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EDITIONS
 Friday, 10 January, 2003, 17:09 GMT
Help offered to 'bullied' ballet boy
Micheal, Kristopher and Diane King
Kristopher's love of ballet has the support of his parents
A schoolboy who said he was bullied at school for his love of ballet has been inundated with offers of support.

Kristopher King, 11, was told by doctors he had to stop dancing to allow his feet to heal, after they were stamped on by bullies.

But since his plight was highlighted he has received dozens of offers of help from professional organisations and well-wishers.

Kristopher, from Spondon in Derby, has been invited to an international award ceremony for dancers and the Royal Ballet School has offered specialist medical treatment.

Kristopher King, 11
Kristopher has been dancing since he was four
His father Michael, 47, said: "I think it may do some good and people who will have thought about him in a different light might now let him get on with his life since it has all come out.

"The school are very positive about it all and a lot more of the pupils are coming up to Kris and saying they did not realise it had been so bad."

Kristopher's situation mirrors the hit movie Billy Elliot, which plots the exploits of a teenage boy who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer.

Good from bad

Kristopher's ordeal was reported earlier this week after his mother, Diane, said she planned to sue her local education authority after Kristopher was bullied by other pupils.

A former dancer moved by Kristopher's story has now invited him and his family to attend the Third Annual Critical Circle National Dance Awards at London's Sadler's Wells Theatre.

The Birmingham Royal Ballet School has said its medics will examine Kristopher's injured foot.

He has even received calls from well-wishers in Milan, who cannot understand why bullies might treat him badly, as dancing is seen as a sign of masculinity in Italy, Mr King said.

"I hope that some good has come out of it and that it may help other people who have got problems to speak out," he added.

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  The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"Doctors don't know if Kris will dance again"

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08 Jan 03 | England
17 Sep 02 | Education
05 Jul 02 | England
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