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UK New Year's Honours List, 2015

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Only three dance-related citations out of a total of 1,164 honours (that's two more than there were for services to crofting or plumbing).

Spreadsheet here. Congratulations to all.

Ms Jeanetta Christine Laurence. Formerly Associate Director, The Royal Ballet. For services to Dance
Miss Marguerite Porter. Director, Yorkshire Ballet Summer School. For services to Ballet
Ms Janet Smith. Principal, Northern School of Contemporary Dance. For services to Dance


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Jeanetta Laurence, Associate Director of The Royal Ballet, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list.


Born in Oxford, Laurence trained with June Christian and at The Royal Ballet School. Her dancing career began in 1969 when she joined The Royal Ballet Touring Company and in 1970 she became a member of The Royal Ballet’s New Group, which in 1976 became Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet. During this time she was promoted to Soloist and created roles in ballets by Jack Carter, Ronald Hynd, Joe Layton and Lynn Seymour, among others. Shortly after being made Assistant Ballet Mistress Laurence left the Company in 1979 to have a family. In 1983 she founded Dance Directory, an agency for freelance dancers and choreographers, with fellow dancer Rashna Homji, which ran successfully for eight years. She left the agency to work for director and choreographer Gillian Lynne in a commercial capacity before joining The Royal Ballet as Artistic Administrator in 1990. The position of Assistant Director followed in 2003 before she took up her current role as Associate Director in 2009.


Jeanetta Laurence works closely with the Director of The Royal Ballet Kevin O’Hare and during her time with the Company has also worked alongside former Directors Anthony Dowell, Ross Stretton and Monica Mason. Laurence is also a Trustee of the Frederick Ashton Foundation, which exists to perpetuate the legacy and work of the Founder Choreographer of The Royal Ballet and of the Royal Ballet Benevolent Fund and the Benesh Institute Endowment Fund.


On receiving the award, Jeanetta Laurence said “I am delighted to receive this Honour. It has been the most wonderful privilege to have been a part of The Royal Ballet organisation, first at the School then as a dancer with the Company and, for the last twenty five years, as part of the Senior Management Team.”


Kevin O’HareDirector of The Royal Ballet added “I’m thrilled that Jeanetta Laurence has received an OBE for services to dance. Jeanetta’s selfless commitment to The Royal Ballet is amazing and she is truly well deserving of this honour.”


Jeanetta Laurence has worked for The Royal Ballet for over 46 years and will retire in June 2015.


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