Central School Of Ballet

Central’s first online summer school met with praise

Monday 17th August 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

From 27 July to 7 August we welcomed students taking part in Central’s first virtual summer school following a successful term of online teaching and training.

The five and ten day courses were designed specifically to provide an insight into classical ballet training. Participants took part in three to four classes each day including a 75 minute mixed ballet class, pointe classes for girls (dependent on age) and coaching for boys. Students on the ten day course also had the chance to take part in two small group coaching sessions, a Q+A session with tutors who train our Foundation and BA undergraduate students and a ballet masterclass with Artistic Director, Christopher Marney.

Feedback from students and parents has been very positive:

"My child really enjoyed the summer school and we were all so impressed with how the week was put together digitally. It is the closest they have had to a studio experience in months. Thank you so much to all involved.”

“The teachers were so organised and nurturing. They were very responsive and care about each child and their welfare whilst dancing from home.”

“It is an amazing opportunity to be taught by the degree programme tutors in small, focused classes.”

Debra Cougill, Central’s Head of Widening Participation and Access said: “Following the success of the Centrally Connected online classes for our Junior School and Associates, we made the decision to move our annual International Summer School online as well. Students from across Europe and as far afield as Japan took part, all taught by tutors from degree programmes and guest teachers. We have been delighted with the commitment and focus of those who took part and the progress they have made."

If you are interested in further classes to prepare for a future performing career, please see here for more details about our Associate School.

Undergraduate students take part in online HIIT class

Thursday 2nd April 2020 Anita Hamilton writes:

100 Central undergraduate students took part in a digital HIIT class delivered by Anna Brodrick, Head of Medical Services via Zoom. This blast of exercise resulting in a flood of endorphins is a wonderful way to start the day and part of a Health at Home initiative, in the new Centrally Connected programme. Anna reported huge enthusiasm from our dance students who are back at home during the COVID-19 pandemic: "Students are remaining active and connected to one another from their homes across the world. Their wellbeing is a core focus of training at Central and group exercise provides a positive hub of energy, Sharing the activity with others keeps motivation high. It was marvellous to see so many take part - I look forward to many more sessions like this while we are separated from one another."

Students are receiving online personal physiotherapy sessions where needed and all undergraduates are given guidance on nutrition and training goals. This reflects the support that they usually receive as part of their Foundation level and BA programmes at Central's studios in Herbal Hill.


Thank you for supporting Central School of Ballet students in The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2019.

Tuesday 10th December 2019 Leona Hayhoe writes:

Together we raised an outstanding £20,895 online (including match-funding) plus £2,360 in Gift Aid.

Central sends its heartfelt thanks for every donation we received. Your support is changing lives for students in need. By hitting our target, 10 aspiring dancers in our Associate School (Preps and Pre-Seniors) will receive bursaries of £500 towards the costs of preparing for vocational training – and 6 talented undergraduates will receive bursaries of £2,500 towards the costs of vocational training. We cannot thank you enough for embracing the Christmas Challenge with such enthusiasm.

Central also wants to thank everyone who worked hard behind the scenes, promoting our Campaign and encouraging your friends, colleagues and wider networks to support us. It is thanks to your dedication that we can turn amazing opportunities like The Big Give Christmas Challenge into such a success and ensure that the most talented young dancers can thrive at Central regardless of their financial circumstances.

Coming soon: The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2019

Friday 29th November 2019 Leona Hayhoe writes:

Coming soon: The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2019

Get ready to double your donation when the Challenge goes live: midday Tuesday 03 December to midday Tuesday 10 December.

This year, Central School of Ballet is delighted to announce that we are taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge to raise vital funding for hardship bursaries for students in need.

This is a life-changing opportunity: all donations made through The Big Give, whilst the Challenge is live, will be doubled - with twice the impact for our students.

Bursaries help Central students in need to fund the cost of living and training in London. Central has a high percentage of students from lower income families, so bursaries help ensure access and equality, and challenge the perception of elitism in dance.

