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Ballet is just as tough as any sport says Cheltenham dancer James Tibbles

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 08, 2013

  • TOUGH EXERCISE: James Tibbles, from Charlton Kings, in training

Comments (7)

BALLET is perhaps not every boy's pursuit of choice.

But for 16-year-old James Tibbles, from Charlton Kings, it is something which requires just as much passion as dedication.

The Balcarras School sixth form pupil has been practising ballet at Corraine Collins dance studios since he was 13. And with the Balletboyz coming to the Everyman Theatre tonight for a one-night performance, James admitted that his love of ballet had started with a love of theatre too.

He said: "Originally I wanted to get into musical theatre, and I thought ballet would give me a good grounding for any type of dance I might have to do in the future.

"I've always been interested in the performing arts and going to lots of shows, and most performances have really good dancers.

"I had just gone to see Lion King at school, and thought I wanted to start to learn dancing, so I approached Corraine.

"The last few years have been really good, and I have seen massive improvement since I started.

"I've moved up the grades really quickly and I'm now doing some intermediate dancing."

He insisted the stereotype of boys doing ballet was something that was misunderstood.

He said: "I do think it's an unusual hobby for boys, but it should be encouraged because it is really tough exercise.

"It's great for developing core strength, and you have to be strong in order to do ballet.

"It was really different, and the first thing I realised was how strong you had to be and how much you had to train to get there."

James is planning to continue his interest at university level.

His teacher, Corraine Collins, who has eight male students in her 300-strong school, said James had come on in leaps and bounds and had a bright future ahead.

She added: "When James first came to us he was just a young lad who was quite interested in training in dance. We normally get little boys coming to us, when they follow their sisters to classes, but James was different. He came to us because he had an active interest in ballet, and although he started late, he has done really well."

Balletboyz are a London-based dance company comprised entirely of male dancers.

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  • FreeRadical1  |  February 09 2013, 3:47PM

    "Ballet is hard, rugby is tough". Is there some distinction that I'm missing? Rugby players tend to be much bigger than ballet dancers, but I bet that, pound for pound, they are of equal toughness.

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  • millie_molar  |  February 09 2013, 2:57PM

    My son does ballet, along with tap, modern and jazz and he loves it. It was his decision to start at 3, no older sibling to follow, but he is still doing it at 11 with no intention of stopping. He has proved he is stronger, fitter and more flexible than the rest of the boys in his class during conditioning lessons as part of their PE, when the rest are struggling he finds it easy. He also plays Rugby, Swims and does Gymnastics but dancing is his first love. He has to work twice as hard as the girls due to the fact he has different steps to learn and he doesn't get as much teaching time as the girls, he has to jump higher than the girls and his moves must be more powerful. But he puts the hours in, tries hard and does well in his exams and we will support him wherever he wants to take it.

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  • Alfredo_  |  February 09 2013, 8:39AM

    Salvo - indeed. However, ballet is hard, rugby is tough.

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  • Salvo2304  |  February 08 2013, 4:02PM


  • Salvo2304  |  February 08 2013, 4:00PM

    Alfredo_ How about have some rugby players full off some of the moves he does! swings and roundabout my dear friend!

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  • Alfredo_  |  February 08 2013, 2:47PM

    I have no doubt that ballet is hard, but let's see him in the front row of a scrum!

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  • Hubert1841  |  February 08 2013, 12:12PM

    Good for you, young man. Best luck and wishes for the performance tonight.

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