Central School Of Ballet

Class Descriptions


Central’s Herbal Hill studios are now open for the purposes of training undergraduate and postgraduate degree students.

Central Nights will continue through the individual classes run by tutors themselves online, find out more on the 'Course Outline' page.

All classes are open to all genders age 18+, subject to dancing ability.

Please note:

We are unable to sign-in people for classes more than 40 minutes prior to the class starting. Participants will not be admitted 15 + minutes after class has started.

Class level key:

  • Absolute - Beginner no experience
  • Beginner - some past experience
  • Elementary - a reasonable level of experience
  • Intermediate - a good understanding of technique
  • Advanced - students who are competent
  • General - Elementary to Advanced
  • Open - All levels

These levels are a guide only, if you are unsure please email Central Nights

Francis Angol - Contemporary African (Open)

Learn the basic principles of Contemporary African dance in this enjoyable, fun and fluid introduction to Contemporary dance arts that is rooted in the teachings and practices of dance from the African Diaspora and embodied practices. Learn how to undulate your spine, strengthen your back, limbs and core to lengthen your body and extend your capabilities. Focus is placed on exploring the dynamic interplay between movement, breath, weight and rhythm in relation to ones own physicality. The class is underpinned by a strong musical resonance and structured to allow participants to develop a deepened awareness of self through an experiential journey that is facilitated through rhythm, movement meditation, imagery and the imagination. Experience and express your physical presence through moving, breathing and being.

Michael Branwell - Ballet (Elementary/Intermediate) and Beginner Pointe

This class is for dancers of elementary and intermediate levels (not absolute beginners). The class commences with a 45 minute barre for everyone. Dancers who have pointe shoes are urged to wear them for this. This is followed by a ballet class with an emphasis on enjoyment and expressive dancing, following basics principles of Maestro Enrico Cecchetti. Exercises will be differentiated to ensure that dancers of varying levels can participate.

Nicky Ellis - Contemporary (General)

The class is suited to people who have some experience with dance, are keen to question and improve their skills, be pushed and above all enjoy themselves. Nicky's dance class is always invigorating and energetic. She expertly combines multiple styles of contemporary dance and music that aim to challenge participants physically and mentally, whilst still having fun whether you come once in a blue moon or every week! Her movement choices are influenced by multiple styles including Cunningham, Floor work and Release.

The beginning of class is devoted to deepening your understanding of the principles of movement, and provides the foundation to use your body safely and efficiently. The class then moves into dynamic travelling sequences that shift between the floor, standing and jumping. Nicky is always careful to deconstruct difficult movements so they can be performed safely whilst still enjoying the sense of risk and joy that comes from flying across space.

With 25 years experience as a teacher and dancer, Nicky always creates a friendly environment, adapting the class to suit everyones needs. So, if you have the energy, and are up for dancing to your favourite tunes as well as some world music, blues and electronica do come along and try it out for yourself.

Hannah Frost - Ballet (Beginner)

This class is suitable for complete beginners, those who have done ballet as a child and had a long break, and more advanced students returning from injury. The class focusses on teaching basic ballet technique with correct posture and alignment to give a good foundation from which students can progress safely to a higher level.

Clarisse Roud - Contemporary Jazz (General)

Clarisse ROUD, is originally from Switzerland. She is freelancing in between London and New York as a performer, dance teacher and choreographer.

Clarisse teaches open level Contemporary/Jazz classes combining both technical and creative aspects directly influenced by her artistry. Students are guided to find their own unique way of moving supported by technical warm up exercises and expressive routine materials. Students explore and experience their physicality through principles such as weight and breath while playing with the concept of dynamics into movement in relation to music.

Clarisse’s commitment is to share a humanistic approach to movement using supportive encouragements to give her students a sense of freedom and challenge as well as offering a safe place to experience movement in an emotional, fun and energetic way.

David Kierce

The Absolute Beginners class is for the absolute beginner ballet dancer and for adults returning to ballet after learning as a child. We start from the start; the correct posture, and the basic positions of the arms and legs. The class is about how your body moves naturally in everyday life and how that natural movement transfers to ballet. You learn how to identify the correct muscles needed to move the body in ballet technique; training and toning your muscles and changing the shape of your entire body. This class is also about learning about how to move in time and to the rhythm of the music.

Absolute Beginners has a joyful and light-hearted atmosphere: newcomers are welcome at any time and fit in easily to the flow of the class. The suggested time in Absolute Beginners is between 6-12 months before moving up to beginner improvers.

