Ballet Hoo! index
Countdown to the performance
Programme 1 summary
Programme 2 summary
Programme 3 summary
Programme 4 summary
Meet the BRB team
Meet the participants
What the project has meant to me
A day in the life...
The story of the ballet
How you can get involved with dance
Press and media coverage of the project
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Denzil Peart, the local authority coordinator from Birmingham, is delighted by the impact that Ballet Hoo! has had on his young charges. He emphasises that the effect extends beyond merely learning the pas de deux.
'The thing that's firing them up is the fact they feel there is a common core of youngsters who always come to the classes. To keep up that level of commitment for 18 months is really quite an achievement.'
Denzil admits that with some youngsters 'weíve had to overcome the image problem that ballet is either elitist or cissy. But I'd remind those people that loads of footballers and athletes use ballet techniques.'
The course, Denzil continues, is having a seismic effect on their self-esteem. 'In the end, I don't care whether itís about ballet or not. I want to think these people can move freely between different circumstances.
'Ballet is seen as a white middle-class pursuit, and I don't want my young people to think they canít be part of it. I want them to feel that they have a choice and that they can partake of things that were previously closed to them.'
He carries on that 'ballet helps them to learn about fitness and agility, which is great. It's also showing them that not all learning has to be painful. But ultimately it's about being able freely to enter another world. It could have been rugby or any other activity that demands discipline and that they donít normally do.
'We all tend to live within our own little bubble and when we step out of it, we think "oh my God!" It's good for these youngsters to get out of that bubble, to see other things and to listen to other voices. This project is offering them a view into another world.'