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By Ruth Lawson
The Journal
November 16, 2011

 

The North East’s real-life Billy Elliot has made his dazzling professional debut after being talent-spotted by some of the country’s top ballerinas. Aidan Rowan’s twinkle toes are being showcased in a series of sellout shows at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal this week as he joins the Northern Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.

The 13-year-old from Sunderland was scouted by the company earlier this year and now attends their acclaimed dance school in Leeds.

Last night, he was accompanied by 23 other young dancers from three top schools from around the region during the first performance in a five-night run.

And the young star, who attends the Kathleen Knox School of Dance in Sunderland, said he was delighted to make his first foray into professional dance.

He said: “It feels really good especially with it being with the Northern Ballet.”

The Thornhill School pupil has been honing his skills as a dancer since he first signed up to classes with his nine-year-old sister Fay, six years ago. “My mum saw a poster for the ballet school so I went along and ever since I’ve been hooked.

“When I first started it was quite hard but the longer I’ve done it the easier it is. As soon as I started dancing I knew I wanted to do it as a career. I want to travel the world doing professional ballet.”

Aidan was snapped up by the Northern Ballet’s prestigious dance school after impressing the professionals with his natural ability and began classes in September.

He said: “I went to a boys’ only course run by the Royal Academy of Dance and the academy leader spotted me and I had to do a private audition for the Northern Ballet. I was quite nervous, but I think I’m progressing a lot now.”

Aidan and the other young dancers have taken the rolls of ‘the mice’ and ‘the party children’ in the production. The group of budding young dancers come from the Elaine Milbourne Theatre Dance School in Throckley, Newcastle, the Hazel Rayson Dance School in Ryton, Gateshead, and Sunderland’s Kathleen Knox School of Dance.

Mrs Knox spotted Aidan’s talent from the beginning and said it was a proud moment seeing him and other youngsters from her school perform.

She said: “He’s been doing so well and it’s lovely to have the boys interested. He joined up when he was seven and I could see his potential, particularly in ballet. Performing with the Northern Ballet is excellent and fantastic experience for all of them.”

Copyright 2011 ncjMedia Limited

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