L'événement culturel de l'été à Bruxelles!
In County Durham, during the 1984-85 coal miners' strike The Stars Look Down, motherless eleven-year-old Billy inadvertently finds his way out of his boxing practice and as the only boy in a ballet class run by Mrs. Wilkinson and becomes attracted to the grace of the dance Shine. While his brother, father and neighbours are on strike and clash with riot police, he continues to take dance lessons, keeping it a secret from his family. The secret is at first easily kept, as the only person home at the time is his grandmother, who reveals her abusive relationship with her dead husband and that she too loved to dance, which made everything all right Grandma's Song. Billy forms a friendship with Mrs. Wilkinson’s daughter Debbie.
The boxing coach informs Billy's dad that the boy hasn't been to practice in months, and Mr. Elliot erupts, realising Billy has spent the money he gave his son for boxing on something else Solidarity, a number which intersperses the violent, riotous reality with the girls peacefully practicing their ballet routines in a fictional but tranquil world. When Mr. Elliot discovers where his son has been, he storms into the ballet class and forbids Billy from attending the lessons. Mrs. Wilkinson, who is supportive of Billy and recognizes his talent, privately suggests he come to the studio for free solo lessons, and he improves to a level beyond that of the rest of the class. Eventually, she encourages him to audition for the Royal Ballet School in London. Meanwhile, Billy's best friend Michael is beginning to understand his homosexuality. He persuades Billy to have fun with him by dressing up in women's clothing and disdaining the restrictive inhibitions of their working class community Expressing Yourself. Billy continues to take private ballet lessons, bonding with Mrs. Wilkinson and developing an impressive routine for his audition Dear Billy (Mum's Letter)/Born to Boogie. Meanwhile, Billy's father and brother Tony are engaged in daily battles with riot police that often turn bloody. They struggle to support the family with very little in strike and union pay, a difficult task that goes on for nearly a year.
When the day of the Royal Ballet School audition comes, Mrs. Wilkinson arrives to pick up Billy. However, his family and some members of the community have gathered at the Elliot home, and she is forced to reveal that she has been teaching Billy ballet in preparation for this very day. This news upsets Billy’s father and Tony, who pushes the boy around, calls him names and embarrasses him in front of everyone. This setback sends Billy into a rage, and for nearly a year he stays away from everything related to ballet Angry Dance.
At Christmas time in the community centre, the children put on a show disparaging Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who is seen as the antagonist by the coal miners Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher. Billy's father gets drunk and sings an old folk song that elicits memories of his deceased wife and the usually stoic man leaves in tears Deep Into the Ground. Left alone with Billy in the Community Centre, Michael reveals he has feelings for him, but Billy explains that although he likes ballet, he is not gay. Nonetheless, he lets Michael give him a kiss on the cheek. Michael leaves, and Billy feels like dancing for the first time since the day of the aborted audition Swan Lake. From the door, his father watches Billy's dance routine and, overcome with emotion, he goes to Mrs. Wilkinson’s house to discuss Billy’s prospects as a dancer. She confirms Billy's talent, but is not sure whether or not he would get into the Royal Ballet School. They discuss the cost of tuition, an amount well beyond Mr. Elliot's means. He leaves questioning his working-class pride and the future mining has for his boys.
Mr. Elliot decides the only way to help Billy is to return to work. When Tony sees his father cross the picket line, he becomes infuriated and the two argue over what is more important: unity of the miners or helping Billy achieve his dream He Could Be A Star. The argument eventually comes to blows and Billy is hit accidentally. One by one, the miners side with Billy's quest and offer the boy their strike pay, but Billy still can’t afford the bus fare to London. A strike-breaker offers him hundreds of pounds from his wage, and an enraged Tony attempts to shun his efforts, but Billy accepts nonetheless. Now drained of hope, Tony dismally ponders whether there's a point for anything anymore, and runs off.
Billy and his father arrive at the Royal Ballet School for the audition. While Mr. Elliot waits outside, an upper-crust Londoner highlights the contrast between the Elliots and the families of the other applicants. Mr. Elliot meets a dancer with a thick Northern accent. The dancer confesses that his father does not support his ballet career. He sharply advises Mr. Elliot to "get behind" his boy. Billy nervously finishes the audition with a sinking feeling that he did not do well. As he packs his gear, he lets that emotion overwhelm him, and he punches another auditioner in the face. The audition committee reminds Billy of the strict standards of the school. They have received an enthusiastic letter from Mrs. Wilkinson explaining Billy's background and situation, and they ask him to describe what he feels when he dances. Billy responds with a heartfelt declaration of his passion Electricity.
Back in Durham, the Elliots resume life as usual. Billy receives a letter from the school and, overwhelmed and fearful, knowing that it heralds the end of the life he has known, informs his family that he wasn't accepted. Tony retrieves the letter from the waste bin and discovers that his brother was accepted. At the same time, the miners have decided to return to work resigned to the fact they are a part of a dying industry and a withering community, but take comfort that Billy at least will rise from the ashes to greatness. Billy says goodbye to the miners Once We Were Kings, Mrs. Wilkinson (thanking her for everything she did to help him) and Debbie, who will miss him Dear Mum (Billy's Reply). Michael arrives to say goodbye, and Billy gives him a friendly kiss on the cheek Finale, leaving the past behind him and his bright future ahead of him.