White lodge

Prestigious ballet schools worldwide join The Royal Ballet School for aDvANCE conference

From 28 September to 1 October 2023, The Royal Ballet School welcomed 17 Directors, Principals and CEOs from ballet schools and junior companies worldwide for the aDvANCE conference at White Lodge in Richmond Park.

The conference focused on understanding today’s students’ experience of elite training and working together to facilitate nurturing studio environments and organisational cultures. Delegates sought to identify current and future challenges for their organisations and the wider industry, as well as explore and develop solutions and best practices.

The conference resulted in more established ways for the international industry to forge closer and mutually beneficial ties between industry members, helping to inspire open conversation and continuous improvement in our art form.

aDvANCE was conceived by Artistic Director & CEO Christopher Powney, with the support of Jaimie Tapper (Deputy CEO, Shoreditch Trust, Organisational Psychologist; Trustee, Studio Wayne McGregor; Trustee, Prix de Lausanne). Delia Barker (Managing Director, Brixton House; Chair, Phoenix Dance Theatre; Governor, Royal Ballet School) joined Jaimie in facilitating the weekend.

On the conference, Christopher Powney said:

In a fast-paced, rapidly changing world, building a community where we can work together to respond to challenges is essential. As educators entrusted with the nurturing of young people and leaders of elite performance environments, our shared focus is the needs of our students and their carers and how we can shape the future of training for our evolving industry with those needs in mind.

aDvANCE was invaluable for all of us in attendance; it was enlightening and inspiring. I’m grateful to our facilitators and the delegates for embracing this opportunity, and I feel hopeful and energised for what we can achieve together.

Jaimie Tapper said:

This is a pivotal moment for our industry. Together, we have committed to building an industry-wide network to effect tangible change and ensure our training environments are fit for purpose in today’s world. I’m excited for the next steps.

Thank you to the conference delegates for joining The Royal Ballet School at White Lodge and for your collective commitment to the future of classical ballet training and our art form.

aDvANCE conference delegates:

Jason Beechey, Director, Palucca Hochschule fur Tanz Dresden and Interim External Advisor, Zurich Dance Academy

Amanda Britton, Chief Executive, Principal and Artistic Director, Rambert School

José Carayol, Head of Artistic Programmes and Production, The Royal Ballet School

Kate Coyne, Artistic Director and Professional Training Lead, Central School of Ballet

Viviana Durante, Artistic Director, English National Ballet School

Kevin Durwael, Artistic Director, Koninklijk Balletschool Antwerpen

Nena Gilreath, Co-founder and co-artistic Director, Ballethnic Dance Company and Ballethnic Academy of Dance

Gigi Hyatt, Pedagogical Principal and Deputy Director, The Ballet School of Hamburg Ballet

Jahn-Magnus Johansen, Assistant Ballet Director and Leader, Norwegian National Ballet 2

Simon Larter-Evans, Principal, Tring Park School

Waverly Lucas, Co-founder and co-artistic Director, Resident Choreographer, Ballethnic Dance Company

Ernst Meisner, Artistic Director, Dutch National Ballet Academy and Coordinator and Choreographer, Junior Company at Dutch National Ballet

Kathleen Mitchell, Graduate Rehearsal Director, Boston Ballet School

Robert Parker, Artistic Director, Elmhurst Ballet School

Élisabeth Platel, Director, Paris Opera Ballet School

Christopher Powney, Artistic Director & CEO, The Royal Ballet School

Jennifer Sommers, Director, Houston Ballet Academy

Mavis Staines, Artistic Director and CEO, Canada’s National Ballet School

Christian Tàtchev, Director, Queensland Ballet Academy