Ballet star brings boogie to West Somerset

DUNCAN Hume and his budding dance stars from Oak Class at All Saints Primary School in Dulverton. PHOTO: Steve Guscott.

DUNCAN Hume and his budding dance stars from Oak Class at All Saints Primary School in Dulverton. PHOTO: Steve Guscott.

First published in News This is The West Country: Photograph of the Author by

A FORMER Royal Ballet star who has travelled the world performing, is getting back to his roots and teaching children how to boogie.

Duncan Hume moved to West Somerset last year to enjoy the peace and quiet after the hustle and bustle of London.

He said: “London is so hectic and I think moving down here was a wise move; it’s nice to have more space.”

As well as teaching classes at the village hall in Luxborough where he now lives, Duncan also teaches a ‘Jitterbugs’ dance and drama session at the West Somerset Leisure Centre in Minehead.

He has recently just started teaching pupils at All Saints Primary School, in Dulverton.

Duncan said: “The dance I do at the school is for groups of students from years 1 to 4.

“It’s absolutely great fun, we do a mix of ballet and street dance; it has a sort of Billy Elliot approach to it.

“They’re great at this age because they’re so energetic and have a lot of potential; they aren’t afraid to try new moves.

“However, their spatial awareness isn’t always so great so that’s what I try and work on.”

Having trained at Rambert and performed in Japan, Germany and the Paris Opera, life in West Somerset must seem quiet, but Duncan has been kept busy.

He said: “I’m 41 years old and, for a dancer, that’s old.

"I started a dance company in London in 2005 and I still do some work with the Royal Ballet, mainly acting when I’m in London but I do love it here.

“I didn’t expect there to be such a positive reaction.”

As well as his classes, Duncan is also choreographing Taunton School’s production of Cats, which will be performed at The Brewhouse in Taunton next month.

Duncan, who is taking part in ‘Movember’, admits that moving here has meant hanging his tights up and opting for a more practical wardrobe.

He said: “My mother’s side of the family originate from Minehead and it’s a lovely part of the country.

"I’m always getting in and out of the car, so it’s not really practical travelling around in tights.”

Suzanne Richards, play and junior activities worker with 1610 in West Somerset, said: “Duncan is a great asset to the area and is very talented at what he does.

“He has been organising a Jitterbugs dance and drama class at West Somerset Sports and Leisure Centre in Minehead which has been a great success with the children as well as the dance class in Dulverton.

“He has so much energy and enthusiasm that he is able to engage the children with dance and make learning fun.

“We are now looking to introduce further dance classes with Duncan at other schools in the area.”

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