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Alfie realises Billy Elliot dream with Royal Ballet role



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Alfie Rogers will appear in Royal Ballet's production of Sleeping Beauty. Pic: Chris Zuidyk
Alfie Rogers will appear in Royal Ballet's production of Sleeping Beauty. Pic: Chris Zuidyk

CHRISTCHURCH will have its own real-life Billy Elliot story when a nine-year-old makes his stage debut in London to perform with the Royal Ballet company.

Alfie Rogers has been selected to appear in the Christmas production of Sleeping Beauty at Covent Garden.

“It’s a dream come true – bring it on,” said Alfie, who goes to Bournemouth’s Jamie-Lee Dance Academy.

“I still can’t believe this has happened to me and I will actually get to appear on such a beautiful stage in London and share my passion for dance with hundreds of people watching.”

Alfie has been likened to Billy Elliot, the film character played by Jamie Bell who made it to the Royal Ballet School and eventually took the lead in Swan Lake – also at Covent Garden.

Mum Lucy said: “Alfie decided he wanted to ‘click-clack’ – tap dance – after watching the musical Billy Elliot at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre in 2017.

“His godfather Dan got him a pair of tap shoes and we looked at local dance schools, choosing Jamie-Lee’s Dance Academy as they offered a combined ballet and tap class.

“Once there, however, he immediately discovered a passion for ballet.”

Alfie has been doing ballet since 2017. Pic: Chris Zuidyk
Alfie has been doing ballet since 2017. Pic: Chris Zuidyk

Just a year later, he was picked to join the Royal Ballet School junior associate programme, where he attends ballet classes in London every week.

He is currently in rehearsals for the production which runs with a team of performers from 7th November to mid-January next year.

His biggest wish is to be selected for the 16th January show which will be relayed live around the country, with a screening later at his local theatre, the Regent Centre in Christchurch.

The Regent will be showing a recording on Sunday 26th January 2020 which means that Alfie will get to see himself dancing on the big screen.

Just like Billy Elliot, it has not always been easy for Alfie who has been picked on and ridiculed for preferring ballet over football.

To encourage him to keep dancing, his mother wrote to British choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne, who invited Alfie to see his all-male contemporary dance company perform Swan Lake when it came to Southampton earlier this year.

Alfie’s dance teacher, Jamie-Lee Mason, said: “I am so proud of Alfie – he came to me having had no dance training whatsoever and now, only two years later, he is performing with one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world.”

Mum Lucy added: “Fingers, or should I say toes, crossed.”



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