Tom Holland, aka Spider-Man, is a trained ballet dancer who played Billy Elliot on the West End

25 November 2020, 15:08 | Updated: 26 November 2020, 11:36

Tom Holland is a trained ballet dancer who played Billy Elliot on the West End
Tom Holland is a trained ballet dancer who played Billy Elliot on the West End. Picture: YouTube / marian0000007 / Marvel

By Sian Moore

Before he started shooting webs and fighting bad guys, one of Hollywood’s biggest names was an expert ballet dancer who starred in Billy Elliot.

Tom Holland, aka our most recent Spider-Man, is a trained ballet dancer who cut his teeth playing Billy Elliot on the West End stage.

Holland made his debut in the show, which follows a young boy from County Durham who has to hide his love for ballet, in 2008 after choreographer, Lynne Page, spotted him performing with his dance school.

And from the ages of 12 to 14, Tom starred as the lead in Lee Hall’s beloved musical.

Read more: Inspiring hospital staff surprise ballet-loving cancer patient with ‘Swan Lake’ routine >

The actor had first pursued dancing through a hip hop class at the Nifty Feet Dance School in Wimbledon, London, and attended The BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology.

But before his big West End role, Holland had no formal ballet training.

Read more: This video of a Harlem ballet company dancing to Bach will give you goosebumps >

In preparation for his first role in the musical as Billy Elliot’s best friend, Michael, he undertook two years of ballet lessons.

His dancing skills and impressive acrobatics stunned audiences, and bagged him the lead role.

Spiderman actor Tom Holland is actually a trained ballet dancer
Spiderman actor Tom Holland is actually a trained ballet dancer. Picture: Getty

But it wasn’t all plain sailing in the early days of the actor’s dancing.

Speaking to People magazine, the 24-year-old revealed he had to face “harassment from peers” when he was younger.

Read more: MP criticised for saying northerners like football, southerners prefer ballet >

“There was times when I was bullied about dancing and stuff,” he said.

“But you couldn’t hit me hard enough to stop me from doing it.”

He also explained how he was first scouted, telling the media outlet: “They saw potential in me and they started sending dance teachers to my house.”

Read more: 8 pulse-racing videos of male ballet dancers leaping very, very high. >

It was a momentous day for the Internet, when it first found out Holland was an incredibly talented dancer.

It all came out around 2017, when the superhero performed a dance routine to Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ on Comedy Central’s Lip Sync Battle.

Well, now we know he’s had years of ballet training, it’s no wonder he can jeté across all those buildings...