Hugh Jackman quit dancing so people wouldn't think he was gay.

I was encouraged to do that, and I remember my brother saying, 'Ah, you poof,' so I gave it up. I dropped it like a hot rock. I didn't have the guts of Billy Elliot at the time!

The 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' star wanted to be a dancer when he was a child, but gave up the hobby when his older brother accused him of being homosexual.

The 40-year-old actor said: "In another world, another life, probably growing up in another country, I might have been more of a dancer. In fact I was going down that road when I was about 12.

"I was encouraged to do that, and I remember my brother saying, 'Ah, you poof,' so I gave it up. I dropped it like a hot rock. I didn't have the guts of Billy Elliot at the time!"

These days, Jackman - who performed several tricky song and dance routines when he hosted the Academy Awards in February - is ashamed of his skills on the dancefloor.

He added: "I'm always very nervous about the word dancer next to my name because anyone who's really trained in dance will go, 'This guy's fudging so badly.' "

Jackman recently insisted he refuses to deny rumours he is gay - because it suggests there is something wrong with homosexuality.

The hunky actor - who has faced speculation about his sexuality since he played Australian musician Peter Allen in musical 'The Boy From Oz' in 2003 - said: "I'd be happy to go and deny being gay, because I'm not. But by denying it, I'm saying there is something shameful about it, and there isn't anything shameful."