Central School of Ballet was established by Ann Stannard and the late Christopher Gable CBE in 1982. The founders wanted a school that valued the artistic expression in dance, as well as the importance of technique. Today, Central nurtures expressive dance artists and develops each individual’s potential to become the best possible dancer they can and want to be.
Each year around 110 Senior School students attend Central. The Senior School degree course is one of the most comprehensive dance programmes in the country, and enables our students to enjoy sustained careers in classical ballet, contemporary dance and musical theatre.
Ballet Central is our touring company which gives final year students first-hand experience of professional performance in venues around the country. This provides great training for Central students who are recognised for their employability, and in their subsequent careers for their maturity and professionalism.
“A graduate from Central School of Ballet is a valuable asset in any company for they have already experienced life as a professional dancer by touring with Ballet Central. I have had the pleasure of working with many highly talented and individual graduates of Central School of Ballet, indeed, several have played demanding leading roles in my productions with great success.” Matthew Bourne, Artistic Director, New Adventures
“I can normally spot a Ballet Central student after just a few minutes working in a studio. They are always professional, they understand how ‘theatre’ works and they engage physically and (most importantly) verbally in the creative process.” Christopher Hampson, Artistic Director, Scottish Ballet
The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama
As an affiliate of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, Central sits alongside other schools such as RADA, LAMDA, and London Contemporary Dance School.
The Degree Course
Central offers a three-year course structured as a two-year foundation degree leading into the third year BA (Hons) in Professional Dance and Performance (accredited by the University of Kent). Central is the only school to offer this degree.
Widening Participation and Access
Central runs a wide programme of outreach work to encourage and broaden participation in dance. As well as working in schools and offering workshops, Central also runs an Associate School which includes a thriving Junior School, and Prep & Pre-Senior programmes. Central also offers an extensive programme of evening and weekend adult classes.
Central School of Ballet in Numbers
- 10,000 miles are travelled on a single Ballet Central tour
- 84% of graduates are employed in the Dance Industry within 6 months of graduating
- Central has over 300 Associate School pupils aged 3-16
- 400 new costumes are created by hand every year
- Over 5,000 people see a Ballet Central performance every year
- Over 10 years of association with the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama
- The Injury Prevention team are available to all students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- At least 8 new scores per year created
- At least 12 new choreographies produced per year by staff or professional artists
- At least 80 new student choreographic works produced per year
“Central is a catalyst in the profession, producing highly desirable graduates. Central offers choreographers career changing opportunities, with many works commissioned by Central going on to become part of companies’ repertoire. In summary, Central is essential.” Christopher Hampson, Artistic Director, Scottish Ballet