A group of year 7 students at opera holland park.

Passing the torch – insights from our Year 7 and Pre-professional students

Our Summer Performances are a bittersweet time at the School. For some of our students, it’s their first time performing as a Royal Ballet School student. For others, it’s the last time they will take the stage with their peers before embarking on their professional careers with some of the world’s leading companies.

We caught up with some of our Year 7 students and graduating students to hear their reflections on their performances and their advice to one another.

Year 7’s

What have you learned from the Pre-professionals?

Ryleigh: I learned not to compare myself to others. Everyone improves at different levels and times, so there’s no point in comparing. It’s better to show your full potential and demonstrate to the audience and teachers how much you’ve improved.

Hudson: Sometimes I feel down because someone else might have higher jumps or be better at something, but thinking of Pre-professionals dancing helps me focus on improving myself.

Some of our pre-professional students smiling for mistake waltz.

Do you enjoy seeing the Pre-professionals perform?

Matilda: It’s inspiring to see the Pre-professionals. We look up to them a lot. Whenever they walk past, we’re like, ‘Oh my god.’ One day, we hope to be in their place, looking at the little year 7s and remembering how far we’ve come. We’ve done so well and can’t turn back now.

Giulietta:In our first year, we got to watch the Pre-professionals class, and it was really inspiring. They are amazing dancers and role models for us. Many of them were once in our shoes, hoping to achieve what they have now. We all dream of getting there one day.

If you had to give our Pre-professional Year graduates any advice or tell them something as they start their professional careers, what would you say?

Mirabelle: If you’re having a tough day, remember how talented you are. It’s hard to get this far and be that good at what you do. Not many people can do that. There are loads of people who look up to you and think you’re incredible, even on your bad days. We all aspire to be like the Pre-professionals one day.

Jack: Don’t compare yourself with others. You will grow at different times. And if you don’t get the place where you want to be, there’s always another chance.  

George: Don’t beat yourself up on the smallest things.  Just work towards what you want. If you don’t get there immediately, just don’t give up.

Arlo: Enjoy everything because life’s short, and you don’t get to do everything. So just enjoy what you’re doing. 

Alba: You’re all such an inspiration to us, no matter what anybody says. You’re going to get a million no’s in life, and there’ll be one yes that changes it. So just keep going and that yes will come. 

Five students performing concerto grosso.

Pre-professional Year students

What has it been like performing in your last Summer Performances with the School?

Joseph: It feels emotional to be leaving in less than two weeks. Dancing Concerto Grosso with my friends for the last time feels nostalgic and bittersweet. I’ve performed here since I was 11, and it’s been a memorable journey.

Emile: It’s exciting, and I feel grateful. especially because at this time of year, all the years come together, and you see staff members who maybe you haven’t seen in a long time, and you get to remember that everyone has helped you get to where you are.

Rebecca: Doing the Rhapsody Pas de Deux has been an incredible experience. Emile and I performed it for our assessment, then took it to Paris with Ravi. I’ve grown so much through this piece. Also, performing Paquita, which I first did at 12, is a special way to end my student years.

What advice would you give to the Year 7 students?

Maia-Rose: Stick to your own path. It’s hard not to compare yourself to others, but it’s important because we’re all so different.

Jana: Don’t be afraid to be yourself. People often want us to be the same, but we can be unique.

Javier: Be confident in your abilities. Confidence drives you in performances, whether on stage, in class, or during assessments. If something goes wrong, let it go and stay confident to help the rest of your performance.

Kinoshita Group is a Centenary Corporate Partner of The Royal Ballet School. Find out more about Kinoshita Group.