London 9th October, 2008
The Royal Ballet School’s primarySTEPS initiative starts in earnest in Blackpool on Thursday 9 October 2008 when 400 Blackpool school pupils take part in the first of a series of creative dance workshops, designed to introduce them to the magic of ballet. A special collaboration with Bispham High School, the project will feature teachers from The Royal Ballet School leading classes and workshops, and at the same time, seeking out exceptional local dance talent.
The Royal Ballet School’s primarySTEPS programme has already touched the lives of some 1000 young people in other parts of the UK. Now it is Blackpool’s chance to prove that it has more to offer the dance world than hosting Strictly Come Dancing at the Winter Garden!
Five primary schools in the Blackpool area are will be working closely with teachers and students from The Royal Ballet School’s Dance Partnership & Access Programme. The teachers will introduce the year 3 pupils (7-8 year olds) to the amazing world of ballet through creative movement workshops. The five schools involved are Anchorsholme, Bispham Endowed C of E , Devonshire, Layton and Revoe Community Primary Schools.
Pupils will be put through their paces learning the basic elements of ballet, including how to stretch, turn and jump like a dancer. They will also watch a demonstration by some of The Royal Ballet School’s full-time students and children from the School’s Junior Associate Programme. Whilst seeing what’s involved with training to become a ballet dancer, some of the Year 3 children will be invited to join The Royal Ballet School students on stage to “give ballet a go” themselves.
At the end of the six week course, 25 of the most talented pupils will be selected to further their new found knowledge and skills by joining free weekly primarySTEPS classes, hosted by Bispham High School, for three years. The children taking part will receive their training from teachers specially approved by The Royal Ballet School. After the three years, the aspiring young dancers will be advised on how best to continue their dance training and some may be invited to audition for The Royal Ballet School’s highly regarded Junior Associate programme.
The Royal Ballet School is working in collaboration with Bispham High School and is funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families in its aim to make a significant contribution to dance opportunities for the young children of Blackpool. The project aims to bring ballet into the consciousness of local children, giving them a unique opportunity to learn about ballet from one of the world’s great ballet schools.
For more information, interviews please contact:
The Royal Ballet School
020 7845 7074; Mobile: 07768 455667