Posted 25 January 2012
Following the surprise resignation of Sergei Polunin from the Royal Ballet on 24 January, Central School of Ballet Director Sara Matthews was interviewed by Channel 4 News about the challenges facing professional dancers.
While, the reasons for Polunin's departure are currently unclear, Channel 4 News were interested to ask whether or not dancers do face the pressures as shown in films like Black Swan.
Sara commented that dancers can only deal with the pressures if they love dancing. She also observes that dancers are often seen as athletes, but while athletes' training has peaks of activity with down time, dancers tend to be working all the time.
For the full article on Channel 4 News click here.
Posted 17 January 2012
Central School of Ballet (CSB), one of Europe’s premier centres for dance training and education, is launching a satellite school in Southwark to give pupils in the borough access to free weekly dance lessons.
Started at the end of October, the free classes have been running for a trial period of five weeks before the official launch on Wednesday 7th December. The dance classes are running in partnership with three of Southwark’s primary schools, and are hosted each week at Alfred Salter Primary School in Quebec Way in Rotherhithe. To date 100 pupils are regularly attending the weekly classes which are planned to run during term time up to July next year.
Funding for the Southwark-based project has come from monies raised by CSB from The Ironmongers' Company, one of the 12 great Livery Companies of the City of London. The funding includes the provision of dance teaching staff; a pianist and a dance uniform for the participating pupils and includes dance shoes.
Children, both boys and girls from Year 3 to Year 6, from Redriff Primary School, St James Primary School as well as Alfred Salter Primary School have been invited to take part. Classes take place after school ends each Wednesday and last for an hour each. There are three levels of class offered based on CSB’s unique model of dance training covering Grades 1-3. The participating schools have held assemblies with a dance theme with information supplied by CSB to engage pupil’s interest.
CSB’s Satellite School, now running in Southwark and planned to expand to other areas in the future, is particularly directed at pupils who may not have access to regular dance classes outside the school curriculum. CSB’s director Sara Matthews explains how the project originated: “Central School of Ballet has long been committed to engaging children in dance across London’s boroughs. Through our relationships with primary and secondary schools, and our annual performances, our Dancing Partners project has allowed over 3000 children to experience dance over the past 10 years. This new initiative is the next step in this programme and an exciting development in our participation work that addresses the gap in year-round dance provision for primary school children in one of the borough’s most deprived areas.”
Sara adds: “This project is the next stage in our long-term partnership with Southwark Primary Schools and it represents a completely new, sustainable approach to dance participation work.”
The benefits of regular dance classes are multifarious, as Jess Mahoney, CSB’s Learning & Participation Manager explains: “Feedback from schools across the country where we run workshops is unanimously positive. Not only do pupils enjoy the workshops their teachers tell us, but they also break down any preconceptions about dance and improve creativity. Dance classes provide pupils the opportunity to be physically active but offer so much more. Dance helps the development of coordination, the ability to respond to music and it requires discipline and focus. We find that there are emotional benefits too such as building confidence. And all this can feed back into behaviour in the normal classroom and at home, and help motivate participation in other physical exercise.”
“We could not offer any of this activity without the support of generous organisations and individuals”, Jess adds. “We are particularly grateful to The Ironmongers’ Company for funding the first six months of the project in Southwark to help build a strong foundation for the future.”
Shaun Dellenty, Deputy Headmaster of Alfred Salter Primary School comments: “We are delighted to host Central School of Ballet’s Satellite School. The children have been incredibly excited about taking part in the dance classes and we have seen an excellent response already. Alfred Salter School is committed to developing excellence in The Arts and this collaboration with CSB enables our students to access first-class dance training – something that hasn’t been available in the area previously – on their doorsteps.” He adds: “We are looking forward to the future development of the Satellite School and the benefits this will bring for children in the area.”
The Ironmongers’ Company said: “We are pleased to support Central School of Ballet's Satellite School for primary aged children in Southwark. The Company is committed to giving children from disadvantaged backgrounds the skills and motivation they need to make the most of life. The satellite school offers an enjoyable way to build confidence, discipline and fitness for children who would not otherwise be able to access high quality dance training.”
For more information visit www.centralschoolofballet.co.uk
For press information and images please contact Hamilton Consulting Tel: 020 8742 0566
Anita Hamilton m: 07768 778 772 email: Anita@hamiltonconsulting.org.uk
Posted 17 January 2012
Amelia Jackson from Tickton, near Beverly in East Yorkshire has been accepted for professional dance training at one of Europe’s premier schools for dance training and education, Central School of Ballet (CSB) in London.
Amelia, aged 17, has been dancing since she was just four years old. She has now completed her first term at CSB, one of only 38 pupils accepted for a place on this three year degree course, a BA (Hons) in Professional Dance and Performance (validated by the University of Kent). CSB is the only dance school in the UK to offer this unique qualification. Amelia was selected for her place from 400 applicants.
Entrance to CSB is through auditions which are held every spring, a process that involves performing for the school’s teaching staff, all of whom are ex professional dancers themselves. The course’s main focus is on Classical Ballet supported by Contemporary Dance as an additional subject, and also includes tuition in Choreography, Spanish Dance, Pilates, Jazz Dance, Drama, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Singing and Contextual Studies.
Amelia gained her early enthusiasm for dance by attending the Royal Ballet School in Richmond and London where she gained five GCSEs alongside her dance training. Amelia’s mother was previously a dance teacher herself.
