Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell) is an 11-year-old boy living in northeast England in the mid-1980s. While his gruff father and brother are taking part in a massive coal miners strike, Billy goes to boxing lessons and furtively plays his dead mother's piano out of loneliness. One day Billy notices a ballet class nearby. Intrigued, he begins practicing and taking lessons from Mrs. Wilkinson (Julie Walters), a tough-minded teacher. Billy begins to fall in love with ballet but keeps his lessons a secret from his family, who struggle to put food on the table while the strike drags on. When his father finally learns the truth, a family crisis erupts, and Billy struggles to prove that dancing is more than just a hobby--it's his dream. BILLY ELLIOT is a touching and heartwarming story that avoids clichés by setting the story in the grim mining town of northern England amid economic hardship and sacrifice, showing the joy and release that dancing provides for Billy. Newcomer Jamie Bell, who does all his own dancing in the film, deserves special credit for his performance as Billy.