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Royal Ballet dancer visits Crouch End

No one knows more about defying the odds than Fernando Montano. The Royal Ballet dancer is the first Colombian to ever reach the rank of soloist with the prestigious company. This achievement is even more impressive when you learn that he was born in poverty, lived in a slum and had to leave his home at the age of 14 to train in Cuba.

He came to Crouch End to speak to a group of children from Coleridge Primary School. He urged them to work hard to achieve their dreams: 'It doesn’t matter where you come from, you can achieve things in your life,' the dancer told them.

Not only did he inspire them with his rags-to-riches story, he also introduced them to 'foot-ba', a new type of dance that he's created.

A fusion of ballet and football - his two passions - the choreography is based on refining the movements of footballers and takes inspiration from how they celebrate goals. Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and his personal favourite James Rodriguez (also a Colombian) have steps named after them.

'It's very easy to learn,' Montano explained to the children. 'Anyone could do it and have fun.'

He will be unveiling 'foot-ba' at La Clave Fest in Crouch End on June 17, where it will have its UK premiere. There are also plans to get participants to join in a flashmob after they've learned some of the movements.

Make sure not to miss this special event, including the chance to watch Montano dance. We know we're the ones saying this, but he is spectacular.

Read our longer interview with Fernando Montano in our weekly newsletter.

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