A school like no other – A boys’ ballet school
One year ago JAMES ANTHONY from Swansea began his mission to encourage more boys and young men into the world of ballet and dance
James Anthony, who owns the successful Swansea theatre school, Counterpointe Theatre Arts, which was established 37 years ago, was exposed to the performing arts world from a very young age. His schools have a long history of success, and each year this continues, with more students gaining scholarships and placements within well renowned and prestigious full time performing arts establishments.
Despite many of James’ family being dancers, ballet teachers and performers, he was always too embarrassed as a child to take up his hidden passion of ballet, but soon made up for it in his twenties when he began intensively training towards Intermediate and advanced ballet qualifications with some of London’s most respected and qualified teachers.
Over the last 12 months, James has successfully established the UK’s first ever Boys Ballet School (London Boys Ballet School) which is based in Central London offering classes to boys and young men aged from 4 to 16. A staggering number of boys and young men now attend this unique school and have a full timetable of classes which cover all dance and theatre disciplines up to Advanced Vocational Qualifications.
With new boys enrolling each week and more classes being introduced, this school certainly lives up to its slogan – ‘Be Part of Something Different!’
The school has recently begun to branch out to other areas of the UK with the aim to finally change the unjust and misguided image of boys and men in ballet and dance. James has just opened a South Wales branch, running a class on Saturdays in his hometown of Swansea and is soon to introduce a full range of ‘boys only’ classes to offer focussed male training in the region.
What do people picture when they think about ballet…‘tutus’, ‘pink’, ‘girly’ – That is everything we are not!” says James Anthony
What is interesting to see is how proud these boys are to be at this school and to be learning ballet. Pupils from the full age range arrive wearing their LBBS sweaters, joggers, caps and beanies, looking very cool – this is no ordinary Ballet School!
The concept of LBBS truly has encouraged more boys to take up dance and with the increasing pupil numbers this new and exciting concept is one to watch. Boys need not be the “only boy in the ballet class” and with the support of LBBS and fellow pupils they have a good chance of succeeding in something they love and are proud to be a part of.
“Dance forms such as ballet require a huge amount of strength and discipline and I would challenge anyone who thinks that ballet is just for girls” says James.
It is clear to see that professional male dancers have a tremendous amount of strength and stamina and are extremely athletic in what they can achieve. Mums and Dads of pupils at the London LBBS branch are not only fully supportive but are incredibly proud of their dancing sons. Could this be a sign that the days of ballet and dance being just for girls is finally coming to an end?
Why not bring your son along to see what classes are on offer at LBBS Swansea? They presently have a fantastic offer of 3 Months FREE Boys Ballet Classes, to see if they can encourage those boys who may just be tempted, to come and have a try!
LBBS South Wales branch (Swansea) can be contacted at the details below:
Telephone: 020 7183 3729