Blog post

Ronnie Scooby Bates

I have loved to perform for as long as I can remember and attended a weekend theatre arts school from 4 years old. It soon became clear that my talents were best suited to dance and I took up ballet when I was 8, where I was the only boy in the class. I quickly worked my way through the grades achieving distinctions in all of my exams. A year later I successfully auditioned for productions of Swan Lake with the English Youth Ballet, Rapunzel with balletLorent and Snow White with the London Children’s Ballet.

My passion for ballet just grew, and I knew it was what I was meant to do, so with the backing of my family, I applied to join Elmhurst Ballet School associated with The Birmingham Royal Ballet. Prior to my final audition, I became seriously ill and spent a month in hospital following surgery on my lungs to remove a large cyst. Despite my parents' concerns, I was determined to attend the audition and a week after leaving the hospital I took my place at the barre with the other hopefuls.

It was an amazing feeling to receive my scholarship letter a few weeks later and although leaving home at 11 was terrifying I was so excited to take the next step on my ballet journey. I am now in my fourth year of training and am learning so much every day. It is hard – we work from 8 am to 6 pm, but it is worth every sacrifice to receive such amazing training. During this time I was chosen to perform with the Birmingham Royal Ballet in their production of The Nutcracker.

My favourite styles of dance are classical and contemporary ballet, and my favourite choreographer is Wayne McGregor. He is such an inspiration to me as I love to choreograph routines for myself and others. I also admire the work of Matthew Bourne and Pina Bausch.

My family have always been incredibly supportive and understanding. I know they have sacrificed a lot for me to follow my dream and I am always grateful for their help and guidance.

My ultimate goal is to join a leading ballet company and dance all over the world, and I will keep working hard to make the most of my talent to achieve my ambition. I cannot imagine my life without dance and would encourage all other boys who dance to follow their dream.