Our primary steps students all together for their primary steps graduation

Primary Steps Graduation 2024 

On 25 May, we held the annual graduation for our Primary Steps programme.   

Primary Steps, established in 2005, is a national junior school programme that engages students in Years 3-6 in a positive introduction to ballet and initial creative ballet training. Through national partnerships, the programme aims to increase access to ballet and promote a deeper engagement with dance. The programme operates in six areas, reaching 34 primary schools and on average, 1500+ children per year.  

Each participating area collaborates with a national dance agency, a host secondary school, and a cluster of primary and junior schools to create a supportive and enriching environment for young dancers. Students from all six centres from across the UK travelled to Upper School for this special event. The graduation was held for Year 6 students, marking their transition from the Primary Steps programme and primary school. 

Primary steps graduation 2024 

Preparation for the graduation pieces begins in January when the chosen ballet is selected, typically a piece performed by The Royal Opera House. This year’s selection was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. After watching the ballet, students engage in creative tasks to deepen their understanding and connection to the performance. Teachers then select a specific part of the ballet to inspire the students’ graduation pieces; this year, there were pieces inspired by the caterpillar, the tea party, and more. 

On graduation day, the students arrived in London, and had the opportunity to warm up and rehearse their pieces before the final performance. The excitement and anticipation were palpable as these young dancers prepared to showcase their hard work and talent. 

Primary steps graduation 2024 

Graduation from Primary Steps is not the end of the journey for these young dancers. For those who wish to continue their dance education, we provide ongoing support and guidance. We maintain connections with other dance organisations near each centre, helping to facilitate the continued growth and development of our students in the world of dance. Some Primary Steps students have gone on to join the School’s Associate and full-time training programmes.  

The Primary Steps programme continues to play a crucial role in discovering and nurturing young talent across the UK. We are incredibly proud of all our graduates and look forward to seeing where their passion for ballet will take them next. 

For schools that are outside the region Primary Steps serves, Primary Steps on Demand offers an accessible way for primary school children to enjoy dance. Find out more about Primary Steps on Demand.