Jay Jolley BA (Hons) Dip RBS (PDTC)

Ballet Teacher - Covent Garden

Jay Jolley, Acting Director. Photo: Brian Slater

Jay began his training in Utah and later went on to study with William Christensen, the co-founder of the San Francisco Ballet. He first performed with Ballet West in Salt Lake City before moving to the New York City Ballet. Encouraged by Rudolf Nureyev to come to London, he joined London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet) before being invited to join The Royal Ballet as Principal Artist.

Following a long and highly successful dance career, Mr Jolley moved into business administration and became Company Manager for Birmingham Royal Ballet. In 1996 he joined The Royal Ballet School as Ballet Administrator, becoming Assistant Director to Gailene Stock AM in 1999.

Jay also initiated the Outreach and Access department facilitating a range of educational community programmes, as well as being instrumental in two particular projects of note: the development of White Lodge Museum and Ballet Resource Centre, which was the first dedicated ballet museum in the UK; and the Ninette de Valois: Adventurous Traditionalist Conference, which aimed to facilitate a rigorous and multi-disciplinary exploration of de Valois’ life and legacy. Jay was Interim Artistic Director of The Royal Ballet School for a year in 2013/14.

In September 2016 Jay was awarded The Royal Ballet Governors' Gold Medal for outstanding contribution to ballet.