Central School Of Ballet

Central begins online classes for its first virtual summer term

Monday 27th April 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

Last week, Central started the summer term in a different guise from what we usually expect at this time of year. Central’s tutors and guest contributors are continuing to teach Foundation, BA and MA programme students even though they are back home in the UK and in countries worldwide. The new Centrally Connected initiative, developed at the end of the spring term after Central closed its studios in Herbal Hill, now offers students training, teaching and learning through a comprehensive online timetable.

Through remote learning students can access a range of practical support, academic teaching sessions and tutorials including live exercise and movement sessions, one-to-one physiotherapy advice, supported contextual studies, and study skill sessions. In order to fully support overseas students, Central is also concurrently running a separate timetable to account for time differences in teaching. In total, 117 students from 12 different countries will benefit from this programme to support their ongoing studies.

In addition, an online programme of activity to support Associate and Junior School students commenced last week to include ballet, contemporary, Pilates, HIIT and character classes.

“As part of our Centrally Connected online programme, last week we commenced online classes for the first time in the school’s history. The wellbeing of our students continues to be a primary focus. Through virtual contact time we can continue to support them and their ongoing studies to meet the learning outcomes of our programmes. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff who have worked tirelessly to deliver these activities and the students for their continued engagement during these unprecedented times.” Executive Director, Mark Osterfield.

123 dancers submitted their final auditions via video

Thursday 9th April 2020 Leona Hayhoe writes:

The last few weeks have seen a lot of change and that extends to the way Central carries out its audition process for the Foundation & BA (Hons) Degree in Professional Dance and Performance. As auditions were no longer able to be held in person, all finalists were asked to submit their auditions digitally. Central supported applicants through this change in process and as a result received video auditions from 123 aspiring dancers who had made it to the final round of this competitive degree programme. The quality of submissions was very high and the artistic staff were impressed by the range of talent displayed by the young artists.

All audition videos have now been reviewed and successful applicants are due to be informed of the result of their submissions ahead of the Easter break.

For more details about Central’s BA (Hons) Degree in Professional Dance and Performance, please see here.

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.


Centrally Connected - teaching and learning in response to COVID-19

Wednesday 1st April 2020 Anita Hamilton writes:

Central closed its studios in Herbal Hill in Clerkenwell two weeks ago on 17th March. Quite apart from the UK Government directive our aim was then, and continues to be now, concern for the safety and wellbeing of students, staff and guests as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In just two weeks we have developed a new online programme called Centrally Connected which offers through remote learning a range of practical support, academic teaching sessions and tutorials including: live exercise and movement sessions, one-to-one physiotherapy advice, supported contextual studies, and study skill sessions, complemented by a series of master classes and special events connecting the students with the School, each other, and the wider dance world. This new programme will build in the summer term extending the activity and number of sessions. The aim is to support the students’ on-going studies and practical work towards meeting the learning outcomes of our degree programmes.

Our current plan is to run the Centrally Connected online programme over the summer term whilst being ready to Herbal Hill if and when circumstances permit. The early dates for the Ballet Central 2020 Tour have now been cancelled but we will, however, look for opportunities to perform later dates or dates rescheduled after the current restrictions have been lifted.

Our goal of moving to our new premises The Countess of Wessex Studios in the London Borough of Southwark in the autumn term 2020 continues.

We are liaising closely with the Conservatoire for Dance & Drama and the University of Kent, as well as following the advice of the Office for Students, Public Health England and related UK Government guidance.

I am grateful to everyone at Central and the support and understanding of the wider dance community during this difficult time.

Mark Osterfield,

Executive Director

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