Central needs to raise £10,000 in The Big Give which, if we are successful, would be doubled to an amazing £20,000. This would fund 10 bursaries of £500 to help aspiring dancers prepare for vocational training in our Associate School (Preps and Pre-Seniors) and six bursaries of £2,500 for undergraduates studying towards our BA (Hons) in Professional Dance and Performance.

Get ready to show your support for Central students and double your donation when The Big Give goes live. Donations can be made anytime from midday Tuesday 03 December to midday Tuesday 10 December.

Get the word out. Can you help raise awareness of our Christmas Challenge campaign? Central would love to hear from you if you would like to share our campaign with your colleagues, friends and wider networks. Why not put up a poster, share our flyer, and support our social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?

Central seeks new Executive Director

Tuesday 12th November 2019 Anita Hamilton writes:

Executive Director

Salary: Competitive

Location: Paris Gardens, Southwark

Central School of Ballet is seeking to appoint an Executive Director to lead CSB as it moves into its new premises at Paris Gardens Southwark.

Central School of Ballet, a member of the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama, is one of Europe’s leading centres for dance training. The London-based School, which offers degrees in professional dance and performance, validated by the University of Kent, is a leader in ensuring excellent outcomes from its undergraduate students. It also offers an MA in Choreography and has a vibrant programme of community engagement for those who might never have the opportunity of experiencing the joy of dance.

The new Executive Director, reporting to the Board of Governors, will have overall responsibility for the business of CSB and will work closely with the Artistic Director, Christopher Marney, to deliver the sustainability which the organisation requires in the future. They will support and develop staff as they step up to their responsibilities in the new premises at Paris Gardens. They will have the strategic and organisational ability to make sure the organisation realises the ambition that the Board has for CSB in the future, in particular, developing the commercial opportunities that the new home, three times the size of the current one, will allow.

In the new Executive Director, the Board seeks a consummate professional, likely to have experience within the broad cultural or HE sector with a keen interest in and ideally with an understanding of the world of dance education and training. But candidates may also come from the broader cultural sector if they can get up to speed quickly in the business of dance education and HE Regulations. They will be entrepreneurial, have commercial acumen, with good fund-raising skills and be able to act as an excellent Ambassador for Central at home and abroad.

A good leader, manager, networker, the new Executive Director will take forward the organisation in its new state of the art premises, opening a new chapter for Central School of Ballet.

For more information and an application pack, please be in touch with Joanna Kill at Joanna.kill@lizamosassociates.com or on +44 (0)20 3004 4701.

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS: 16th December 2019 (by close of business)


Central's Summer Performance premieres in London tonight

Wednesday 17th July 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

This evening, Thursday 18 July, Central’s annual Summer Performance premieres at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London.

The performances taking place this evening (7.30pm) and tomorrow (3.00pm and 7.30pm) are a celebration of dance achievement at the end of the academic year. Over 100 dancers from Central’s undergraduate degree programmes will perform a range of classical and contemporary repertoire. The show will feature new original works, redeveloped and expanded pieces, alongside selected repertoire from the Ballet Central tour.

The students and staff have been preparing for the performances at the theatre since Monday of this week. They have been doing class on stage, technical run-throughs alongside full dress-rehearsals.

Following the three Summer Performances, Central’s final year students will perform their graduation solos and finally their closing Ballet Central performance.

Book tickets for the Summer Performances here.

Book tickets for the final Ballet Central performance here.

Central students perform with Northern Ballet on tour

Thursday 30th May 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

This spring, two Central second year students, Andrew and Brandon have been performing with Northern Ballet on the tour of ‘Puss in Boots’.

Both Andrew and Brandon have been performing the same role of Jack, taking it in turns to perform on tour whilst the other trains at Central in London. This professional performance experience serves as excellent preparation for the students, who will be joining Central’s touring company Ballet Central this September.

Speaking about the experience Andrew said: “I am very grateful for this fantastic opportunity to perform in a professional company. Touring to different venues has enabled me to learn the importance for there to be flexibility within a production so that it is able adapt to different spaces. I have enjoyed the opportunity to develop my acting skills while I dance and to truly create a character on stage. The feedback from the audience has been fantastic and I hope that they leave feeling inspired!”

