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Press Release: Birmingham's Elmhurst Ballet School shortlisted in prestigious UK dance sector awards

Jan McNulty

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Elmhurst Ballet School shortlisted in prestigious One Dance UK Awards 2019



Photo credit:  Andy Ross


Media release: Thursday 17 October 2019 - Elmhurst Ballet School, in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet, is thrilled the school’s Health and Wellbeing Team and its Performance Enhancement Coach have been shortlisted and recognised in the UK’s sector-wide annual One Dance UK Awards.


Elmhurst’s pioneering Health & Wellbeing Team led by Annelli Peavot, Assistant Principal, responsible for Health, Wellbeing and Safeguarding, has been shortlisted in the Dance Healthcare Team Award category, and Nico Kolokythas, the school’s Performance Enhancement Coach, also part of the Health and Wellbeing Team, and a University of Wolverhampton PhD candidate, has been shortlisted in the Research in Dance Impact Award category.


Many names are put forward for the awards each year, so to be shortlisted from a wide range of dance sector glitterati is wonderful recognition for the school, its staff and the work they continue to do to ensure students are best prepared for the mental and physical challenges that a professional dance career can throw at them.

One Dance UK is the sector’s support organisation leading the way to a stronger, more vibrant and diverse dance sector. The organisation recently relocated from London to Birmingham and provides one clear voice to: support all those working in the sector to achieve excellence in dance performance, education and management; advocate for the increased profile and importance of dance in all its diverse forms and settings; enhance dancers’ health, well-being and performance; and identify gaps, provide opportunities and improve conditions for dance to be learnt, discussed and seen.


The One Dance UK Awards has been developed to recognise the outstanding contribution of professionals and practitioners working in dance. The annual event is an opportunity for people in the dance community to get together, celebrate, acknowledge and reward those who have made an impact over the last 12 months on the UK’s vibrant dance landscape.


Annelli Peavot, Elmhurst Ballet School’s Assistant Principal, said: It is a huge privilege to work with the talented young people at Elmhurst and we are very proud of the quality and range of support services we offer them. To have this recognised by One Dance UK is particularly pleasing and we are very much looking forward to sharing our work with the wider dance community on what should be a fabulous evening in Manchester this November.

Knowing that the ballet world can be tough and that the training to be part of that world brings its unique pressures, in addition to the usual stresses of teenage life, the Healthcare team believe it is the school’s responsibility to be creative and to find new ways to manage resources and look to innovations and research to inform best practice.


Prevention; early identification; prompt, appropriate intervention; and ongoing support; remain the four key strands when considering and delivering the best healthcare provision for Elmhurst students.


With thanks to an ongoing partnership between Elmhurst Ballet School and the University of Wolverhampton, Nico Kolokythas has also been shortlisted in the Award nominations. His dance research is already making an impact to the wider national and international dance community and includes: 11+  Dance, an evidence-based injury prevention intervention specifically designed for dancers; an investigation on the relationship of growth, development and overuse injuries in aesthetic sports; and the effect of Vitamin D supplementation in elite adolescent dancers on muscle function and injury incidence.


Nico Kolokythas, said:It is a great honour and very exciting to see and feel the appreciation from the dance sector. One Dance UK has been has been pivotal to the dissemination of my work so I am very thankful for the support. Seeing my name next to other nominees, Doctor Pickard and Professor Redding, is very humbling, win or lose is beyond the point. I feel proud that with the help of my supervisors at University of Wolverhampton, the senior leadership at Elmhurst Ballet School and of course the dance teachers and students at the school, we have managed to create work that may potentially impact the future dancer.


Working alongside Annelli and Nico and also part of the nominated Health and Wellbeing Team is Kate Liptrot, Nursing Sister, and Rachel Orton, Injury Management Coordinator & Sports Massage Therapist.


The One Dance UK Awards ceremony will take place on Saturday 9 November at 7pm, at the Imperial War Museum, The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road, Greater Manchester M17 1TZ.






More about the One Dance UK Awards: https://www.onedanceuk.org/programme/one-dance-uk-awards-2019/ #ODUKAwards


Dancers and especially ballet dancers are highly skilled technicians but until recently their physical conditioning hasn’t been on the same par. Research has shown that the actual physiological demands of dance is relatively low compared with similar sports. Their low physical conditioning means that dancers spend a lot of the time working close to their maximum capacity. This has led to a high injury rate mainly due to fatigue and over work. Strength and conditioning is now more common in professional companies: Birmingham Royal Ballet, Royal Ballet and English National Ballet all have training rooms equipped with weights and cardio equipment. The focus is on prevention and performance enhancement. Birmingham Royal Ballet, through prevention strategies, reduced their injury rate by 50%. One issue that has been observed is that dancers coming into the companies straight from vocational dance school are more prone to be injured in their first year. This is potentially due to them having trouble coping with the increased demand of professional companies, both in hours dancing and intensity. The introduction of strength and conditioning is essential in vocational dance schools and Elmhurst Ballet School is leading the way in providing its dancers with this service whilst monitoring performance grades and injury incidence to provide the professional with high level evidence of the outcomes. This will also allow a better transition to professional life for the students. The focus is not to make dancers athletes but to support the dancer as they strive for artistic excellence. Too much time is often lost in their training due to similar injuries as seen in professional dance (Matthew Wyon, Professor in Dance Science, University of Wolverhampton, and a Governor of Elmhurst Ballet School).


Elmhurst Ballet School is based in Edgbaston, Birmingham and will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2023. It is a world-renowned centre of excellence in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet and prepares talented young dancers aged between 11 and 19 to become the thinking dance professionals of the future. The school nurtures individuality through a holistic approach to training, education and health, which helps students to become independent, collaborative and versatile artists, ready to take their professional places on the world stage. Elmhurst’s dance training is of the highest quality and is delivered by current and former dance professionals. This training is enhanced by opportunities to work with Birmingham Royal Ballet, visiting choreographers and dance artists. Elite but not elitist, Elmhurst believes that talent is classless and its exceptional training opportunities should be available to young dancers regardless of their financial, social or cultural backgrounds. Whilst Elmhurst is an independent school, typically some 80% of students benefit from Government support to train at the school.

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