National Partnership Scheme
The Dance Partnership and Access Programme has a remit to work with schools throughout England. To date, this has been achieved by building sustainable relationships with key partner schools and dance agencies in five areas of the country – Blackpool, Bury St Edmunds, Dagenham, Mansfield and Swindon. In partnership with these schools and regional dance agencies, The Royal Ballet School has developed activities for a consortium of local primary and secondary schools in each area.
Developing opportunities for ‘gifted and talented’ young dancers
The Dance Partnership and Access Programme has worked with each partner school to establish a ‘gifted and talented’ dance group for pupils aged 11-14 years from local secondary schools. Our partners have also become the hub of our primarySTEPS centres, hosting weekly after school ‘gifted and talented’ dance classes for children aged 7-11 years.
Our aim is that gifted young dancers can access high quality dance opportunities through primary and secondary school and then progress on to a variety of opportunities such as GCSE and A-Level dance; a regional Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) or The Royal Ballet School Associate Programme, as appropriate.
Making closer links with Royal Ballet School students
Research has shown that one of the most powerful features of the Dance Partnership and Access Programme is the opportunity it provides for young people to meet and work alongside Royal Ballet School students. Therefore during 2011-12 we are trialling a new project with our partner secondary schools, with a view to making this available to other schools in the future.
This project aims to provide a forum through which students at The Royal Ballet School and partner secondary schools can share their dance work and experiences. Each participating school will run a 12 week choreographic project, based around an aspect of The Royal Ballet SchoolÕs 2nd Year programme of study.
The Dance Partnership and Access Programme will establish a secure internet forum for communication between Royal Ballet School students and partner secondary school pupils through which they can share their experiences and working processes. The project will culminate in a performance at The Royal Ballet School for all participating groups.
Information about how more secondary schools can become involved in the National Partnership Scheme will be posted as it becomes available.
“I am sure the work we are doing in primarySTEPS will act as an encouragement for future Year 6 students to consider a rich and diverse arts education at Bispham High School.”
John Topping, Deputy Head Teacher, Bispham High School
“This flagship project offers a strategic vision of sustainability and rigorous organisation which provides a solid platform for us to promote dance. We couldn’t be happier with our relationship with The Royal Ballet School.”
Rob Waldon, Assistant Head Teacher, King Edward VI School