Brandon said: “My experience at Northern Ballet has given me the opportunity to learn about what is necessary to succeed as a dancer in the professional world. Most importantly, I have learned to allow myself the freedom to explore my own artistry and style. Working with the ballet staff and company members at Northern has developed my stage performance skills which I will carry through to Ballet Central and throughout my professional career.”

The ballet is choreographed by current Central MA student Jenna Lee, and is performed by Northern Ballet, featuring performances from current students Andrew and Brandon, alongside Central alumni including Harris Beattie, Julie Nunès, Ayca Anil and Matthew Morrell.

‘Puss in Boots’ is on tour in the UK until 8 June. Book tickets: northernballet.com/puss-in-boots

Photo by Brian Slater

Central's Creative Choreography Day met with praise

Tuesday 2nd April 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

On Saturday 30 March, Central held the annual Creative Choreography Day for the Prep and Pre-Senior students, aged 11-16 years.

The day was a unique opportunity for the students to be taught by guest artists and work with a choreographer from the Ballet Central tour. Students took part in a range of classes including; a ballet class with guest tutor Cira Robinson, a Senior Artist with Ballet Black, a Dalcroze class with Kaye Barker, a Professor of Dalcroze Eurhythmics at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama as well as a workshop with the Jasmin Vardimon Company, where the dancers learned sections from (in between), part of the repertoire for the Ballet Central 2019 tour.

When asked what they had gained from attending the day, students said:

“…the day opened up my mind to new ideas”

“The Jasmin Vardimon workshop showed me how to interpret different situations and incorporate them into my movements…”

“I loved it! I’ve never done anything like this before and it was such fun…”

“I discovered the importance and value of really being absorbed into the movement…to completely commit to the theme / intention into my voice and breathe when dancing…”

“I absolutely loved this workshop; it was so raw and free and different to what I normally do!”

Applications are currently open for Central's Prep and Pre-Senior programme with auditions to be held on 1 June. Learn more about the programme and apply here.

Aisling Brangan, a recent Central graduate, has been promoted to Soloist at Scottish Ballet

Wednesday 20th March 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

Aisling Brangan, a recent Central graduate, has been promoted to Soloist at Scottish Ballet. Aisling joined Scottish Ballet after completing the Ballet Central tour and graduation in 2013.

She said: “During my years at Central, I was constantly challenged by the rigours of my chosen career but always supported and encouraged to believe that I was on the right path. In particular the training I received in acting helped me to develop into the dancer I am today, giving me the confidence to create and inhabit different characters. My years with Scottish Ballet have mirrored this experience, with a hugely supportive team guiding me through the tough times of injury and recovery. Being promoted to Soloist is absolutely a dream come true for me, and has come after a long journey that had its setbacks - bearing out what I learned while studying: that such rewards are hard earned and all the more affirming for that!”

Joining a leading ballet company like Scottish is a goal for many of Central’s undergraduate students and Central maintains close links with the company through the recent appointment of Christopher Hampson, their Chief Executive and Artistic Director to Central’s Board of Governors. Last year Central’s graduate Rishan Benjamin joined the company and Sophie Laplane, Choreographer in Residence at Scottish, has recently commenced Central’s MA in Choreography programme.

Central success with Ballet Black

Thursday 14th March 2019 Isabel Campbell writes:

Ballet Black's Triple Bill premieres on the 14 March 2019 in London at the Barbican Centre before touring across England until June.

Two of the three works are choreographed by Central alumnus Mthuthuzeli November, and current Central MA Choreography student Sophie Laplane.

Central is delighted that our relationship with Ballet Black continues to be so strong with Cassa Pancho MBE, Founder and Artistic Director of Ballet Black being a Patron of Central, and Central's Director Heidi Hall serving on the Board of Trustees of Ballet Black.

Book tickets to see Ballet Black's Triple Bill on tour here.

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