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Real Stories: Black British male ballet dancer makes history

Tonight we meet two dancers who are breaking down barriers in the world of ballet Photo: REAL STORIES/ITV

Tonight on Real Stories we follow two male ballet dancers as they chase their dreams of becoming the real life Billy Elliot.

The first part of our story features 22-year-old Solomon, who is making history as the first black British male dancer at The Royal Ballet, one of the world’s most prestigious companies.

The Tottenham born dancer fell in love with ballet at the age of ten and credits the film Billy Elliot as his inspiration.

“I’d seen and it really kind of resonated with me, the whole working class thing and this boy wanting to do ballet in a classroom of girls, I was just blown away by it so that was the moment when I was like, ballet is what I am going to do.”

– Solomon
Credit: Real Stories/ITV

He became a full member of the Royal Ballet company in 2013 - but his journey to the top wasn’t without its struggles - he grew up with many negative comments about his passion to dance.

Tonight, Michael Underwood also visits Tooting in South London, which is home to one of a new generation of ballet dancers.

This is where we meet our second dancer, 11-year-old Destiny, who has always had a desire to perform.

11-year-old Destiny has always had a desire to perform. Credit: Real Stories/ITV

Despite Destiny’s love of dance, he never thought ballet could be for him but his views changed forever when a ballet workshop turned up at his school.

“I thought ballet was boring and just for girls. I didn't really like the idea of walking everywhere on your toes and and wearing a leotard. Then, when I got to know it better I thought it’s for everyone and I really like it.”

– Destiny

Destiny and Solomon are both at different stages in their ballet lives but they both help send a clear message - if you’ve got the talent, you can succeed.

Watch the video below to see what is to come in tonight’s episode of Real Stories.

Don’t miss, Real Stories with Ranvir Singh on ITV at 7:30pm as Michael Underwood follows the dancers breaking down barriers in the world of ballet. Let us know your thoughts using #RealStories on social media.

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