Our 2022 Diploma of Dance Teaching graduates
Last Sunday, we were delighted to celebrate the graduation of 15 of our Diploma of Dance Teaching students. The students completed the two-year course which trains professional dancers and teachers to teach classical ballet at a vocational and pre-vocational level to a world-class standard.
Throughout their time with the School, this tenacious group has dealt with travel restrictions, COVID infections, dancing with masks, and online learning. They not only made it through the course, but thrived, pulled together, and have shown the dedication that we only see in exceptional teachers. We know they’ll have every success in directing, teaching, coaching, or whichever corner of the ballet world they touch.
The mood was joyous at the ceremony which took place at our Upper School in London. Speeches, by Senior Teacher Training Manager, Karen Berry, Teacher Training Manager, Sarah Daultry, and Course Tutor, Linda Jasper M.B.E, highlighted the important role that teachers play in their students’ lives and what it means to be an outstanding teacher. Graduates were excited to share their experiences of the course, how much they loved their work placements, and the friendships they formed both with the staff and one another.
The graduates were congratulated on their achievements in this challenging course, which is leading the way in a seismic shift in how dance is taught — focusing on the learning process and incorporating technical, artistic, and creative development into a holistic approach. It has a unique focus on pedagogy and what students learn, not just instruction. It is a course that aims to challenge established traditions — why for example do dancers often face the mirror in class when they work without one on stage?
A word from one of our graduates
Leanne Cope was a Junior Associate at the School, a student at White Lodge and Upper School, and is now a graduate of the teaching programme. She says, ‘You almost can’t get rid of me!’
‘The Royal Ballet School has been part of my whole ballet education. I couldn’t think of anywhere better to train as a teacher. I’ve always admired the teachers at the School.
Learning on the course is a broad spectrum. You do psychology, you do anatomy, you learn about policies in government and what the arts mean to people. You learn about dance education, as well as the Royal Ballet School’s vocabulary. It’s just so much more than tendus and pliés.’
What advice would she give to someone thinking of taking on the course? ‘You need dedication, you need time, you need passion, but that’s notwithstanding the amazing support that you will get from your tutors here. It will open your mind, it will blow your mind. [There could be] something you thought you knew so much about… and then you’re like, ‘wow. I knew so little’. Be prepared to challenge yourself in many different ways, physically, mentally, spiritually, your beliefs on what you think ballet is or was and what you think ballet will be once you’ve finished.
I would fully support anyone who wants to sign up to this course. [You] will have a wonderful time, make great friends, and your cohort will become your cheerleaders.’
Many warm congratulations to our graduates: Luca Acri, Cosetta Bertoli, Ricardo Cervera, Leanne Cope, Amber Doyle, Joshua Ecob, Kevin Emerton, Sophie-Jane Harrison, Mark Hindle, Paul Kay, Sarah Kundi, Sarah Lamb, Jeanne Lenoble, Mayara Magri, and Lawrence Rigg.
Click to see more photographs from the day below.