A real-life Billy Elliot is set to become a professional dancer – years after writing a poem as a youngster revealing he was bullied for his love of ballet.
Talented Callum Rayment, 18, from County Durham like the character Billy, has been awarded a place at a prestigious dance school.
He is hoping the placement, at Laine Theatre Arts school, in Epsom, Surrey, will give him an opportunity to fulfil his dreams of becoming a professional dancer.
But just like Billy Elliot he faced ridicule for his love of dance – and as a youngster wrote a poem describing his passion for ballet and ballroom got him picked on.
The poem ‘My Dream’ described how he wanted to become a pro-dancer but ‘some days, it’s very hard’ because of people ‘calling me names and saying nasty things’.
Callum, from Hartlepool, said: “I was picked on because I danced. I was a boy dancer. But it never put me off doing what I wanted to do.
“Now I am doing a diploma in dance and musical theatre.
“It is my dream. I have wanted to do this ever since I was little. It could open so many doors.”
“It just came out of the blue I fancied starting the odd class and before I knew it was loving doing conceptions and such.
“I knew pretty much after the first year I started dance that it was just something I really enjoy doing and it was a good emotional outlet.
When he was just ten years old, Callum penned a poem about how his heroes weren’t footballers, they were dancers.
It added that he would love to take to the stage as a professional dancer
He described how he often found himself the target of cruel bullies but vowed to prove them all wrong – when they’d one day see him reach fame.
The poem read:
My dream is quite unusual, not many people see
That one day a pro-dancer I’d really like to be
This dance that I like doing is ballroom and Latin style
It makes me feel good inside, so much that I only want to smile
So one day in years to come and pass me by and catch a glance
Just remember when you knew me, all I wanted to do is dance
Some days, its very hard and really quite upsetting
Because some people don’t understand all the fun I’m getting
Calling me names and saying nasty things, doesnt really bother me
Because one day I’ll be a winner and then you all will see
My heroes are not footballers or singers, I dare not even tell
My hero is a brilliant dancer, by the name of Adele.
Callum, who has two brothers Daniel and Ben, hopes that the admission to the esteemed school is a step in the right direction – proving the bullies wrong.
His mum, Janice Rayment, said: “Myself and his brothers are extremely proud of Callum. He has worked so hard to get his dream.
“He is very grateful for all the support he has been given from Manor College, Carol Hammond Studios, Amy Richardson studios and all his friends and family.”
Caroline Cole, the drama department leader at Callum’s school, added: “The good thing about Callum is he works so hard. His work ethic is incredible.”