Primary steps student perform on the stage

Primary Steps Graduation 2022

Our Primary Steps Graduation ceremony took place on Saturday 28 May at Upper School. Graduate students from all our Primary Steps centres attended this celebration of their progression and achievements as young dancers. Family and friends joined the students to celebrate their completion of the programme. It was a wonderful way to mark the end of their journeys after spending four years as Primary Steps students.

The programme

The Primary Steps Programme provides students in Years 3-6 with a positive introduction to ballet through weekly classes. It aims to develop the young dancers’ creativity and encourage them to engage with ballet and each other. We are thrilled to see students progress as dancers throughout this programme and gain valuable knowledge and skills.

After graduating

Many of our students will continue their dance journeys after graduating and we work hard to direct them toward future opportunities. 2 of this year’s Primary Steps graduates have been offered places to train at The Royal Ballet School full-time from September. We also have several Primary Steps graduates currently studying pre-vocationally at Centres for Advanced Training at The Lowry, Swindon Dance, The Place, Dance4 and DanceEast, and vocationally at Elmhurst Ballet School and Moorland International Ballet Academy.

Still Life at the Penguin Café

Each of our centres performed pieces inspired by Still Life at the Penguin Café. The Penguin Café Orchestra was a group of musicians from different backgrounds brought together by Simon Jeffes in the 1970s. He wanted to create a space for people to enjoy both music and nature in his vision for a better world. Choreographer David Bintley was inspired by this concept and collaborated with Jeffes in 1988 to produce a ballet focusing on the destruction of animals and the environment. The messages within this ballet are still so relevant 30 years after its creation.

Topical themes

Our students explored the different themes within Still Life at the Penguin Café and each of the performances at their graduation event was influenced by the ballet. Their pieces focused on issues such as climate change, extinction, deforestation and humanity’s impact on the environment. It was amazing to see our students delve into these pertinent themes and create such inspiring work.

Congratulations to our graduates

Certificates were presented to each of our students at the graduation by our Head of Training and Access, Mark Annear. He expressed his pride in the programme and the students:

It is fantastic to see how much all our young dancers have accomplished throughout their time as Primary Steps students. They have all grown and developed significantly since starting and we hope that they have enjoyed their classes over the past four years. We are all so proud of the wonderful young dancers that they have become and wish them all the very best in their futures.

Congratulations to all our Primary Steps graduates and thank you to all those who help make this amazing programme for young dancers possible.

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