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From a parent>>
Thank you!>>
Boys and dance>>
You and dance>>
yd reviews>>

If you would like to send us a review of a dance performance you have seen, email us at young-dancers@istd.org













From a parent
I was surfing the web and clicked on your site for the first time in a year and noticed that my last email about my daughter Sarah is still on your site. I thought that your readers may like to have an update on her progress. She had rods put into her back to correct Scoliosis when she was 16.

She has now completed a whole year at London Studio Centre and has had no problems with her back. I am not saying it has not ached, but then every other dancer at the college has complained of aches and pains, especially in the initial months when everyone was getting used to dancing 4 hours a day at such a high level. She has loved her year and is now home trying to earn some money during the summer break. She is going to the gym every day to try to keep up fitness levels.

We were so proud to watch her in the college end of year show 'Dance Overature', and especially loved the Lindy Hop/Rock'n'roll dance she performed in the show. You could not get more tiring than that one.

So anyone in the same situation as Sarah, just take heart and remember it does not have to be the end of the world. Because of her problems in the past with her back she has become very interested in a possible career in physiotheraphy after her dancing career is over.

Suzanne Evans

My daughter took part in Coppelia, a show ran by the English Youth Ballet Company, ran by Janet Lewis. She was 16 yrs at the time and enjoyed the show enormously, as well as gaining valuable training. Just 4 days after performing in this ballet she had to have a major spinal operation to cure Scoliosis. Taking part in the show enabled her to forget the operation coming up. She had a great time meeting other dancers as well as learning. This disease is very common among teenagers and particularly dancers who are extremely flexible. It involved the insertion of rods in her back to straighten it. Because she was so very fit she recovered within 6 months of the operation and was back taking her Tap exam a week after returning to dancing.

I am writing this for two reasons. One is to recommend taking part in the English Youth Ballet Company should they come to your area. The other is to encourage any dancer who may have to face an operation similar to my daughter's. You will get through it. Medical advancements mean that most people get back to full fitness. My daughter is now 18 and has just passed her driving test and won a place at the London Studio Centre to study a BA Hons in Musical Dance.

Suzanne Evans

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Thank you!
Hi, I think that your site is great. I have been dancing for 11 years now and I love it and being able to look at your site and read about similar experiences I've had is really cool. I really want to carry on dancing and eventually be known for it. I myself think I am the best at Tap so hopefully you will see me tapping on telly in the future.


Hi! I've been doing ballet since I was 4. Now I do modern and contempory as well. I never believed I was good enough for something as challenging as dance. YOUNG-DANCERS SHOWED ME I CAN MAKE IT AND FOR THIS I THANK EVERYONE WHO HELPED MAKE THIS SITE! There will always be someone that has more amazing extensions than yours. There will always be someone who has more flexible insteps. There will always be someone that has better turn out: BUT A REAL DANCER HAS A CERTAIN CHARISMA THAT JUST CAN'T BE IGNORED! Everybody has their own irresistable style. You just need to find it. Oh yeah....and always point your toes! Thanks!

Alexia, age 14

Hi, I've been dancing since I was 6 and I love it. I've been on loads of dance websites before and they're just to do with different types of shoe and news of performers, but this site isn't, it's really good! The article on stretching was really helpful because I've injured myself before and I didn't realise how important warming-up was to stop you from damaging yourself. Thanks for making the website!

Sorrel, age 15

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Boys and dance
I am a young Ballroom and Latin American dancer and have been having an terrible time trying to find a boy partner for competition dancing! I have been dancing for six years and still havent found one! I think more boys should see that dancing is fun and keeps you fit, just the same as football or rugby. I hate how boys see dancing as 'stupid' when they haven't even tried it themselves. I applaud all young boys who dance and wish more boys would see what there missing!

Joanne, aged 16

I think there is absoloutly nothing wrong with boys dancing! I have a friend who dances and he's a boy. He used to get teased, but I admired him because he ignored them and they eventually got bored. They now all except it! I told them they might not realise but some of the best footballers in the world had to take a dance lesson. It helps them with their football. Dancing makes people very strong! My friend is one of the strongest boys I know, and I felt so happy for him when he beat one of the most atheletic boys in our school in a sprint race. All the dancing paid off and he proved that dancing is not girly! Anone can do it! It's meant for Both Girls and Boys. It's like saying football is a boys sport. It's not! Boys accept that but why can't they except that about dancing as well. I'm so happy that my friend has carried on with his dancing, he's so great at it and he didn't let anyone put him down! He's an inspiration to me!


