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by Daniel Mckenzie,
Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News
August 8, 2013

bolshoi_ballet_daniel_dolan_2009[Widnes, England] – Widnes’s dancer extraordinaire Daniel Dolan has made history by becoming only the second British male to graduate from Moscow’s world-famous Bolshoi Ballet Academy.

After four gruelling years at the ‘toughest dance school on Earth’, the 20-year-old, of Glebe Lane, passed his final exams and has since been asked to stay on in Russia for another three years.

The keen Vikings fan, who ditched rugby at an early age to take up ballet, has now set his sights on becoming one of the best dancers in the world.

He said: “I’ve been very lucky to have such an incredible start in dance, foundations from which to build my career. From here on, I’m hoping to continue to improve as much as I can.”

“I want to join the greats of classical dancing, and continue to have the chance to travel, hopefully bringing England back into the limelight, as far as dancing is concerned.

“I am keen to put my own stamp on the sport and prove that a lad from Widnes can be just as good, and maybe one day even better, than incredible performers and role models like Carlos Acosta from Cuba and Ivan Vasiliev from Russia.”

Daniel originally feared he might not be able to take up his place at the academy because of the £15,000-a-year fees. But after the Weekly News featured an appeal for help back in 2009, an anonymous benefactor came forward, and his dream became reality.

He said: “The coaches I have in Russia are the toughest I have ever met but that said, they are also the ones that have shown me what I can achieve. They broke me down mentally and physically and rebuilt me as a stronger dancer and person. “They are less limited in the way they can train us and when they want perfection, they will do their best to get it out of us.

Daniel Dolan 2012 (Photo by Runcorn and Widnes World)“It was a challenge being away from home at first, but dancing was something I had always wanted to do. To become the best you can be at any style of sport you have to be willing to sacrifice a lot.

“This was a sacrifice but my family have all supported me and it has definitely been worth it. Moscow is now like a second home to me.”

Daniel, who is back at home for the summer, says he also hopes to bring classical dancing to the mainstream. He said: “I’d like to be able to introduce it to the masses and change many people’s closed opinions of what I do. I would like to show the athleticism involved and I hope it continues to impress not only in the arts world but the sports world, too.

“I think the general public’s opinion of male dancers is changing, as people start to respect what we do.”

© Copyright 2013 Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales Limited.

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