Step up to be next Billy Elliot: Boys-only dance project aims to find talent in Edinburgh

MOST young boys would opt for a game of football over ballet dancing – probably for fear of what their friends might think.

But for those brave enough to stand out from the crowd, this weekend could be their chance to shine, as some of the UK's leading dance instructors arrive in the Capital in a search for the nation's most promising movers – perhaps even the next Billy Elliot.

Boys Only! is a dance workshop open to all eight to 18-year-olds, giving boys the chance to see if they have what it takes to make it in the world of ballet and contemporary dance.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The sessions will be held at Dance Base, in the Grassmarket, and are run by professional male dancers from the prestigious Royal Academy of Dance.

The workshops, on both Saturday and Sunday, are a first for Scotland and will culminate in a final performance to a selected audience on Sunday evening.

Teenager Andrew Coleman, below, knows only too well how hard it can be for a young boy to admit that ballet is his passion.

The 14-year-old, from Livingston, has been attending the Central Scotland Ballet School since he was nine, having shown an interest in dance after watching a performance of The Nutcracker – but it is not something he is keen to shout from the rooftops.

He said: "I cannot remember where I saw the show, but I remember thinking I wanted to try dancing.

"So, I asked my mum and she found out about the school.

"I do have to be careful about who I tell though – some people just don't like the idea of it, do they?"

This week Andrew is staring in Billy Elliot, staged at Linlithgow Academy, where he is playing the role of the older Billy, having been too tall to be the character in his early days.

He is an accomplished dancer who enjoys not only ballet, but jazz, hip-hop and tap, with hopes for a career on the stage once he has finished school.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: "I wasn't picked on too much for wanting to dance and I would tell any young boy to give it a go. If it is what they want to do they should go for it.

"My first couple of lessons were quite hard, but the more I got used to it, I couldn't stop. It's one of the best feelings, to be on the stage."

For more information on Boys Only! contact 0207-326 8025 or click here to email