Life imitates art as young Norwich dancer joins ballet line-up

Ballet is not just for Billy Elliot and girly girls – and conquering a pirouette is not suited only for those who look pretty in pink.

Charlie Dade, a 10-year-old from Hellesdon, is proving both of these statements right.

The Taverham Hall year five pupil has been dancing since he was three years old and is getting ready to waltz on to Norwich's Theatre Royal stage tonight for a performance in Giselle.

But he says that though he enjoys practising in his class where he is the only boy, he admits 'sometimes I feel a little bit left out'.

As he and other dancers with the English Youth Ballet were getting ready for the Theatre Royal show, Charlie said that his lessons at Hellesdon Community Centre on Middleton's Lane make him 'very happy' and 'put a smile on my face'.

And he says any boys thinking about going on tip-toe should 'just give it a try'.

He said: 'It's not just all about girls. Boys and girls can do dancing. And I don't think it matters if you get laughed at in school, it makes me happy.'

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His mum, Samantha Dade, 38, says the dancing practice classes would benefit from more boy ballet dancers.

She contacted the Evening News Facebook site to get more awareness about boys who do ballet.

She said: 'It would be so good to encourage more boys to have at go at ballet. I sometimes meet other mums whose girls are at the dancing class and I say 'bring your sons as well'.

'Male dancers are so strong – but of course Charlie likes the attention from all the other girls.'

Charlie's practice schedule is intense – at least 12 hours at weekends as well as the practices in Hellesdon after school in the week.

His mum says it is something he wants to do for a long time.

And with the family awaiting the outcome of an audition with the London Youth Ballet, his dream could come true.

Have you got an experience you want to share? Contact Rosa McMahon on 01603 772495, email, or log on to the Facebook pages

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