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By Frances Loates
Families Upon Thames Magazine


Some people, it seems, are simply born to dance and young Joshua Webb, aged 9, from Hinchley Wood could not fight the impulse from the moment he took his first step. As Mum Fleur says, ‘It’s simply in his soul’. She noticed his advanced musicality and sense of rhythm when, aged 2 he was drawn irresistibly to music and responded by exuberantly skipping and dancing around the house.

His family was amused yet perplexed; the youngest of three boys, Joshua was growing up in a fiercely macho household. When Dad, a Chelsea-supporting Eastender and all round ‘man’s man’, not to mention his two big brothers saw the way that dance was rapidly becoming Joshua’s raison d’etre they were initially, to use Fleur’s word, ‘mortified’. In actual fact their attitude did Joshua the biggest favour ever in that it prepared him for the adverse reaction which he was to encounter as his life became increasingly devoted to dance.

Thankfully Joshua, a quirky, determined and unusual character was not put off and the age of four he was begging his parents to let him start ballet classes which he did with the Margaret Barnes School of Dancing, based in Surbiton. From then on there was simply no stopping him. He currently attends ballet classes three times a week, as well as an hour of Jazz, an hour of Gym and two hours once a month at Arts Ed School.

Inevitably over the years Joshua has faced unkind remarks and bullying about his passion but, toughened up by the reaction at home, he has leant to cope with it by flaunting his love of dance at all times. As Fleur told us, ‘he now hangs his ballet shoe key ring on his school bag and faces the music! I believe Joshua is a wonderful role model for any young boy wishing to follow their dream. He does not let other people’s opinions stop him from doing what is important to him, yet he is so young.’

Still only 9 years old, Joshua is currently preparing for his RAD Grade 3 Exams. His talent, drive and dedication seem to be leading him to achieve his ultimate goals – to join the Royal Ballet and become a famous dancer. Joshua was recently in a production of ‘Oliver’ run by Stagecoach Theatre Arts at Leatherhead theatre (see picture). Mum was pleased to report back, ‘His Dad sat in the audience and cried emotional buckets of tears as he watched his young son dance in front of so many people. He was the proudest man in the room, how the tables have turned!’

Margaret Barnes School Of Dancing – 020 8390 1953

Stagecoach Theatre Arts – check for your local school. All Boys’ Ballet Company – 01932 256206 

–Published by Families Upon Thames Magazine–

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