Carlos Acosta: The Reluctant Dancer by Margaret Willis

By Margaret Willis

This day Carlos Acosta is without doubt one of the world's such a lot gorgeous classical ballet dancers, well-liked the world over for his firecracker, but sophisticated approach, for his riveting appearing, and for his magnetic presence on degree. he's thought of a countrywide treasure in Cuba, and a matinee idol to international dance goers. this can be the tale of his development from a highway urchin in Cuba to a world big name.

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There he would battle with legions of creepy crawlies, foul smells from the nearby river and the torrential downpours that came straight through the roof and soaked him as he lay in bed. He was often ill and feverish when he returned to school. Loneliness and self-pity soon took over and he longed for affection. ‘Wednesdays were especially hard as they were the visiting days,’ he recalled. ‘Families would come to see the other kids, bringing special treats, and soon all the rooms were filled with laughter.

The young dancer tried hard not to let anything affect him, but as before, when mixing with other young people of his own age, his confidence took a beating. The other boys looked so neat, were mostly fine-boned and princely in bearing. He was muscular, dark-skinned and sported a rather abundant Afro hairstyle. Being without an advisor or coach for those final moments after months of daily rehearsals put pressure on him – and Raoul was no help in relaying the nitty-gritty details of the organisation.

He set off over the rooftops fearing for his life and not knowing where he was going. Finally he arrived in Vieja Linda, an insalubrious part of town where Eddie, a twenty-three-year-old acquaintance from his breakdancing days took the frightened nine-year-old in until the storm was over. Carlos returned home some days later much to his mother’s great relief, while his father remained silent and ignored him. In his second year of study, ten-year-old-Carlos made an attempt to work harder and his father was pleased with the good reports that he was now getting from the teachers and a slightly better, if somewhat restrained, relationship between father and son was developing.

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