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Press Release: Henry Dowden joins English National Ballet’s Dance Leaders of the Future programme

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Press Release: 15/09/2023

Henry Dowden joins English National Ballet’s Dance Leaders of the Future programme 


Henry Dowden will be the third dancer to take part in English National Ballet’s talent development programme: Dance Leaders of the Future.


Launched in November 2019, Dance Leaders of the Future is open exclusively to English National Ballet dancers. It offers the opportunity for dancers to develop skills in leadership and gain experience and a greater understanding of the running of an arts organisation. 


Junior Soloist, Henry Dowden, has been a member of the Company since 2017, and following an internal selection process starts on the programme with the opening of English National Ballet’s 2023/24 Season. 


Over the next fourteen months, Dowden will have regular one-to-one meetings with English National Ballet’s Artistic Director Aaron S. Watkin, Executive Director Patrick Harrison, and Chief Operating Officer Grace Chan. He will meet regularly with department directors and have the opportunity to spend time with a specific department of his choice, to gain a deeper understanding of their operations. Dowden will also attend leadership training at Cranfield School of Management, alongside future and existing leaders from various industries. 


Henry Dowden said: “Being selected is an opportunity I’m very grateful for. I’m already involved with producing events, and I’m keen to learn more about each area of the company. I want to keep creating, making art and putting on events in the future: understanding the organisation’s structure in great detail with a well-rounded insight into the industry at management level, will make it easier to have the freedom to make more innovative, inclusive and exciting work for audiences and dancers.” 


Dowden follows English National Ballet First Artist, Isabelle Brouwers, who has just completed the programme. 


Isabelle Brouwers said: “Dance Leaders of the Future has been a truly inimitable and enriching opportunity. Through coaching, time spent with internal departments and illustrious external courses, I’ve been able to develop my leadership skills and holistic awareness. My discovery and growth throughout this journey has fuelled my development as a dancer and artist, as well as igniting a stronger passion for the positive impact on society this art form can have.” 


English National Ballet is grateful to Grenville and Karen Turner for their generous support of Dance Leaders of the Future. 


Notes to Editors

English National Ballet is a National Portfolio Organisation supported by Arts Council England.

Ballymore is Principal Building Partner of English National Ballet.


About English National Ballet 

English National Ballet has a long and distinguished history. Founded in 1950 as London Festival Ballet by the great English dancers Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin, it has been at the forefront of ballet’s growth and evolution ever since.


English National Ballet brings world class ballet to the widest possible audience through performances across the UK and on eminent international stages; its distinguished orchestra, English National Ballet Philharmonic; its digital platforms Ballet on Demand and BalletActive; being a UK leader in creative learning and engagement practice, building innovative partnerships to deliver flagship programmes such as Dance for Parkinson’s; and through talent development initiatives including Ballet Futures which looks to create a more diverse and inclusive future for the artform.


English National Ballet continues to add ground-breaking new works to its repertoire whilst celebrating the tradition of great classical ballet, gaining acclaim for artistic excellence and creativity. 2019 saw the Company enter a new chapter in its history with a move to a purpose-built state-of-the-art home in east London, allowing a renewed commitment to creativity, ambition, and connection to more people, near and far, than ever before.

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