I started to dance at the age of about 9/10. I’m now seventeen and taking my first student teaching exam in August, I’ve never looked back. I love the classes so much I help at the classes for the younger children. It’s good to be at my dance school as there are no boys apart from me. I prefer dancing to a lot of sport apart from rugby, which is ace. Just because the world does not like you to dance because it is feminine. Well guess what it is not. How many lads can get that close to a lady? Well not many unless you dance. It’s a great way to keep fit and get the heart pumping. I help at adult classes as well and the adults love it. It’s a great way to get to meet people have fun exercise and in the modern world it’s a great way to tell the government that alot of children aren’t obese. You may think you cant dance at first but it takes a few hours a week to grasp the basics and get on the exam ladder. Now with the QCA you end up with a “Qualification” so it helps to get into colleges and further education. So come on lads get on the floor have a laugh and you never know you may find the Girl of Your Dreams.

Alastair Stewart

I've been dancing for 7 yrs now, and enjoy it as much as I ever did! I dance Ballroom and Latin, which is super. Although some people might think it was a bit old fashioned for my age, I don't care. I really wish that more boys would overcome this problem as well. It would be super to have some guys to dance with, and I'm sure they'd enjoy it as well! So, please guys overcome those stupid comments, and start dancing!!!


Hi! I think that there's nothing wrong with boys dancing. I have a friend who is a lad and is at the Royal. I think people who say it's for girls ought to look at them selves and think what they are doing with their lives. My friend is a really good dancer and people are proud of him for who he is and what he does but he has also been bullied about it. I would love to join him in London one day.

Laura Cowan

Hi! Even though I am a girl I think that people shouldn't dis boys that dance coz we all have the same opportunity to be a dancer and I think that it's gr8 that boys will do it. And for all other people know they cud be really good dancers, coz 1 at my dance school is good. And I want to be a professional dancer and I think it's good that boys do too.

Lauren Byrne

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You and Dance
Hi, my name is Christina Reyes, I am 13 years old. I am currently the 2004 World Salsa Champion in the teen category and the Puerto Rico 2004 National Champion for the same category. In 2002 I also won the World Salsa open but in the childrens category.

I have had the honor to dance at the West Coast, Los Angeles Salsa Congress (2004), Houston Salsa Congress (2004), the first Casino and Salsa Congress in Caracas, Venezuela this past December and in February I will be attending the Chicago Salsa Congress, where I'll be performing with my partner Juan Luis Ojeda, representing Puerto Rico.

My mom and I just found your website, and we wanted to tell you that we liked it very much. Congratulations and thanks for thinking of the children dancers.

Christina Reyes

Hi! My name is Amy Coring and I have been doing dancing for 5 years! I love it! I do festivals and attended exam classes! Ithink your website is good it gives dancers the freedom to look at there own pace and enjoy dancing! Well I just thought I'd email you andtell you how good the website is.

Amy Coring

I think young dancers should be able to start by without paying until they make it in the dancing career. Why I think this is because I'm a dancer myself and I would be so grateful if I could make it out there but I can't because I don't have the money and I have had a lot of experience with dancing. I have been dancing since I 've been 2yrs old. I also think that when kids like me want to make it out there big most kids can't try to make it big if you have to pay for this and that is my thought.

Danette Hopkinsbey

Hi, I think your site is great! I have been dancing since I was two and I have fallen in love with it. I go to Whittikers Dance and Drama Centre in Blackpool, we are doing a dance show in February. I am really enjoying the rehersals. I auditioned for the Royal Ballet School last year and didn't get in. Can I say if anyone is like me they should re-audition because I am. Never give up, you can do something you really want to.

