Primary Steps demonstrations kick off in Dagenham and Blackpool
For the past 17 years, The Royal Ballet School has been working with schools to introduce ballet and creative ballet training to children who might not otherwise have access through its Primary Steps programme. Through these partnerships with schools and other arts and government organisations, the School works to broaden opportunities and encourage engagement in ballet. Each year, the five-week series of carefully-designed creative dance workshops touches the lives of more than 2,000 young people.
The School work with children in Dagenham, Blackpool, Bury St Edmunds, Cardiff, Mansfield, and Swindon. At the end of September, our teachers and students went to Dagenham and Blackpool to share a demonstration class for children to get a taste of the programme. Year 3 pupils got a rare opportunity to see first-hand the artistry and athleticism of ballet dancers and had a chance to experience for themselves by ‘having a go’ on stage.
Even after a long train journey to Blackpool and a very short rehearsal on The Globe stage the Junior Associates and Pre-professional students, Caspar and Bella, shone in their demonstration class. Year 3 pupils from our five partner primary schools in Blackpool were captivated by the class and were very vocal in their appreciation of the JAs and Upper School students! Our students were rewarded by VIP treatment at Blackpool pleasure beach and got to go on a couple of the fairground rides.Victoria Collinson, Associate Programme and Primary Steps Artistic Manager on the demonstration class in Blackpool
Demonstration classes continue throughout October in the other areas the Primary Steps programme serves.
At the end of the initial five-week course, 28 pupils from each area will be invited to further their new-found knowledge and skills by joining weekly Primary Steps classes for up to four years. The children will receive training from teachers specially approved by The Royal Ballet School. After those four years, the aspiring young dancers will be advised on how best to continue their dance training, and some may be invited to audition for The Royal Ballet School’s highly regarded Junior Associate programme.
The Royal Ballet School’s Primary Steps Programme is funded by the Department for Education in England and the Hodge Foundation in Wales and aims to make a significant contribution to dance opportunities in the areas where the programme operates.