We hope all our pupils and their families had a very Merry Christmas, and we send everyone our very best wishes for the New Year. As we celebrate our school's 42nd Anniversary in 2020, we look back on the year and some of its incredible highlights:
One of our 11-year old students was cast in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s professional production of The Nutcracker at the Royal Albert Hall in London this Christmas. After auditioning against hundreds of children, she was offered one of only 16 roles and will be dancing alongside professional dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.
One of our senior student has been cast in the professional pantomime of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ – she will be taking the role of one of the dwarfs, ‘Grumpy’!
Three of our junior students successfully auditioned for roles in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of ‘Swan Lake Dreams’. They will be performing with a live orchestra at Birmingham Hippodrome in February 2020.
One of our students was offered a place as a Junior Associate of Studio 10, Liverpool. This is a full-time college that trains students in Jazz and Musical Theatre. We also have four students who were re-accepted for another year and continue to train as Junior Associates for Elmhurst Ballet School (in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet).
One of our past students was awarded the end of year prize for Year 7 ballet at Elmhurst Ballet School and also gained the highest mark in his end of year assessment. We also have another student who has had a successful year at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.
Finalists in two classes at the annual ISTD Imperial Classical Ballet Junior Awards, held in Milton Keynes. We had a student in the finals from a section of 78 dancers, and three older students in the finals from a section of 72 dancers. There were 44 schools from across the UK and Europe competing.
Finalist at the annual ISTD Imperial Classical Ballet Senior Awards held in Crawley, West Sussex out of 57 entrants from the UK and abroad.
Success at the UK Dance Class Championships in Bradford, Preston and Sheffield, with multiple medal, trophy and 1st place winners. These competitions are in front of a panel of adjudicators with sometimes over 70 entrants in an age group.
Success at the British Dance Performers Championships with all students gaining a place in the top 6 for their age.
100% Distinctions for all ISTD examinations. The highest marks of the year were 96/100 for Imperial Classical Ballet, and three students who gained 96/100 for Modern Theatre.
Multiple students were featured in professional photo shoots for Dancewear Central, appearing on their website and in their catalogues. Our students feature alongside dancers from the Royal Ballet, Northern Ballet and English National Ballet. A photo of our student also appeared in the international dance magazine ‘Dancing Times’, modelling Roch Valley garments.
We hosted a day of three in-house workshops with Jenna Bradshaw on National Dance and a series of private ballet classes with Tala Lee-Turton (ex-Bolshoi Ballet Academy).
Students also attended summer schools at Moorland International Ballet Academy, Boys Day of Dance, Acting Day and Summer Dance course at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts Summer Dance Course, Yorkshire Ballet Seminars Ballet Boot Camp and a workshops with Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Ballet.
Our student have raised £135 for Elliott’s Trust from the sale of beautiful hand-decorated pointe shoes, and £79.00 towards a defibrillator at Blackford Bridge United Reformed Church.
We are now running six classes, with 100 Silver Swans attending classes each week.
A group of 13 of our Silver Swans (aged 55-84) were selected to represent dance in Bury and were invited to perform as park of ‘Danceworks’. This was a two-night community dance festival for Greater Manchester and took place at the New Adelphi Theatre in Salford. Our Silver Swans performed Odette’s solo (Act II) from Swan Lake and the Bolero from Coppélia.
We were delighted to film once again for Caters News. This time we filmed a mini documentary about our Silver Swans. This was featured in online content – the rights to this film were then purchased by the Royal Academy of Dance and they continue to use this footage for promotion.
Our Silver Swans were chosen to appear on the Bury Times Review of the Year.
Hosted a Silver Swans class for the Royal Voluntary Service's First Time for Everything scheme, sponsored by Prudential.
Hosted a Silver Swans class for Oldham Coliseum’s over 50s group ‘Full Circle’. We are very honoured to have been invited back again in 2020.
We hosted an event for Silver Sunday UK – we were honoured to welcome The Worshipful the Mayor and Mayoress of Bury, Councillor Trevor Holt and Mrs Evelyn Holt to our event. This was featured on That's Manchester TV.
Following the success of our Silver Sunday event, the Mayor and Mayoress invited us to the Mayor’s Parlour in Bury Town Hall. Our Silver Swans were given a tour of the Mayor’s Parlour and Council Chambers, and had refreshments with the Mayor and Mayoress.
Two of our Silver Swans successfully auditioned for roles in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of ‘Swan Lake Dreams’. They were cast as the Queen and a Lady in Waiting. They will be performing with a live orchestra at Birmingham Hippodrome in February 2020.
Trips to watch the Royal Ballet’s live streams of the Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Triple Bill (Concerto, Enigma Variations and Raymonda Act III).
A day trip to Liverpool Empire to watch The Nutcracker. We were fortunate to be able to watch company class in the morning, lunch at The View restaurant, followed by the matinee performance. The trip was made possible by Ambition for Ageing’s generous grant.
Enjoyed a fantastic Summer party and Christmas party. The raffle/tombola at both of these events raised £346.25 and £357.88 for a defibrillator at Blackford Bridge United Reformed Church.
It has been a fantastic year for both the children's school and Silver Swans® and we look forward to returning to classes on Monday 6th January 2020.