Showing that boys can dance
Showing that boys can dance

When a 13-year-old Ben Smart and his grandparents walked through the doors of Perth's ABC in 2003, they had no idea how much their lives were about to change. That's when they met broadcaster Christian Horgan, who knew straight away he'd stumbled across an inspiring and talented kid.

Horgan, who presents ABC1's Can We Help?, turned Smart's story into the TV documentary, Boys Don't Dance.

Filmed in Perth, Kuala Lumpur and the World Country Dance Championships in Nashville, it tells of the Mandurah boy's struggle to become the world's best line-dancer (don't think Billy Ray Cyrus, it's more So You Think You Can Dance, but in boots).

The story reads like a real-life Billy Elliot, with Smart having to overcome a broken home and being bullied out of school just for doing what he loves. At the centre of all this is the incredible bond Smart shares with his battler grandparents, who give everything to see him succeed on the dance floor.

Airing nationally to rave reviews in 2005, Boys Don't Dance has since had several screenings, catching the eye of American screenwriter Shirley Pierce. She fell in love with the story, and bought the rights to turn it into a feature film.

Pierce has completed the script and a team has been assembled to take it to the big screen, with it now being in the early stages of production with a tentative budget of $6 million.

Smart takes all the fuss in his well-choreographed stride.

"I'm just going to continue being myself and doing what I do. That people find it so inspiring just spurs me on to do even better, both on and off the dance floor," he says.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West