Programme manager Jay Jolley awarded The Royal Ballet Governors’ Gold medal
The Governors of The Royal Ballet awards a gold medal each year to an individual who has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to ballet. This year they awarded it to The Royal Ballet School Artistic Teacher and Programme Manager, Jay Jolley.
The school gathered in the Margot Fonteyn Theatre on Tuesday 13 September, where chairman of the Governors of the Royal Ballet Companies, Dame Jenny Abramsky awarded Mr Jolley the prestigious award. The medal celebrates a career that has included performing as a professional dancer, Company Manager of Birmingham Royal Ballet and as a teacher at The Royal Ballet School, where he has worked for the past twenty years.
Jay began his training in Utah and later went on to study with William Christensen, the co-founder of the San Francisco Ballet. He first performed with Ballet West in Salt Lake City before moving to the New York City Ballet. Encouraged by Rudolf Nureyev to come to London, he joined London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet) before being invited to join The Royal Ballet as Principal Artist.
Following a long and highly successful dance career, Mr Jolley moved into business administration and became Company Manager for Birmingham Royal Ballet. In 1996 he joined The Royal Ballet School as Ballet Administrator, becoming Assistant Director to Gailene Stock AM in 1999.
Jay also initiated the Dance Partnership and Access Programme, facilitating a range of educational community programmes including Primary Steps and Advance. He was also instrumental in two particular projects of note: the development of White Lodge Museum and Ballet Resource Centre, which was the first dedicated ballet museum in the UK; and the Ninette de Valois: Adventurous Traditionalist Conference, which aimed to facilitate a rigorous and multi-disciplinary exploration of de Valois’ life and legacy.