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Tyler Carey, 10, Royal Ballet 2009A young ballet dancer from Norfolk will perform alongside ballet’s biggest stars at the Royal Opera House this winter – after less than two years of dancing lessons.

While most young dancers can only dream of being a ballet dancer on the world’s stage, 10-year-old Tyler Carey was picked from dozens of young hopefuls to join the ballet elite in a production of The Sleeping Beauty.

Last year, Tyler was made a Junior Associate of the prestigious Royal Ballet School after just one year of lessons.

He was invited to London to audition for a part in The Sleeping Beauty last week and later this year will play a king’s page.

“I watched all these shows and wanted to be in them so I started to do some jazz and tap, and then ballet,” said Tyler, from West Winch, near King’s Lynn. You have to be quite strong to be a ballet dancer and you have to jump high.”

Tyler, a pupil at Middleton VC Primary School, said rehearsals with the Royal Ballet would be “really, really technical” and he was currently learning to do the splits.

He added that one of his favourite dances to perform was a Blues Brothers routine with his twin brother, Finn, who goes to jazz and tap lessons.

Penny Cooke, who teaches Tyler at Watlington School of Dancing, said it was the first time that one of her pupils had appeared at the Royal Opera House. “To be able to have this opportunity to be on the Royal Opera House stage at his age and mix with the stars of the company is brilliant. It is rare and he does have a talent. He’s responding very well to the extra teaching and making progress.”

As an associate, Tyler trains with the Royal Ballet School every fortnight at their studio in Covent Garden, as well as several lessons a week with Mrs Cooke.

Like the famous ballet dancer of film and literature, Billy Elliot, Tyler is the only boy in his ballet class.

Tyler gets lots of support from his parents and his mum Tracey Carey said she was proud of her son’s achievements. “He works very hard and sometimes, if there’s a weekend where there’s a party, Finn will go but Tyler knows he has to go down to London to train,” she said.

In January, Tyler will audition to keep his place as an associate of the Royal Ballet School and from there he could be accepted into White Lodge, a boarding school for young dancers.

Copyright © 2009 Archant Regional Ltd


Related article: Ballet dream comes true for Norfolk’s Billy Elliott


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