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Press release: (BRB Dance Track) 22 aspiring young West Midlands dancers win places on prestigious training programmes


Jan McNulty

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PRESS RELEASE 

2 December 2020 

 

22 aspiring young West Midlands dancers aged eight to 11 win places on prestigious training programmes at The Royal Ballet School and Elmhurst Ballet School

 

Hard work and dedication have paid off for 22 aspiring young dancers participating in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Dance Track scheme, with two being offered coveted places on The Royal Ballet School’s Junior Associates programme and 14 on the Elmhurst Ballet School’s Young Dancers Programme. Following successful auditions, the young dancers will make their first steps with both programmes this autumn/winter. 

 

Because the pandemic has temporarily reduced the number of recruits to the Junior Associates programme at The Royal Ballet School this year, a further six promising young dancers from Birmingham, currently on the waiting list, have been offered a place on a short-term programme offered by The Royal Ballet School. This brings the number of Birmingham’s aspiring young dancers enjoying success on prestigious dance development courses to a total of 22. 

 

Since March, due to current Covid-19 guidelines, Dance Track students have been unable to attend their usual classes at Birmingham Royal Ballet’s studios, but with the support of their families and tutors, participants have persevered and continued their lessons via Zoom. 

 

Carlos Acosta, Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, a Governor of The Royal Ballet School and a Vice President of Elmhurst Ballet School, comments on their achievements: “All of the gifted young people taking part in our Dance Track Programme are amazing, and I would like to take this opportunity of congratulating each and every one of them. However, for these 22 young dancers in particular - and especially in these challenging times - this is a milestone opportunity to develop further the skills and talent our Dance Track team has brought out in them during their time with us at Birmingham Royal Ballet. I am incredibly proud of them and I look forward to watching their progress as they continue to inspire many others by following their dreams of becoming professional dancers. What a great expression of our historic links to The Royal Ballet School which go back to the 1950s, and to our more recent association with Elmhurst Ballet School, and a celebration as we encourage as many young people as possible to benefit from the experience of dance!” 

 

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Dance Track is a free-of-charge programme designed to identify, nurture and develop talent and potential in young people aged six to eight in Birmingham. It has been Birmingham Royal Ballet’s flagship outreach programme at the heart of the community for more than 23 years, delivering workshops annually to some 2,500 young people in 48 schools across Birmingham, the majority of whom would otherwise have no opportunity of experiencing ballet and dance. 

 

Dance Track is generously supported by the Linbury Trust and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS: 

Birmingham Royal Ballet: 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of Birmingham Royal Ballet moving to the City in October 1990. Based at Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham Royal Ballet is the United Kingdom’s foremost touring ballet company, performing traditional, classical and heritage ballets as well as ground-breaking new works with the aim of encouraging new generations of choreographers, composers and designers and reaching new and diverse audiences. The Company is one of the family of three ‘Royal’ companies, the others being The Royal Ballet and The Royal Ballet School. Birmingham Royal Ballet performs at Birmingham Hippodrome for approximately ten weeks of the year and the remainder of the year tours throughout the United Kingdom and overseas. On average, the Company gives 175 performances each year nationally and internationally. The Royal Ballet Sinfonia is Birmingham Royal Ballet’s permanent orchestra and is the UK’s busiest ballet orchestra. The Sinfonia also plays frequently for The Royal Ballet and other leading ballet companies, including Paris Opéra Ballet, New York City Ballet, The Mariinsky Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, La Scala Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Norwegian Ballet, Atlanta Ballet. 

Please note: Birmingham Hippodrome has been closed for stage performances since lockdown but Birmingham Royal Ballet looks forward to returning to its home theatre for Cinderella in spring 2021.

 

The Royal Ballet School’s Associate Programme: The Royal Ballet School’s Associate Programme was launched in 1948 by Dame Ninette de Valois, founder of all three Royal companies: Birmingham Royal Ballet (previously Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet), The Royal Ballet and The Royal Ballet School. Based in nine centres throughout the UK (London, Birmingham, Bath, Dundee, Eastleigh (Southampton), Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Totnes) the School’s Junior, Mid, Senior and Advanced programmes offer gifted young people from eight to 18 years of age the opportunity of developing their dance talents in line with The Royal Ballet School’s renowned system of training, in conjunction with their regular dance training. The Birmingham cohort is normally hosted at the studios of Birmingham Royal Ballet, but due to current Covid-19 restrictions, classes are taking place via Zoom or an alternative venue. 

 

The Royal Ballet School’s Associate Programme is generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust. www.royalballetschool.org.uk 

 

Elmhurst Young Dancers' Programme: The pre-vocational Elmhurst Young Dancers' Programme for Years 4, 5 and 6 provides weekend classes for younger children. The programme, created in Birmingham in 2005 with regional centres opening in Manchester, Plymouth and Sunderland in 2011, helps young students to prepare for full-time training and another step closer to a professional career in dance. The programme, created and managed by Elmhurst Ballet School, the Birmingham based vocational school with close regional links to Birmingham Royal Ballet, has seen a number of its students selected to perform alongside professional dancers in Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker. The Extended Elmhurst Young Dancers' Programme for Years 7 to 12 was formalised in 2017 and takes place in Birmingham only. The programme would not be possible without the generosity of supporters including The Cecil King Memorial Foundation. More information can be found at www.elmhurstballetschool.org

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