Sara Matthews, director of CSB explains the competition for places at a dance school at this level: “Students typically join us aged 16 after GCSE. By this stage many of them will have been dancing since primary school. Only the most talented and dedicated students are accepted but ballet is no longer an elitist profession. Around 25% of CSB students are given some kind of financial assistance through the school to allow them to complete their tuition here. We have a long history of accepting students from a diverse range of social and economic backgrounds.”
During her final year Amelia will join the school's touring company Ballet Central. Ballet Central’s annual nationwide tour will visit 22 venues this spring including the Lowry in Salford Quays and the Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House. For more information about the 2012 tour that commences on 8 March in Hertford visit balletcentral.co.uk.
Touring with this unique student ballet company offers a professional performance experience that is not available through any other dance school on such a scale. Sara Matthews comments: “We are the only vocational ballet school able to offer our students an Honours Degree and this level of touring experience. Ballet Central continues to be a springboard for hundreds of dancers into the top international dance companies. Dancers live to perform so touring is a much anticipated part of our three year curriculum.”
Graduates from CSB go on to join the world’s premier dance companies. Recent CSB students are currently employed at The Royal Ballet, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Company, English National Ballet, Scottish Ballet, National Ballet of Estonia, Ballet Black, Northern Ballet, Birmingham Ballet, K Ballet, Rambert, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Slovakia Ballet, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo and many more.
For more information visit www.centralschoolofballet.co.uk
For press information and images please contact Hamilton Consulting, Anita Hamilton:
t: 020 8742 0566
m: 07768 778 772
Posted 9 January 2012
What shall I wear?
There is no specific dress code for our classes. For your first class just wear something comfortable that you can move in. As you progress you may prefer to wear a leotard and tights. You don't need to wear ballet shoes for you first class but we recommend you wear them for subsequent classes. Contemporary classes are taken barefoot.
Which class is right for me?
Absolute Beginners (David Kierce)
Perfect for people who have never done a ballet class before. Or people who did ballet as a child and would love to get back into it! You learn from the start, with an easy guide to how to use your body correctly. With a focus on posture which helps with every day life and self confidence. The class is fun and uplifting perfect for all ages!
Beginner (Improver) Ballet (David Kierce)
Perfect for people who have taken ballet for a year! This class is designed to take you further in ballet technique! Less time is spent on the barre, more time in the centre. Focusing on moving across the floor turning and jumping. This class is fun uplifting and perfect for all ages!
General (Paul Lewis)
This class is aimed at people who have a good grounding in Ballet and are either keeping them selves in shape for auditions or are just doing it for fun as they love to dance and move and want to keep themselves in shape. It is less technically challenging than my Advanced/ Professional class but does require the student to have considerable prior learning in place. (Even if they are a bit rusty!) Paul teaches the class at a slightly slower pace and he is very happy to explain movements that students don't understand. The class recently has attracted people returning to ballet after quite a few years absence and they had a great time!
Can I pay in advance, or for a block of classes?
Our classes are drop in only and are payable with cash on the door. We are unable to take advance payment or block bookings.
What facilities do you have?
We have men and women's changing rooms, with showers which are available for your use, however we recommend that you take any valuables with you into the studio.
Posted 8 January 2012
Please note that all course are non-residential.
Summer Course 2012
Spending a week at Central School of Ballet is an excellent way to experience a taste of life in full time ballet training. Our popular Summer Course is an opportunity for you to do just this.
The Summer Course normally takes place during the last week of July However, for 2012, a decision has been made to push the course dates later and into August due to the fact the The Olympics clash with our usual week and travel and accomodation will obviously be at a premium during this time. The Summer Course will take place from August 13-18 and August 13-24 (Advanced version) and applications are now open.
If you would like to apply for the Advanced Summer Course (13-14 August), please fill in the Advanced Summer Course application form and return to the school with the Ł50 deposit. Places on the Advanced Course are awarded at the discretion of the school, and you will be contacted within two weeks of us receiving your application to let you know the outcome of your application and to confirm your place. Meanwhile, places on the regular Summer Course (13-18 August) are awarded on a 'first-come'first-served' basis.
For further information please see the Summer Course Flyer.
Central School of Ballet's Spring Course is a great opportunity to have a taster of life as a full time student in vocational training. Students on the course will receive daily classes including ballet, contemporary, jazz and pilates.
Spring Course 2012 will be a longer, five day course. It will take place from April 10-14.
Please see the Spring Course Flyer for further information. Applications for the Spring Course are now open.
Posted 7 January 2012
The likelihood of your success as a Central graduate is considerably enhanced by the track record of our alumni. We will help you to choose and follow a professional career that best suits your individual talents and strengths.
Central graduates can be seen performing in dance companies around the world, and they will attribute much of their success to the unique training provided at Central School of Ballet.
The School's 2011 graduates now have contracts with the following companies:
- Zoe Arshamian - Ballet Ireland
- Lika Berkun - Israeli Ballet
- Lisha Chin - Singapore Ballet (apprentice)
- Nicole Craddock - Scottish Ballet
- Katie Deacon - Ballet Ireland
- Toni-MIchelle Dent - Northern Ballet (apprentice)
- Jordi Arnau Rubio - Peter Schaufuss
- Jamie Bradley - Disneyland Tokyo
- Luke Divall - Ballet Boyz
- Dominic Harrison - Scottish Ballet
- Leon Moran - Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker
- Alexander Nuttall - Ballet Cymru
- David Pallant - Ballet Gratz
- Joseph Poulton - Ballet Black (apprentice)
- James Pullum - Commercial work
- William Simmons - Estonia National Ballet