doing ballet ever since.”

He believes more boys should get involved. “I would encourage any male to do ballet, for a number of reasons,” he says. “It keeps you fit, toned, ripped.

“Ballet is the foundation for all dance and many sports. I understand there’s a stigma attached to male dancers, but just look at the shape these guys are in. And above everything else, me and the other nine boys who starred in Giselle had a supporting cast of more than 90 girls…

“The boys get a lot of female attention, which is always a bonus.”

Xander says he is starting his boys’ ballet clothes company because his mum struggled to find male ballet gear. He said: “I want guys to be able to find everything they need to perform or rehearse.”

His ambitions include getting into the Royal Ballet School or Northern Ballet, to eventually teach and to continue Ballet Boy X.

He says his dancing idols are Louie Spence from Pineapple Dance Studios, Australian Brendan Bratulic from English Youth Ballet, who trained with K-Ballet in Japan, and Xander Parish, the first British dancer to be employed with Russia’s Mariinsky Ballet.

Xander’s dad Lee Bevan said: “The dancers didn’t leave between performances. They are proper grafters and it was a complete sell-out – it was full to the rafters. I was absolutely blown away by the performances.

“Xander was placed in the older group this time with 15 to 18-year-olds. Some of these kids are at performing art colleges. He worked so hard. We are really proud of him.”

 

Copyright 2016 Newsquest (North West) Ltd

 

Read more about Xander:

Young dancer wins dream ballet role

Youngster will star alongside pros in Coppelia

 

 

 

Leon Metelsky, 11, wins one of 12 places at RBS (2016)

 

By Kate Wilson
The Daily Echo
March 21, 2016

 

[Ferndown, Dorset, UK] – Aspiring ballet dancer Leon Metelsky is [in step] to fulfil his dream of dancing in The Nutcracker. Leon, who is in Year 6 at Ferndown Middle School, beat hundreds of other young performers to gain a place at one of the world’s most prestigious ballet [schools].

After starting dance classes at the age of three it quickly became clear that Leon had both the feet and passion for ballet. And now after years of training he has become one of just 12 boys from across the world to secure a place at the Royal Ballet School in London for the upcoming school year.

Leon Metelsky, 11, wins one of 12 places at RBS 2016-02_resizeThe school, which has a campus in Richmond Park and Covent Garden, has produced some of the world’s greatest ballet dancers including English darling Darcey Bussell. And Leon hopes that after attending the school he too will become one of the greats.

“I’m really excited to start at the school it’s going to be brilliant,” said Leon, whose favourite ballet dancer is Steven McRae. “My parents were both dancers and my two older sisters are dancers so it was always in my blood. I’m just glad that after all the work both them and I have put in it has paid off.”

Leon had to audition twice before getting the letter to say he had secured a place at the school. “I wasn’t really nervous about it as I am already a junior associate with the Royal Ballet School so I knew what they were looking for and was well rehearsed.

“I just can’t wait for September to come so I can start there.”

Leon’s parents Tanya and Vitaly took him to Prompt Corner Academy of Dance in Ensbury Community Centre when he was three. “From when he could walk he would tell us that he wanted to take dance classes,” said mum Tanya. “So when he was old enough we took him along to the same school as his sisters and he just loved it. That’s the thing with Leon, he has always had such a passion for dance and it comes out when he performs.”

 

 

“As a parent it’s scary to think of him going off to live away for school at only 11 but he spent a week at the school over the summer last year and said it was the best week of his life so we know he will be happy.”

Katy Chaldecott-Gill, who runs Prompt Corner Academy of Dance, said it’s Leon’s passion for ballet that has managed to get him so far. “You have students that come in with the right body and feet but if they don’t love dance then it just looks like hard work,” she said. But Leon always looks like he is loving every second and is a pleasure to teach. We are so thrilled for him and he is an inspiration to the younger dancers who look at him and realise it can happen and your dreams can come true.”

Speaking of dreams, it is Leon’s to one day perform in one of the world’s most famous ballets – The Nutcracker

 

Copyright 2016 Newsquest Media (Southern) Ltd

 

 

David O'Matz, 15, studying at the Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh (Marcus Charleston, 90.5 WESA) 2016

 

By WESA, Pittsburgh
March 11, 2016

 

[Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA] – While choreographing ballets is a logical next step for dancers, where will the next generation of ballet dancers come from? Especially with ballet programs needing more boys?

Essential Pittsburgh attended a class at the Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh in Mount Lebanon to meet David O’Matz a young dancer.

David O'Matz, 15, warming up at the barre, Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh (Marcus Charleston, 90.5 WESA) 2016_resizedO’Matz, 15, is a Mount Lebanon High School student who has been dancing for three and a half years. One of the attractions of ballet, for him, is rooted in the lines which a ballet dancer creates with his or her body.

“These lines and how they relate to the music coveys really powerful emotions,” O’Matz said.

Chris O’Matz, David’s mother, said he first became interested in ballet after reading a Time magazine article about boys in ballet. “That’s what I attribute his interest (in ballet) to,” she recalled.

“Ballet is so interesting how you’re not doing this for yourself and you’re not doing this to beat a team, but you’re doing it for the beauty of others,” David said, when recalling his interest in ballet.

David’s future plans include attending the School of American Ballet this summer this summer. While the ballet world is very competitive, David hopes to become a professional dancer.

 

© Copyright 2016 90.5 WESA

 

 

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