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BBC News
May 26, 2011

In September an 11-year-old boy from Lincolnshire will become one of the new pupils at the Royal Ballet School in London. Matthew Bates, from Welton near Lincoln, is one of only 12 boys in the country to win a place at the prestigious school.

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Billy would be a song and dance for Matthew
 

This is Lincolnshire
December 10, 2009

A young star from Lincolnshire is performing with the Royal Ballet in London’s Covent Garden. Matthew Bates, 10, has performed alongside principal dancer Carlos Acosta in Sleeping Beauty at the Royal Operate House.

And after being one of five youngsters whittled down from 60 aspiring dancers auditioning for the part of Billy or Michael in Billy Elliot The Musical in Manchester on Saturday, Matt’s family are on tenterhooks to see what else his future holds.

Matt has played the part of the King’s page in Sleeping Beauty last month and has a couple of further appearances on the world renowned stage in the New Year.

Matt is a pupil at St Mary’s Primary School in Welton and began dance lessons with Joanne Haylock of Lincoln’s Joanne Haylock School of Dancing at the age of five.

His mum, Helen Bates, said it was always clear that Matt had a flair for dance. “He’s a funny little thing because he gets nervous about small things but if it’s an audition or he’s on stage he does not bat an eyelid,” said Mrs Bates of Welton.

“When he was little all he ever did was sing and dance. We tried to introduce him to football and cricket but he was never interested. He loves being on stage and has enjoyed meeting stars like Carlos Acosta who is the David Beckham of the ballet world.”

Matt said: “It’s really fun when you first walk on stage and there’s a buzz in your tummy. I think to myself this is where I want to be when I’m older.

“Last year I got bullied a bit at school as they said dancing’s for girls. But I love it.”

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