Our own Billy Elliot is set for the West End
Peterborough's own Billy Elliot has gone from flicking light switches with his feet to performing in the West End.
Felix Brook (10) of Ermine Crescent, Stilton, has followed in the footsteps of the fictional ballet star by defying gender stereotypes to land a part in Little Lord Fauntleroy.
Felix was chosen as one of 60 dancers from around 600 who auditioned for the performance despite only taking up ballet in late 2014.
The Stilton Church of England Primary School pupil was inspired to take up dancing simply by turning off the light with his feet, and after giving ballet a go he soon became hooked by it.
Felix’s mum Sadie said: “He’s always prancing around. We tried lots of things like football and hockey with the school but he did not really enjoy it.
“I can’t remember who suggested it but we said try gymnastics or ballet. He said he can’t do ballet because he’s a boy, but he tried it and his teacher said he has real talent.
“She has taken him under her wing.”
Felix goes four times a week to classes at Tu Danse in Newark Road, Peterborough, where he has been welcomed with open arms and encouragement.
Sadie said: “They’ve been brilliant. Not many boys dance with them.
“It’s given him a focus. In the last year he’s knuckled down at school a bit more. He did get a lot of stick at the beginning from the other boys but he’s really good at it, and he’s feisty.
“We always said we will encourage him and push him while he enjoys it. He says he’s going to dance for ever. I’m massively proud - it makes all the travel worth it.”
And it appears that Felix’s love of dance is not just confined to a ballet class.
Sadie added: “He’s dancing down the aisle of Tesco, on the platform at the train station - he just does not stop, it’s brilliant.
“He’s just our little Billy Elliot. He’s read the book and watched the film a hundred times. He loves it.”
Felix will be on stage at the Peacock Theatre from April 21-24 as he performs for the London Children’s Ballet.
The youngster is very excited to perform live again and, not just content with four days in the West End, he is already looking ahead to a career in ballet.
Felix is booked in for a week at the Royal Ballet School this summer and will soon be applying for a full-time ballet secondary school.
And at the same time, he will continue to show people that ballet is something for both boys and girls.
He said: “Some will be nice about it and some people take the mick.
“At first I cared and got a little bit upset but now I’m not bothered.
“I normally have a show at the dance studio and a couple of my friends came and they really liked it.”