Meet Billy Elliot: Lex Ishimoto

    Note: Lex’s final North American Tour performance as Billy was in Cincinnati on January 29, 2012.

    Debut: October 30, 2010 (Durham, NC)

    Total Performances as Billy: 97.5 (includes 1 partial show credited @.5)

    Lex Ishimoto was 13 years old (d.o.b. = 10-Mar-1999) when he performed his last show as Billy.  He’s from Irvine, California.  In his relatively short life to that point, he had performed in many nationally ranked dance competitions, both solo and as part of his street dance hip-hop group Kreative Movement.  His specialties are hip-hop, tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical and contemporary dance and he’s also studied at the West Coast School of the Arts in Costa Mesa.

    After initially auditioning for Billy Elliot in California, Lex was asked to come to New York, along with nine other boys, where he spent five days in intense auditions in dance, vocals, gymnastics and acting.

    Credit: Photo by Doug Blemker

    In June 2010, Lex learned that he would be one of six boys chosen from that group to play Billy in one of the North American productions of the show.  Later it was announced that he’d specifically be assigned to the new North American Tour cast.

    In an October interview with the five Tour Billys by the Durham Herald-Sun, the boys agreed that it’s like family working with the other Billys and the rest of the cast.  Lex said, “They’re really nice — crazy in a good way”.

    On October 30, 2010, Lex became the second Billy to debut on the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) stage and then alternated with Giuseppe Bausilio for the first performances of the show in Durham.

    Credit: Photo by Michael Brosilow

    Lex would go on to perform as Billy 97.5 times before doing his last show on January 29, 2012 at the Tour stop in Cincinnati.

    Credit: Photo by Michael Brosilow


    Life After Billy

    Since bringing Billy Elliot to life on Tour in the US, Lex Ishimoto has been among the busiest of all former Billys.

    • After BETM in 2012, Lex appeared as a guest artist in the role of “Goshi” in one episode of Touch, a sci-fi mystery TV series.
    • During 2012/2014, Lex toured with NUVO, 24 Seven, Jump and Pulse dance conventions, to name a few. 
    • Lex was Teen Male Dancer of the Year at the 2014 Dance Awards, as well as Elite Protege on The Pulse on Tour that same year.  Lex also performed in the Dance School Diaries TV series in 2014.
    • In 2015, Lex became a grand finalist at The Spotlight Awards.  Here’s a video clip of his performance:

    Credit: Video by The Music Center’s Spotlight

    • Also in 2015, at the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Regionals in Los Angeles, Lex was named Senior Grand Prix winner that year.  He also participated in the Ultimate Amazing Bestest Best Dancer of All Time competition.
    • In 2016, Lex placed as a finalist in the National YoungArts Foundation and again won the Dance Awards title that year.  This time, however, it was as Senior Male Best Dancer of the Year.  Lex began two years of training at the Boston Ballet in 2016. 
    • On 25-Sep-2017, Lex became the 14th winner, and America’s Favorite Dancer, of So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD).  A video produced by the show contains all of Lex’s performances during that winning season on SYTYCD. For those interested in this two hour video, it can be seen here.
    • After SYTYCD, Lex appeared on “Ellen”.  He challenged Anthony Anderson to a break-dance battle on the show.  Here’s video from that appearance:

    Credit: Video by TheEllenShow

    Credit: Video by DancerPalooza

    • Lex and Tayor Sieve were return guests on To The Pointe with Kristyn Burtt in January of 2020.  In the interview, Lex and Taylor talked about life after SYTYCD and their appearances on The Simulation Theory World Tour with Muse.

    Credit: Video by Popcorn Talk

    For more information about Lex Ishimoto, visit:

    Billy Elliot the Forum, Lex on IMDb, Lex on Instagram, Lex on Facebook


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