Emma Swallow, age 12

Hey. My name is Jen and I started dancing last year. I'm 13 years old and I'm in 8th grade. I dance at my commuity center thats a few blocks from my house. I never knew that they had dance classes there or I would have started when I was a little girl. Ever since I started dance classes, it has kept me out of trouble and it has got me in shape a little more. Also, I like to perform in front of family and friends. I have also starred in 2 plays. 1 for a high school when I was in 5th grade and 1 for my school in 6th grade. ever since I have joined Hip Hop dance class, I have met alot of new people and have had alot of fun. My very 1st recital is coming up next may and im nervous because not only am I doing Hip Hop but I'm doing gymnastics and cheerleading. I also hope that by the time I get to high school, I will be great at try-outs for poms and make the team. I think everyone should dance becasue its fun and gets you in shape!

Jen from Illinois

Exams are FANTASTIC!!!!!!! I really do enjoy them!! Sure, I get nervous the day or two beforehand-dosen't everyone- but on the morning-if it's an afternoon exam- I do an hour's practice, then for a full hour before I go, I do a relaxation/meditation exercise, and breathe all the confidence and self-belief I have into my body. I keep doing this all the way to the ballet centre, then, if I have to wait a while (which I normally do!) I give myself a long stretch, and pace up and down-not nervously, but this helps to get the blood flowing! I also talk to myself- "Relax, you're here to enjoy yourself"-that sort of thing! It's really only after the warm-up that I start to get antsy. I sit down in a chair, but I fidget and tap my feet repeatedly! Finally, I'm called! All my nerves float away, and I settle down and REALLY enjoy the dance!

Christy Greer

Hi, my name is Kate and I can't actually believe how much dancing means to me. I can guarantee you that if you asked me what I was thinking about at any time in the day, it would be dance, or going over a routine, or even my career and how to get there. I love dancing so much and will do ANYTHING to be a professional dancer when I'm older, and I will be. So anyone out there who wants to be a dancer when you're older, you can do it - best of luck!


Hi, my name's Michelle, an I've been dancing since I was about 4, I really enjoy it, but about 4 months ago my legs decided to play up and I've been on crutches ever since. I did Tap, Ballet and Jazz, and I really miss it, esp Jazz! I'm hoping to go back when my legs are better! =) c ya. x x x


I have only been dancing for two years this coming September. However I managed to get into a full time ballet school on a full scholorship. Now I know I can do anything! So the message here is this: anyone out there who thinks it may be too late to start dancing, you're wrong. I started ballet when I was 12 and I caught up through sheer hard work and wanting. And if I can so can you, so never give up on your dreams because if you want something enough and you're prepered to work it will happen.

Jade, age 14

I have been dancing 7yrs now and it's become my life. I've always found more comfort and company in dance than I ever have in other people. I belong in dance, in a way I never thought I'd ever belong, like it completes the missing piece of my life. Dance will always be everything to me, a world without dance would not be a world worth living in. I'm so pleased I found this website, where we, the nxt generation of dancers, have a place to voice our passion for dance and access our route foward into a career. I hope anybody out there who knows exactly wot I'm on about will achieve their ambition.

Suz, London, age 16

Hello, my name is Sarah and I am very interested in the world of dance. My eldest brother has gone through the Royal Ballet School and is now in the Upper School, and my brother younger than me has just started at the Royal Ballet School. My youngest is auditioning very soon for Junior Assosiates with the Royal, and I dance at Linda Shipton's School of Dance. I love to read about dancers and how the world evolves around it and I find your site very interesting and fun to look at. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to look at this fantastic site.


I love dancing - especially ballet. When I dance, I feel I can let my emotions out. I also enjoy it because when I have finished my class, I feel refreshed and healthy. People say that proffesional dancers are fitter than footballers - and I can see how! After every lesson I need to take a bottle of water to drink as I get so thirsty. I also have to stretch as well because then when I do exercises like devlope then I can get my legs higher. Ballet is great fun and I would hate to give it up.

Christabel, age 13

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yd reviews
Jen, age 15, has sent young-dancers her review of a recent performance of Cats

The famous and world-renowned musical, 'Cats' recently visited my local theatre. At the first opportunity in which I was given, I went to buy tickets. However, because of the such high prices I was seated right at the top of the theatre. Overall, the show was very good. However, it didn't quite meet the standards that I seemed to have already set for it. I was confused with the storyline at times, and it didn't really have a firm plot to the show although the dancing and singing was magnificent with a very talented cast. The music used throughout the show was also suberb. However, I did feel that because of where I was seated, I missed out on several parts of the musical. At several points the 'cats' would enter the audience, and I could not even see this aspect. Although the sets were great, and seemed really life like, I felt that the size of the theatre made the performance slightly lacking. I really wish that I had seen the musical in all of its glory in the west end and had sat in the stalls. Overall it was an enjoyment to watch, and was worthwhile seeing. The dancing is absolutly magnificant, and as the company is travelling around the country, if it happens to come to your area, I recommend seeing it.


