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South Wales Argus

8th December 2008



A CROESYCEILIOG schoolboy could be on his way to becoming Gwent’s very own Billy Elliot. 12-year-old Alexander Smith of Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw has been accepted on to the Royal Ballet School’s associate program in Bristol after a successfully auditioning for a place.

The 18-session course will help Alexander develop his dancing talent. There he will be trained in classical ballet based on The Royal Ballet School’s System of Training, as well as other types of dance including historical dance and natural movement.

Alexander started dancing when he was five, when he went to watch his little sister’s ballet lessons and decided to try dancing out for himself. He asked the teacher if he could join in and got hooked straight away.

Before long Alexander was regularly attending classes and also took up singing, tap and jazz dancing.

He now has dreams of becoming a professional ballet dancer and emulating his hero, Carlos Acosta. dancing-dreams-alexander-smith-2

He said: “I am really pleased to be with the school and I’m not hoping to audition for the full time ballet school in London.”

When asked what his friends at school think, he said a few people tease him because he can’t do any contact sports in case he gets injured, but he has a good set of mates who stick up for him.

Gabi Nicholson-Dunbar of Nidus Theatre Arts teaches Alex twice a week and said Alexander fully deserves to be with the school and never misses her lessons.

He also attends a class for boy dancers at Nidus, taught by Nick Dunbar. “The boys love being taught by a male ex-professional,” said Ms Nicholson-Dunbar. “The focus is totally on the male way of dancing and Nick can teach from a male dancers’ point of view.”


Film told story of dancing lad

Set against the background of the miners’ strike Billy Elliot was a hit film in 2000.

Young Billy finds he prefers joining in the girls’ ballet class at the local hall to the boxing classes that he’s there for. The ballet teacher soon realises his potential as a dancer and encourages him to audition for the Royal Ballet School in London.

Alex is well on his way to following in Billy’s footsteps and is already halfway to realising his dream of studying ballet full time.


© Copyright  2008 Newsquest Media Group




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