From Iowa to Broadway: My Billy Elliot Story

by Ko, Alex

A powerful memoir from sixteen year old Alex Ko, the young actor/dancer who went from small town Iowa to stardom, landing the lead role in Billy Elliott on Broadway.

This tween memoir by sixteen year old Alex Ko is a personal and moving story of one kid’s journey from small town Iowa to landing the starring role on Broadway in Billy Elliot. Alex’s tough determination to hold on to his dream of performing despite all that he had to overcome–his dad’s death from cancer, financial struggles, and making the journey from small town Iowa City to landing the part of Billy in Billy Elliot, overcoming a crushing injury and triumphantly returning to the stage. It is both an inspirational tale and an exclusive look at the world of backstage Broadway, told through the eyes of someone whom tweens can relate to: a young boy from Iowa fresh off the plane, without some big agent or famous connections, one who dared to dream big. Alex Ko made his Broadway debut at the age of 13 in the title role of Billy in the Tony Award winning Billy Elliot the Musical. Alex studied dance from the time he was five years old, and at the age of 12, he was the youngest student admitted to the University of Iowa Dance Department, where he received college credit with honors distinction. Alex was guided by ballet masters Eloy Barragán and George de la Peña in Iowa City and by Peter O’Brien and Wilhelm Burmann when he first arrived in New York City after he was awarded the title role in Billy Elliot. Alex has had the distinct honor of being a guest dancer at The White House and has met many of the most distinguished names in the dance and theater worlds. Alex is currently studying ballet on scholarship at The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theater under Ballet Master Franco de Vita. Alex has won national and regional dance titles and is a USA gymnastics champion coached by 1996 Olympic Gold medalist, Dmitri Trouch.

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