Meet Billy Elliot: Valin Shinyei

    Note: Valin, who was the primary Michael in this production, also occasionally appeared as Billy in the Arts Club Theatre Company’s production of Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) in Vancouver. His last show as Billy was on June 29, 2016.

    Debut: June 25, 2016 (Vancouver, BC)

    Total Performances as Billy:  2 (No partial shows) 

    Valin & Gracyn Resize
    Valin and his actress sister Gracyn

    Valin Shinyei ThumbValin Shinyei was 15 years old (D.O.B. = 12-May-2001) upon his debut as Billy and is from Vancouver, BC, Canada, where he lives with his very artistic family. His dad is an artist/designer, his mom is a choreographer/ director and his younger sister is an actress.

    According to his official biography, Valin was born at home in Vancouver and was home schooled for most of the primary school years and then became a student at the Thomas Haney Secondary School.

    Valin’s performance training since the age of five was at the Peggy Peat School for Dance where, besides his dance training, he also received singing instruction.

    At such a young age, Valin sported a resume that would be the envy of many a veteran adult actor.  His career in “show biz” began at the tender age of six when he began doing commercials.  He gradually progressed into film and TV work.

    Valin FilmographyCredit: Filmography by Wikipedia (Lic. CC-BY-SA 3.0/GFDL)

    Valin has had lead roles in A Christmas Story (The Musical) as Ralphie Parker, A Christmas Story 2 (the Movie) as Randy Parker, Mrs. Miracle as Jason Webster, and The Client List as Brady Horton.  At the time of his appearances in BETM, he was the current voice of T.D. in the animated series Martha Speaks.


    During the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, Valin passed the Olympic torch to the Russians during the closing ceremony.  On April 6, 2013 he hosted the 2012 THEA Awards Gala in Disneyland California.  Valin was nominated for two Young Artist Awards in 2013 for his performances in A Christmas Story 2 and A Christmas Miracle.  He won best supporting actor for the latter.

    Valin Recording VoiceoversOver the years, Valin has done voice work for various animated TV programs.  Three such programs aired on American TV in 2016.  The programs are called Noddy Toyland Detective (Dreamworks), Tobot and Vroom.

    For a complete listing of all of Valin’s performance accomplishments, please see the links at the bottom of this article.

    The role of Billy in BETM was not Valin’s first lead role with the Arts Club Theatre.  In the previous year (2015), as was mentioned earlier in this article, Valin made his Arts Club debut in the lead role of Ralphie Parker in A Christmas Story: The Musical.

    Valin Shinyei as Ralphie Parker in A Christmas Story: The Musical

    Credit: Photo by David Cooper 

    Valin was the Arts Club’s Billy Elliot The Musical’s Michael Caffrey, a role he played in every performance apart from when he was playing Billy.  He has also been the understudy to the show’s Billy — Nolan Fahey, who has been an ironman.  In the very strenuous title role, Nolan played the part in all 49 of the production’s shows prior to Valin’s debut and went on to play the role a total of 74 times during the run.

    Expressing Yourself - Valin Shinyei (Michael) and Nolan Fahey (Billy)
    Expressing Yourself – Valin Shinyei (Michael) and Nolan Fahey (Billy)

    Credit: Photo by David Cooper

    With his debut in the title role, Valin became the 151st boy to debut in the role world-wide, in a non school/youth production of the show.

    Life After Billy

    Over the years 2014-2017, Valin has competed in the Dance Convention Circuit where he was awarded yearlong scholarships from Velocity, Nuvo, Jump, VIP and Groove Street Productions. 

    2016 –   After Billy Elliot, Valin went back to school at Thomas Haney High School.  His dance training continued at Peggy Peat School of Dance where he attended from ages 3 to 17.

    2017 –   Valin was “Cuza Ackermann/Carl” in the Canadian TV series Beyblade Burst, which premiered in April 2017.  He would go on to appear in 27 episodes from 2017 to 2018.  In the 2017 animated movie Treasure Hounds, Valin played the lead character “Jack”. Here’s the trailer from that film:

    Credit: Video by Princ Films

    2018 –   Valin was “Adventure Seeker #1” in Fortune and Men’s Eyes, Chapter 37 of the Riverdale TV series in 2018.  He voiced “Derek Dynamo and best friend Super Dinosaur” in the TV series Super Dinosaur for 26 episodes in 2018.  In August 2018, Valin began training with the renowned Arts Umbrella Dance Company.

    2019 –   Valin graduated from Thomas Haney High School in the summer of 2019.  In July 2019, Valin earned a Dale Mearns Scholarship supporting promising young artists in dance.  December 13-15, Valin danced in Arts Umbrella Company’s Mixed Nuts, a unique interpretation of The Nutcracker.

    2020    Valin continued his training with Arts Umbrella Dance Company until March of 2020 when Covid-19 hit.  After that, he went back to live with his family and took dance training on Zoom.  Valin worked a part time job and is eager to perform once again. 

    Valin has future interests in teaching and psychology, but at the moment, the entertainment world has a hold on him.

    Over the years, Valin has done much in TV and movies.  Here’s a film reel that highlights several of those projects:

    Credit: Video by Valin Shinyei

    For more information about Valin visit:

    Billy Elliot the Forum, Valin’s Website, Valin on Wiki, IMDb


    To Alphabetical Profile Index

    To the Arts Club Main Page

    To A Complete Listing of All BETM Articles