DARCEY BUSSELL BALLET IS NO LONGER STRICTLY FOR THE GIRLS

Former Royal Ballet star Darcey Bussell has long seen the pointe of dance. And now, says the Strictly Come Dancing judge, more boys are, too. Speaking ahead of last weekend’s final, in which The Wanted’s Jay McGuiness (left, with partner Aliona Vilani) fought for the title, the ex-ballerina (right) said growing numbers of boys were taking tip the discipline as a result of die show’s success, as well as that of hit dance film and West End show Billy Elliot.

I was told by the director of the Royal Ballet School that they are getting more applications for boys than for girls, she said. The problem now is that we’re not producing enough women.

Ballet has also gone through a 180 degree torn since she learnt to dance in the 1980s, she said. Every dance school I went to there was only ever one little boy.

Post-ballet, Darcey’s career has grown in leaps and bounds. As well as the Strictly Christmas special, she will also be on our screens on Christmas Day presenting the BBC2 documentary Darcey’s Ballet Heroes, in which she meets the talented boys and men credited with putting male dancers in the spotlight.

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