Junior associates performing a scene from the nutcracker

Royal Ballet School Junior Associates’ Nutcracker workshop

On 26 October, our Associate team hosted a workshop around The Nutcracker for our Junior Associates. 140 Junior Associates travelled from across the country to the Upper School in Covent Garden.

In the morning our Junior Associates were treated to a demonstration of The Nutcracker by four members of The Royal Ballet; alumni Gary Avis, Luca Acri and Tomas Mock and Soloist Isabella Gasparini.

In the afternoon, each group rehearsed a different scene from The Nutcracker. Whilst we were unable to host parents in the building for a performance at the end of the day this year due to COVID-19, the Junior Associates had the opportunity to perform for the camera. We look forward to releasing the footage soon!

Liz Foster, Artistic Coordinator and workshop lead, said:

It was fantastic to have every studio at the School full of enthusiastic and excited Junior Associates. There was almost a sense of novelty to be delivering this day in person after the challenges of the past year and a half. This perhaps fed into the positive and creative energy that was sustained throughout the course of a very full day. I am always blown away by the commitment of the Junior Associates. They were inspired by wonderful workshop leaders and Royal Ballet dancers. They performed beautifully for the camera when their turn came. What a fabulous day!

Rhian Robbins, Choreographer teacher and workshop leader, said:

The excitement in the studio was palpable as if it were already Christmas Eve! For the first time in a very long time, our Junior Associates, who had travelled from all over the UK, were back together in the wonderful studios at Upper School.

‘Transformation and magic’ was my group’s allocated scene of The Nutcracker. The young dancers were soon acting like a company, solving creative problems and working in groups to compose some fabulous movement inspired by our theme. In the afternoon, our new company of dancers had to cut and paste everything together and make some compositional choices. We were then ready to work on the performance accompanied by the wonderful Ms Mazour on piano. A few takes were needed but the young dancers and choreographers rose to the occasion performing their new work with the most touching sensitivity, artistry and team work.

We were all sad to say our goodbyes after such an exciting day’s journey of creativity, however, what a totally inspiring and fantastic experience for all involved!

Find out more about our Associate programmes