Beyond Ballet – Paul Russell leaps into a new world

This article appeared as the cover story in the Illawarra Mercury Saturday supplement titled ‘Weekender’ on May 31 and has obvious links to the film Billy Elliot. Suitable as related material for HSC Standard English Module C: Texts and Society Elective 2: Into the World, the full title – Beyond ballet: Paul Russell’s leap of faith lands him in a new vocation – has been abbreviated for the online newspaper edition.

Beyond Ballet The contents page also made us of an appealing image, which was repeated as the main photo of the ‘profile’ article on page 10.

Weekender contents page

Both titles, Beyond Ballet and Deep in dance, make use of catchy alliteration to allude to the characteristics of a determined person who is suitable for the regular ‘profile’ column.

According to the Board of Studies rubric for Into the World, students must

  • focus on a specific situation of growing up or transitioning into new phases of life
  • consider the ways different characters, personas or people within texts respond to different experiences, and
  • demonstrate a detailed understanding of the consequences of these experiences

Consider the following language features in composing paragraphs that explain how Paul responded to the experience of being accepted into a prestigious ballet school. Think about the consequences of this world of dancing and his subsequent choice to move into another world.

How does the cover image echo the film Billy Elliot? Could this be one way to make a linking sentence, between your prescribed and related texts? Remember to discuss specific visual features, such as colour, position, size, action or energy implied by pose and posture, facial expression. Consider how these link to the images used in the article – another way to link to or move from the cover to the actual article.

Note: These comments are based on an analysis of the hard copy newspaper. If you choose to discuss the online version, your comments will need editing.

annotated article

Read the online article at the official website:

Mercury masthead



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