Beginner Improvers is for all beginners with a good basic ballet technique wanting to improve and move forward. It is the second level of the David Paul Kierce programme and a continuation of Absolute Beginners. The technique is based on how your body moves naturally in everyday life and how that natural movement translates directly into ballet. Beginner Improver ballet takes the basic ballet technique and adds to it. It increases the speed of the steps, adding arms, and increasing the difficulty. You learn the joining steps between movements and work on increasing co-ordination in the body. You spend less time at the barre and more time in the centre - eventually gaining the strength and body knowledge to learn pirouettes and more advanced jumps. We learn moving steps across the floor, and there is an emphasis on dancing and moving to the music, gaining a greater understanding of how the music helps the dancer as they dance.

You can happily spend one or two years in this class gaining strength and knowledge before moving to Beginner Improver Plus.

Beginner Improver Plus is the third level of the programme. This class is a continuation of Beginner Improver. The class is based on how your body moves naturally in everyday life and how that natural movement of the body transfers to ballet. The class will fill the final gaps in your ballet barre adding frappés, rond de jambe en l'air, and exercises on demi pointe. In the centre, you will add to your knowledge and technique;working on moving steps and more difficult combinations. You do combinations of jumps to move you in the air as well as across the floor. You build strength so that you can find your double pirouettes.

You can happily spend one to two years in this class before you move on to a more advanced level.

Nima Thilas-Mohs - Ballet (Elementary/General)

Nina's ballet class emphasises placement, spatial expansion, speed and lyricism. Her style is informed by the Bernal Method and American syncopated musicality.

Whilst her classes are not suitable for the basic beginner, professional dancers and non dancers alike are welcome to work on their technique, feel 'up on their leg', placed and ready to dance, whatever their style or background. Nina believes that anyone can improve with the right attitude and correct alignment!

Nina's teachers and inspiration are the amazing Christina Bernal, Antonia Franceschi, Renato Paroni de Castro and David Howard.

Nina is a certified Zena Rommett Floor-Barre® Master Teacher and has been teaching classical ballet and Floor-Barre® for 15 years. Since 2011, Nina has been teaching at the annual International Floor-Barre® Teacher Training Certification in both New York City, Florence & Venice in Italy and in Paris. In 2017, Nina was invited to join the Floor-Barre® Board of Directors and is now serving as Executive Vice President of the organisation.

Nina was a university lecturer at Kingston University in London, where she taught Floor-Barre® / classical ballet Technique and Expression in the Department of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Performance / Screen Studies for 5 years.

Nina is Ballet Mistress for the award winning company Ballet Black and also taught the company for their run of performances at The Linbury Studio in 2013 and 2014 at the Royal Opera House Coventry Garden.

She regularly teaches other companies, such as Company Wayne McGregor (formerly Random Dance) for their recent run of 'Tree of Codes' with dancers from Paris Opera Ballet, Michael Clark Company and Michael Mao Dance in NYC, amongst others. Nina coaches dancers and soloists from the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet and Swedish Royal Ballet, as well as students from Tring, Elmhurst, Northern Ballet School, Laban and the Royal Ballet School.

Nina teaches weekly open classes at Danceworks and regularly runs Easter and Summer Intensive Floor-Barre® and ballet courses at The Place.

Please find more information about Nina's classes on Facebook: Floor Barre London

Stephen Pelton - Contemporary (General)

This is a general level class. Stephen's technique classes move from Limon to swing, fall and recover fundamentals to ballet placement exercise to yoga inspired strengthening practices and combinations explore Pelton's own lyrical and idiosyncratic movement style. Each class movement material culminates into a longer, final choreographic phrase that reinforces technical principles practiced earlier in the class. Stephen's classes focus on movement dynamics, musicality, a passionate use of space, and the use of humour to break through inhibitions.

Stephen is the artistic director of London based Stephen Pelton Dance theatre, now in its 22nd year and is assistant director for York Dance Project. Stephen is committed to challenge and inspire each dancer, whatever their level of expertise.

Lorien Slaughter (Intermediate/ Advanced)

This class focuses on improving classical technique while challenging students with expressive combinations. Lorien has 30 years of dance experience training at the Royal Ballet School and going on to work internationally with ENB, BRB, K-Ballet, Bermuda Civic Ballet, Anchorage Classical Ballet and The English Youth Ballet. Lorien also a qualified Physiotherapist draws on a deep understanding of pathology and physiology to encourage students to work safely. He hopes above all that people will enjoy dancing in his class in a welcoming and supportive atmosphere.

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