World ballet school day logo with dancers

World Ballet School Day 2021

The Royal Ballet School were proud to be a part of the second annual World Ballet School Day, which took place on Saturday 13 November.

This exciting event was created by young dance students and is a platform for young people in dance training to share and celebrate their experiences. The day connects the next generation of young professional dance artists with young people from across the globe.

The World Ballet School Day organising committee is made up of students from 7 global dance institutions: The Ailey School; Boston Ballet School; Canada’s National Ballet School; English National Ballet School; Palucca University of Dance Dresden; New Zealand School of Dance; and the Prix de Lausanne. Viviana Durante of the English National Ballet School originally conceived the idea for the day.

A celebration of the global dance community

This year, The World Ballet School Day committee invited ballet schools around the world to submit a short video clip of dance content which they felt showcased their organisation and connected with this year’s themes.

Organizations from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Hungary, Netherlands, Philippines, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States participated. As well as performance footage, many of the schools included Zoom footage of dancers in isolation in studios or even in their own homes.

The submissions were edited into a glorious celebratory representation of our global dance community. The Royal Ballet School were delighted to feature in the video and share performances from the past year as our students returned to the stage. 

Watch the full compilation video

Shaping the future

7 students from the organising committee institutions presented interviews, discussions and rehearsal and performance footage which were streamed live throughout the day. This year’s theme was ‘Shaping the Future,’ and the students explored the following topics:

  • Adaptability: how dancers individually and the dance world collectively must constantly evolve. The discussion highlighted the resilience and resourcefulness of young dancers and their teachers as they adapted to different ways of working during the pandemic
  • Identity: how dancers discover their own identities as artists, and discussions on representation, inclusion and diversity in dance. Students talked about the importance of being comfortable in their own skin, and of representing diverse choreographic voices on stage
  • Pathways: how young dancers have been navigating new pathways to becoming professionals, and creating their own journeys with the support of their schools.

The students ended by offering what hopes they have for the dance world in the future. These included: for more dancers not to be afraid to use their voices; for mental health to be prioritised in schools and companies; for more opportunities for dancers in areas that may not otherwise have access to dance; and for more ballets incorporating diverse voices and telling stories that are relevant to today’s society.

Charlotte Coghlan of New Zealand School of Dance concluded the discussion:

Change can seem so overwhelming that it often only stays in our imagination and our conversations. So individually and collectively, there’s an increasing need to take action to create these environments and systems so that we can create a better dance future for ourselves and the next generation.

The full video event is available to watch online for 30 days.

Watch the full video

Photo: Arnaud Stephenson