All the world’s a stage for Hartlepool’s Ali Rasul

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THE world’s his oyster for dancer, gymnast, and all-round performer Ali Rasul.

It’s less than three months since the Hartlepool 13-year-old returned from an 18 month stint in which he starred as Billy Elliot at London’s Victoria Palace Theatre.

He performed, mostly to standing ovations, in front of audiences of more than 1,500 people.

He returned home in January and now he is looking to the future with his performing arts school teacher Debbie Barrass saying: “He has been put forward for shows, films, and television.”

He also has dance championships on the horizon in Hartlepool this Easter, and at the Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool in July.

He is also in the middle of practising in a range of genres from tap to ballet, gymnastics to fitness and acrobatics fitness, said Debbie.

It all adds up to a busy time for Ali, who is a student at High Tunstall College of Science.

Proud uncle Saleem Rasul, the legal guardian of Ali, said: “The future looks very positive for him. I know he is going somewhere. He could put Hartlepool on the map.”

Saleem added: “He was the 33rd Billy Elliot and he was voted the best ever. He always got a standing ovation. So many people have applied and he is one of the lucky few who got the part.

“It takes a lot of talent to have got it. He got a lot of positive feedback.”

But Saleem said Ali’s education would be an important part of his future.

Ali said: “Billy Elliot was good experience. I was performing two or three nights a week to 1,560 people. It was great. I don’t get nervous at all.”

Debbie added: “Now he is back, he is doing tap, ballet, gymnastics, acrobatics and fitness with Sam Barrass.”

She said Ali was also learning circus skills for a forthcoming series of performances.

Debbie added: “He has joined our agency and he has been put forward for films and television castings. We have got professionals in working with him all the time.”