“Billy Elliot” Effect: More Boys In Ballet

Female ballet dancers could be at risk of being left behind thanks to the “Billy Elliot effect”, Darcey Bussell (pictured) has suggested, as she claimed dance schools are now inundated with more boys than girls. Bussell, the former ballet principal and Strictly Come Dancing judge, said she had been told the rise of ballet for boys had resulted in the “problem” of “not producing enough women”. Saying the art form has undergone a “180 degree turn” since she was a pupil herself, she attributed its popularity to the success of Billy Elliot and the rising fame of star dancers such as Carlos Acosta and Matthew Bourne’s all-male Swan Lake. “I was told by the director of the Royal Ballet School that they are getting more applications for boys than they are for girls – it’s amazing!” Bussell told the Christmas edition of the Radio Times. Ballet schools in the U.S. report a similar uptick.

Leave a Comment