English National Ballet and Scottish Ballet welcome Central placement students

1 February 2024

Five Central students are completing placements with two leading Ballet companies in the UK. The final year undergraduate students have been working with English National Ballet and Scottish Ballet for several weeks, immersing themselves in company life and experiencing the rewards and challenges of professional touring in English National Ballet’s Giselle and Scottish Ballet’s Cinders.

Central’s training prepares students thoroughly for the transition into company roles. The experiences of the students highlight their adaptability, resilience, and success in integrating into professional companies. The five Central students have lots to share about their enriching time on placement, with the overall theme of transitioning from training into professional work shining through.

Shiori, who has been working with English National Ballet, shared her reflections on all the knowledge she has gained, learning how to adapt in different positions and how the spacing in the Corps de Ballet must be perfectly accurate. She also spoke about what it was like performing different genres of Ballet and how to mentally prepare for a performance. In December, Shiori was performing with The Nutcracker in the London Coliseum, where she had the opportunity to take classes and watch rehearsals with company members. In the New Year, Shiori joined English National Ballet to perform as part of the Wilis in Giselle. Whilst a fantastic learning experience, Shiori shared her highlight of the whole placement so far: “I will never forget the view of the packed audience from the stage after the performance. Words cannot describe how wonderful this feeling is. It reminds me why I chose to become a ballerina.”

The students at Scottish Ballet shared very similar reflections, overjoyed to be performing so regularly and preparing for the tour of Cinders! which began in Glasgow. The students have just left Edinburgh, and Cinders! will now be making its way to Aberdeen, Inverness and Newcastle in February. Millie discussed how transitioning from training to living the life of a professional Ballet dancer has been a great experience. To summarise her time on placement so far, Millie expressed: “I have been loving our time working with Scottish Ballet! It’s been inspiring dancing on stage and in class with the dancers at Scottish Ballet.”

Leanne also expressed how much she has enjoyed performing on stage with Cinders!: “I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to dance for such a lovely and welcoming company. It has also given me an insight into how life works in a professional Ballet company; from the rehearsal process to the performances and all the different aspects that make up the show. I have learnt so much from all the rehearsal directors, but I have also learnt how to take initiative with my own training and approach company class and rehearsals in a professional manner.”

Harvey, another student completing his placement with Scottish Ballet, spoke enthusiastically about his time performing. “My experience with Scottish Ballet has been incredibly eye-opening as I have been fortunate enough to work and thrive in a professional environment. Getting the opportunity to witness how working Ballet dancers connect with one another and overcome challenges is so valuable for me as a student as I can learn so much from them, which I can take with me when I enter the professional industry myself. It has helped bridge the gap between a student and professional space, giving me great insight on how British Ballet companies operate, whether rehearsing at base, or travelling and performing on tour. I have loved every minute with Scottish Ballet and it has made me even more excited for whatever is to come after graduation.”

The students will now be gradually returning to Central, where they re-join their fellow final year colleagues and begin preparations for the Ballet Central tour. Updates and dates for the Ballet Central tour will be released in the coming months so stay tuned and signup to Central’s monthly newsletter to stay up to date.