Junior associate students at a workshop

A wonderful week of Associate workshops

Life as an Associate with The Royal Ballet School is full of excitement. From dancing alongside lifelong friends every weekend to attending pre-general performances at the Royal Opera House, our programme offers endless opportunities for inspiration.

Last week was no exception, as we welcomed Associate students from nine centres across the UK to London for a series of workshops with our Artistic staff and guest teachers at Upper School.

A highlight of our year, the workshops provide opportunities for students to enhance their training and learn something new with fellow passionate and talented dancers.

Victoria Collinson, Head of Associates and Primary Steps, reflected on the School’s bustling half term break for our Associate students.

A wonderful week of associate workshops

Exploring pointe work and The Sleeping Beauty

Year 7 Associate girls attended a pointe and repertoire workshop at Upper School, and Associate teacher Rachel Hester taught the Lilac Fairy Attendants’ dance from The Sleeping Beauty.

Many of our Year 7’s have just started pointe, so we looked at how to prepare feet and shoes for pointe work. They worked with focus and applied the feedback given very well to help them execute basic pointe work exercises safely and with sound technique.

Matthew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands

Sophia Hurdley, a dancer with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, delivered a creative workshop for the Year 4 Associate students.

Using Edward Scissorhands as a stimulus for the Year 4’s to work from, they rose to the occasion and created their very own abridged version of the ballet! It was fantastic to see how creative and expressive these young dancers are.

Historical dance

Associate teacher Natalie Krapf led the historical dance workshop for 70 Year 5 students.

During this workshop, the young dancers learnt intricate patterns and how to work with a partner and as part of a team. The day culminated in a lovely performance for parents who were extremely impressed with how much the students had learnt.

JA Insight classes

Each year, we hold Junior Associate Insight classes at our Associate centres to introduce young dancers with a special love for ballet to our one-of-a-kind teaching.

During the past month, we introduced our pre-vocational classical ballet System of Training to nearly 300 dancers across Birmingham, Leeds, Bath, London, and Edinburgh, providing them with a taste of our Junior Associate Programme.

It has been fantastic to see so many enthusiastic young dancers who had even more questions during the Q&A section of the class than their parents!

A wonderful week of associate workshops

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