Young novice dancers look to rise to the top

Young ballet stars at the Northern Ballet open day.
Young ballet stars at the Northern Ballet open day.
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Young people with a passion for ballet found their feet under the eyes of professional experts in Leeds.

The Academy of Northern Ballet hosted the first of two open days this month at its state of the art centre yesterday and it was a chance for prospective students to get a taste of the kind of training they can expect at what is the official school of Nothern Ballet - one of the UK’s foremost professional ballet companies.

There were sessions for nine to 12-year-olds, separate taster classes for 13 to 15-year-olds. as well as boys only lessons. The young dancers met the Academy’s team of staff and also took tours of the Academy’s facilities.

The Yorkshire venue is the only recognised Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) in the UK specialising in classical ballet. Now in its 11th year, Northern Ballet’s CAT programme has seen 100 per cent of its graduates, who wished to pursue further training, go on to full-time training at top vocational schools including the Royal Ballet Upper School, the National Ballet schools of England and Canada, and the Central School of Ballet.

Yasmin Delves, programme manager at the Academy in Leeds, said: “Our focus is on recognising talent and nurturing our students to give them the technical training and mentoring they need to develop as dancers.

“We are holding our open days so that young dancers can find out first-hand about the world class ballet training available to them in Leeds.

“They will also be able to tour our state-of-the-art facility which we share with Northern Ballet’s professional company.”

The next free open day at the Academy of Northern Ballet is on Sunday, February 15 from 9.30am to 12.30pm.