Following their outstanding final Summer Performance at the Royal Opera House on Saturday 16 July, the graduation ceremony for our Pre-professional students was held in the Linden Studio Theatre at Upper School, attended by students’ families, friends, supporters and special guests. It was a joyful and emotional celebration of our graduating students and all that they have achieved during their time at the School.
The ceremony began with a welcome from Artistic Director Christopher Powney, who presented the graduating students. Mr Powney spoke of the unique challenges that this group of students have faced and the inspirational way they have thrived:
These students are particularly special because of what they have had to experience and endure over the last three years. These three years of challenge and adaptation have been beyond extraordinary, and are definitely unforgettable. Today’s performance was a tribute to the resilience and tenacity shown by these students throughout this time. What standards, what versatility, and what an absolute astonishing showcase of some of the world’s finest dance students – well done.
They started here at the Upper School in the five months before COVID struck and then in March of their first year, the country went into lockdown… Seeing their determination to succeed separated from each other due to those lockdowns and unable to train in the studios they love has been a powerful inspiration to all of us. Who would have ever thought that you would experience such a challenge, and yet look at what you have accomplished. My sincere congratulations.
Mr Powney’s address was followed by a speech of welcome and congratulations from our Chairman, Christopher Rodrigues CBE, and an address by David Gajadharsingh, Academic and Pastoral Principal, who also presented some academic awards. There followed a keynote speech by alumna and former Director of The Royal Ballet Dame Monica Mason and the presentation of the artistic awards.
The Captain and Mrs John Moore Prizes are given for excellence in the preparation, presentation and delivery of the final dissertation in the degree course: Classical Ballet and Dance Performance. The awards were kindly presented by Alison Cattermole in memory of her parents Captain and Mrs John Moore.
Awarded to: Aidan Buss, Scarlett Harvey and Isaac Martin
The Ashton Award is given to a graduating student who has shown style, personality and technique in Ashton ballets. This award is generously supported by Robert Kimber in memoriam and was presented by Christopher Nourse from the Frederick Ashton Foundation.
Awarded to: Ella Newton Severgnini
The David Norman Award is given to a graduating student who has shown leadership qualities and demonstrated good citizenship during their time at the School. This award is kindly supported by Geoffrey R W Smith and was presented by his brother-in-law, David White.
Awarded to: Aidan Buss
The Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers Awards are given to the female and male graduating students who have made significant progress in classical ballet training during their time at the School. The awards are kindly sponsored by The Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers and were presented by the Master, Brian Turner
Awarded to: Isabella Boyd and Luc Foskett
The London Ballet Circle Dame Ninette Awards are given to the most outstanding female and male graduates for that year. These awards are kindly supported by The London Ballet Circle and were presented by their Chairman, Susan Dalgetty Ezra, and their Patron, Sir Peter Wright.
Awarded to: Scarlett Harvey and Takumi Miyake
Following the presentation of awards, Dame Monica Mason and Jessica Clarke, Artistic Manager of the Vocational and Pre-professional Programmes, awarded our graduate students their diplomas to much applause. There were also speeches from students Scarlett Harvey and Ishan Mahabir-Stokes, reflecting on their time at the School and thanking their teachers and families for their support. A reception was then held in the De Valois Studio where the students enjoyed sharing their pride in their achievements with their family, supporters and friends.
Browse images from the graduation ceremony below.
2022 graduate contracts
We are delighted to announce the contracts that have been awarded to our 2022 graduates. Five of our students will be joining The Royal Ballet Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme this year and a further five are joining Birmingham Royal Ballet. Other students are joining prestigious companies in the UK and across the globe:
Isabella Boyd, Norwegian National Ballet 2
Jack Bruce, Ballett Am Rhein
Aidan Buss, Boston Ballet 2
Alicia Rose Couvrette, The Royal Ballet Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme
Martin Diaz, The Royal Ballet Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme
Jack Easton, Birmingham Royal Ballet
Luc Foskett, The Royal Ballet Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme
Scarlett Harvey, The Royal Ballet Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme
Arnon Herring, Pilsen Ballet
Frieda Kaden, Birmingham Royal Ballet
Oscar Kempsey-Fagg, Birmingham Royal Ballet
Mason King, Birmingham Royal Ballet
Ishan Mahabir-Stokes, Scottish Ballet
Isaac Martin, Norwegian National Ballet 2
Takumi Miyake, American Ballet Theatre Studio Company
Ella Newton-Severgnini, The Royal Ballet Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme
Madison Penney, Birmingham Royal Ballet
Skya Powney, Dutch National Ballet Junior Company
Jessica Templeton, Sarasota Ballet
Francesco Venturi, Dutch National Ballet Junior Company
Tia Wenkman, Sarasota Ballet Studio Company
Congratulations to all our graduates – we are so proud and wish them all the very best for their futures.