Meet Billy Elliot: Harris Beattie

Note: Harris’s Final Performance as Billy in London was on June 8, 2013

Debut: February 22, 2012  (London)

Total Performances as Billy: 122 (includes 6 partial shows credited @.5 ea)

Harris Beattie Thumb3Harris Beattie (D.O.B. 30-Sep-1998) hails from Bieldside, a suburb of Aberdeen, Scotland.  His grandfather, who died before he was born, was the famous Scottish entertainer, Andy Stewart. With his debut on Wednesday evening, February 22, 2012, Harris became the 29th boy to play the title role on the London stage and was the 63rd Billy world-wide in Billy Elliot the Musical.

He started his ballet training at the age of seven.  He took dance instruction at Danscentre in Aberdeen, where he credits teacher Karen Berry with being very instrumental with his development as a dancer. Says Karen of her student “Harris is one of the most modest, unassuming and talented children that I have come across in all my years of teaching.  He is an utter delight to work with and coupled with his excellent work ethic – I am sure that he will go very far. Harris is one of over 80 boys who attend classes at Danscentre, Aberdeen. Dancing is the norm for boys in Aberdeen and it’s just fantastic to have the opportunity to work with so many talented young men.”

Harris, who is the youngest of four children, lost his beloved Mum in 2009, when he was 10.  Since then, he has lived with his mother’s sister, who is his guardian, and his uncle.  To them he is dedicating his first performance as Billy saying “I would like to dedicate my first performance to my Auntie Debbie and Uncle Keith, they have done so much for me, I can’t thank them enough.”

Harris Beattie DancesHarris was a winner in his age level of the Genée Dance Challenge 2010, which took place at Birmingham Royal Ballet from 26 – 31 July, 2010. Two winners were selected from each of the three levels (by age) and won the opportunity to perform at Supper with the Stars on the evening of the Saturday 20 November 2010. They also received two tickets to the Genée Final at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, on Sunday 21 November, 2010 inclusive of travel and one night’s accommodation.

Here’s a sample of Harris’s dance style which he demonstrated at a show in 2011:

Credit: Video by Brodie Marno Productions

In July of 2010, it was reported that Harris had earned a place at the Royal Ballet School.  For the year long class, he traveled down to the capital to take instruction from the world’s finest teachers every weekend.  At that time, Jim Fletcher of the Royal Ballet School, said: “The standards of admission at any level at the Royal Ballet School are extremely high and reflect the international standing of the school as one of the great centres of excellence in the world alongside the Vaganova Academy in St Petersburg and the Paris Opera Ballet. The fact that Harris is one of six selected out of 69 for a place reflects that he is talented and demonstrates his potential.”

In this short video, Harris is seen practicing his ballet:

Credit: Video by EveningExpressVideos

It was first announced in the Fall of 2011 that Harris had won the role of Billy and was training at the Billy School to get ready to make his debut.

Harris and His First Show Cast Board
Harris and His First Show Cast Board

Credit:  Photo by BillyElliotUK

His debut would have made his grandpa and mother extremely proud that he’s carrying on the family tradition of entertaining.  His aunt and uncle definitely are.  Said his aunt Debbie “We are very proud of him. He works very hard and has been dancing since an early age.”

Harris performed as Billy for the 121st (includes six partial shows @.5 each) and final time on Saturday evening, June 8, 2013.  Will he be as well loved an entertainer as his grandfather, Andy Stewart, before him?  Don’t be surprised if he is as there is no doubt the entertainment world hasn’t heard the last of this talented young man.

Harris Beattie (Billy) and Deka Walmsley (Dad)
Harris Beattie (Billy) and Deka Walmsley (Dad)

For more information on Harris Beattie visit:

 The Harris Beattie Appreciation SocietyBilly Elliot the Forum


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