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By Richard Catton
The Press
June 27, 2009


William Mitchell, eight, shows his ballet skills to his family , 2009He gave up football lessons to take up dancing and now an eight-year old York boy has won himself a place at one of the world’s most prestigious ballet schools.

Real-life Billy Elliot William Mitchell was just four when he decided to enroll at a local dance school, but this week he received the letter he had been hoping to get for months and has been offered a place at the Royal Ballet School.

His proud mother, Joanne, said he came to ask if he could go to dance lessons after seeing her god-daughter take up ballet.

The auditions, which took place in April, saw the youngster from Fulford beat 400 other hopefuls to take one of just 14 places. Mrs Mitchell said: “He did the audition in April and we have just got the letter to say he has got a place.

He will be going to Leeds every Saturday for training. When he gets to 10 years old he will audition again and if he gets through that he will go to White Lodge, the Royal Ballet School in London.

“He took it all in his stride. He just went in, then came out saying how good it was.”

William owes much of his success to his dance teacher, Jane Freeman of the Jane Ann Academy, who said she was not surprised to hear he had won a place at the school. She said: “He has been with me for about four years now and gave up his football to join and has never looked back since. He is absolutely excellent and a real gymnast, too, which has helped him. It’s not just showing you can do ballet, it’s all about the structure – but he has that. I’m not surprised he got through because he has a lot going for him. He has a lot of personality and they have seen that he is good.”William Mitchell gave up football for ballet, 2009

William himself is taking the success in his stride. “I’m pleased with the audition but I wasn’t going to go because I didn’t think I was going to get through,” he said. “When the letter came I was very surprised.”


© 2009 Associated Content, Inc.

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