A dancer from the new city is following his performing dreams and encouraging other boys who dance to do the same, writes Georgina Butler.
Sean Bates has been a member of Northern Ballet since 2012 and has his sights set on a sparkling career.
He first took dance classes at The Gaynor Cameron School of Dance as a youngster growing up in Giffard Park.
From here, he successfully auditioned for the Royal Ballet School (White Lodge) where he received intensive training, winning prestigious competitions along the way.
Following graduation from the Royal Ballet Upper School, Sean was offered his place as a dancer with Northern Ballet.
He returns to Milton Keynes this month with the Company’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, which opens at Milton Keynes Theatre on Tuesday, May 20.
It follows the romantic antics of a group of dancers in a touring ballet company on one magical night during the 1940s.
He said: “Our ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is a great first ballet if you’ve never seen a ballet before and our regular fans have all said good things about it too.
“People I’ve spoken to who have seen it as their first taste of ballet have said how much they’ve loved it.
“I think it is so great because there is lots of comedy in it and enough of a story to really keep you engaged the whole time.”
As a corps de ballet dancer, 22-year-old Sean dances in the dreamworld scenes in every performance.
However, on Saturday, May 24, he will play Puck in the evening show at MK Theatre.
He reveals: “In one cast, I also get to play Puck, which is a great opportunity as he is such a key role.
“He is involved in most of the story and creates a lot of the romantic mishaps.
“In the first Act he is the fictional ballet company’s ballet master.
“Then, in Act 2, the dream world, he is the fairy creature that gets up to all sorts of mischief!”
With all this talk of dreams – what would be Sean’s dream role?
Sean said: ““My dream role would be a role that is created on me.
“I love the whole creative process and think it would be amazing to have someone use my strengths to make a role that would always have the mark of me.”
And Sean’s advice for boys in Milton Keynes who dance, or would like to dance?
“It is great to be a boy who dances.
“To do well you have to really love it and work hard – and grab every opportunity!”
Northern Ballet’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ opens at Milton Keynes Theatre on Tuesday, May 20, and continues until Saturday, May 24.
Call Milton Keynes Theatre Box Office on 0844 871 7652 or visit www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes to book (booking fee applies).