Big Apple beckons for autistic Chester dance student


Staff reporter

AN AUTISTIC dance student is heading for New York.

The lights of Broadway are about to become a reality for dancer James Hobley, a student at The Hammond School, Chester, when he heads to the United States next month.

James, 13, shot to national fame when he reached the finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2010. His success as a dancer is all the more impressive as he is autistic, spending some of his earlier years at a special school.

James, of Redcar, was featured in the line-up of extraordinary performers for Autism’s Got Talent, a showcase at The Mermaid Theatre, London, last May.

At that event he was accompanied by a number of his Hammond classmates who acted as his backing dancers.

James also had the honour of carrying the Olympic Torch through Stockton on Tees in the summer.

Now he is set to appear solo on stage at the Edison Ballroom in Times Square on October 22 – just around the corner from Broadway.

A spokesman for the Hammond School said: “This glittering evening, called “Heroes for Autism”, is a charity event to honour people with autism who have achieved in the arts.

“James will be the only dancer on a programme of singers and musicians, together with a sprinkle of Broadway stars and some broadcasters from American television.
“It won’t all be hard work – James will be given a tour of the Lincoln Centre, home of the New York City Ballet, and will watch class at American Ballet Theatre, where he will see his idol Daniil Simkin, currently one of the world’s top dancers, in action.”
n James Hobley, who is heading for New York.

See full story in the Chester Leader

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