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Derby Telegraph
Wednesday, May 06, 2009

A 10-YEAR-OLD schoolboy who spends his spare time rehearsing his best ballet moves is hoping to become Derby’s answer to Billy Elliot.

Stephen Lambert has been taking part in dance classes since the age of six and has excelled in a wide variety of styles – including ballet, tap and contemporary. The youngster, who attends Borrow Wood Junior School in Spondon, is already one of the top performers at Derby Dance Academy.

His talent and love of ballet has now secured him a place at the prestigious Hammond School in Chester, where he has been accepted on to one of its dance programmes. Stephen is hoping it will help get him one leap closer to achieving his dream of performing in front of thousands on the West End stage.

He said: “I started dancing after one of the teachers at a stage school I went to told me he thought I would be really good at ballet. I wasn’t sure at first, but I went to have a look at one of the classes and thought it would be fun to give it a go – and I absolutely fell in love with it. It’s hard to describe how it feels when I dance but it’s just amazing. It’s like being on top of the world.”

Stephen, of Harlech Close, Spondon, said one of his biggest inspirations came after seeing the hit film Billy Elliot, in which an 11-year-old boy from a northern mining town wins a place at the Royal Ballet School. It was the similarity between that story and his own that led to Stephen trying out for the title role in a musical production of Billy Elliot in London.

He said: “I went for an audition and, if I’d got the part, I would have gone to a school in Leeds which trains dancers just for Billy Elliot. “I didn’t get the part but I’m not going to give up. My dream is to become a professional ballet dancer and there are other parts I would love to play, like the Prince in Swan Lake.”

Stephen’s love of ballet and dance has been backed by his family, including his grandmother, Jill Johnson, who took him to his first ever class. She said: “Stephen absolutely loves dancing. He lives and breathes it and ever since he started taking classes, he’s been saying that he wants to go to one of the top schools. He used to say to us, ‘when I get into the Royal Ballet School, will I have to get up early in the morning’ and ‘what will I have for breakfast? It’s great to see him have so much passion for it and I really hope he can achieve his dreams.”

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