Jenny (age 15) from Surrey went to see the Northern Ballet Theatre at the New Victoria Theatre and has written a fabulous review!

Northern Ballet Theatre
Romeo and Juliet

Wow! The Northern Ballet Theatre recently visted my area and after hearing reports about the amazing show of Romeo and Juliet in the newspaper, I persuaded my mum to take me along to watch it. I love dancing and have been doing it for the last 12 years, however, ballet is not one of my strongest points, but I longed to see ballet performed by professionals. I initially thought I would be confused with the storyline, but with the magnificant dancing and costumes, I was thoroughly surprised. I have seen a wide variety of shows within the theatre in the past, but I have to say that this was one of the best. The ballet was so elegant and inspiring that it has made me think a lot more carefully about focusing on ballet in the future. If the Northern Ballet Theatre happen to come to an area near you in the future, I recommend going to see them. The dancing was amazing and the magnificent music brought the show to life. It was a passsionate and heart-renching show which truely touched me.


Charlotte Carter (age 15) went to see Lyon Opera Ballet perform when she won tickets in a young-dancers.org competition. She has sent us the following review.

Lyon Opera Ballet

I had a wonderful opportunity to go and see Lyon Opera Ballet perform their version of Cinderella on Tuesday 18th February thanks to young-dancers.org. I jumped at the chance to see this company at Sadler's Wells, London.

The cast, led by Ksenia Kastalskaia as Cinderella, performed an exciting and enjoyable show with a hint of comedy and spookiness to it! The costumes had been designed personally and each dancer looked stunning. The Prince, performed by Andrew Boddington, had an elaborate blue wig and each dancer wore a china doll mask, which hid their true identity, putting a hint of mysteriousness into the performance. The main characters wore fairy lights, which had a wonderful effect when the lighting was changed. The story had been modernised with all the sound effects and costumes but was still every bit the classic we know.

Going to Sadler's Wells was a huge experience for me. Living in Devon, I travelled on the day of the performance. I was so excited having this chance. Sadler's Wells was modern and vast and even had a gift shop full of Ballet merchandise that allowed me to pick up my souvenirs!

But the reason you are all reading this is to find out about the dancing. It was spectacular, there was Ballet and Contemporary and the dancers did such a good job wearing masks and most were wearing body suits. The dancers portrayed their characters exactly. The ugly sisters were scary, the Prince was charming and Cinderella was beautiful. The dance was synchronised perfectly, some went en pointe and this was done with elegance and class.

The company performed the show so wonderfully, I was able to follow the whole story and I noticed all ages were in the audience. At the end the dancers revealed their faces to show their true identity and we got to congratulate them with rounds and rounds of applause. They were truly spectacular. I recommend next time you see 'Lyon Opera Ballet', you must get tickets!

Charlotte Carter

Ruth Draisey (age 14) from West Yorkshire has sent young-dancers.org a review of the Northern Ballet Theatre's production of Beauty and the Beast at the Leeds Grand Theatre.


The Northen Ballet Theatre have lived up to their reputation in this enchanting tale full of flying fish, faries and fireworks. Some fine dancing perfomances from the principles and the corps de ballet combined with imaginative costumes throughout. Particularly notable performances from Simon Kidd as the Beast and Charlotte Talbot as the good fairy. However, not only ballet language was used to tell the story as we were treated to a silent movie style narration at the beginning of each act. An ideal ballet for beginners and experienced ballet enthusiasts alike. The Northen Ballet Theatre's own live ochestra brought to life the ingenious score by several famous composers including Bizet, Debussy, Dukas and Massenet. A disney-esque style with a slightly contemporary slant explains why the Nothern Ballet label themselves as the Northen Ballet Theatre. Credit to the Northern Ballet Theatre for taking a less than traditional approch to ballet in this year's festive season.

Ruth Draisey

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If you would like to send us a review of a dance performance you have seen, email us at young-dancers@istd.org