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A TEN-year-old boy has beaten off competition from all over the world to earn a place at the prestigious Royal Ballet School.


By Gillian Ellison

Whitehaven News

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


A LEG UP: Lewis Charlton from Moresby Parks with his teacher Karen Starkey working hard on the beam.

A LEG UP: Lewis Charlton from Moresby Parks with his teacher Karen Starkey working hard at the bar.

Lewis Charlton comes from a rugby-dominated family, but his passion is for ballet dancing. His talent has secured him one of just 12 available places at the famous London and Surrey-based school. It is the leading classical ballet school in the UK.

Auditioning for places alongside Lewis, of Moresby Parks, were dancers from America, Hong Kong and Canada.


His dance teacher since he was just five years old is Whitehaven’s Karen Starkey, who is delighted at his achievement. “I am absolutely overwhelmed,” she said.

“After about six months from when he first started with me I saw that he had a gift for ballet. His family are all rugby-orientated but Lewis wanted to be a ballet dancer, he is so focused.”

Lewis will attend White Lodge, in Richmond Park, Surrey, where he will be classically trained and educated until he is 16.

The Royal Ballet School trains dancers for The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and other top international dance companies.

Lewis’s father, Gary, played professional rugby for many teams including Whitehaven and Workington. His grandfather, Paul, is a former Workington Town and Great Britain legend and Lewis’s brother, 13-year-old Luke, is also following in their footsteps for a love of rugby.lewis-charlton-10-rbs-2009

His family are all very proud. “We are absolutely over the moon,” said mum Susan. “From the age of two Lewis danced around the house. He has always listened to music.”

It will be a hard task ahead but Lewis is looking forward to it. He will be allowed to come home for long weekends every three weeks.”

Just this week it was reported in the national press that children are taking up dance lessons with such enthusiasm that it is second in popularity only to football. Many have been spurred on recently by the likes of cricketer Darren Gough who was the first man to win Strictly Come Dancing. Read more…Huge rise in boys taking dance lessons.





    • Hugh
    • Posted April 9, 2009 at 4:56 am
    • Permalink

    This is superb, his parents deserve a great deal of credit here too. The effort required for ballet is incredible and the benefits of even informal training are many. The bodily control, strength, dexterity and balance are beyond what most people can do, even athletes. We need more of this, an appreciation of aesthetics is lacking today.

    • Claud
    • Posted April 15, 2009 at 9:48 pm
    • Permalink

    Lewis Well Done!!

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