A Bideford man is smashing stereotypes as he continues his emerging career in ballet.

Bayley Webster’s passion for dancing started at the age of seven when he first attended dance school.

In his short career, Bayley has won awards and taken part in professional tours and performances, including touring with Ballet Theatre UK’s production of Sleeping Beauty and appearing in the company’s tenth anniversary gala performance.

Last year he was invited to join the Illinois Youth Dance Theatre as a guest performer in their 2019 production of The Nutcracker.

Now the 20-year-old is heading to Bulgaria, where he will dance in La Bayadere with State Opera Plovdiv.

Bayley Webster. Picture: Daniel HopeBayley Webster. Picture: Daniel Hope

Bayley said: “I’m so excited to be heading to Plovdiv to dance for their opera.

“It will be amazing to get back in the studio and I can’t wait to perform again.”

Bayley’s dance career stated at Sarah Ann Westcott’s Dance Studio, where his potential was quickly recognised.

From there he joined the British Ballet Organisation’s Scholar’s Programme at the age of 10, heading to London each month to join a handpicked cohort of exceptional students.

When Bayley was 16 he was offered the opportunity to study a three-year degree in ballet performance at the School of Ballet Theatre in Leicester.

In 2018, he entered the School of Ballet Theatre UK’s Choreography Competition, winning an award for the overall group piece, and in 2019, he was awarded the accolade of most improved dancer.

He also reached the finals of the British Grand Prix 2019, in both the solo and pas de deux categories.

Following his graduation with first class honours in June last year, Bayley was offered an internship with Ballet Theatre UK.

Bayley’s first dance teacher and founder of Sarah Anne Westcott Dance Studios, Sarah Anne Davidson, said: “It is always such a pleasure to teach children and adults of all ages, but it is particularly special to teach someone who has the passion and commitment that Bayley had.

“He was a joy to teach and we are incredibly proud of him; we wish him every success in the future.

“We welcome people of all ages and abilities to our dance school; we pride ourselves in being inclusive and have a class for everyone!”