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Dance Track Celebrates 10 Years and Expands
02 April 2008
Scheme to find talented youngsters to reach Aston, Lozells and Handsworth
Dance Track, Birmingham Royal Ballet's Education project designed to find and nurture young people with dance potential is to increase in size and expand into North Birmingham, now reaching the Aston, Lozells and Handsworth areas of the city.
Dance Track provides free ballet classes for children in Birmingham that show talent in classical dance, but would not normally have the opportunity to develop their potential as dancers. For the past 10 years, the programme has visited 20 affiliated schools in the south Birmingham area to look for talented children in year one (5-6 year olds).
Last September, Dance Track welcomed 35 young hopefuls from these schools to start their weekly ballet classes. The children receive training from professional dance artists (usually former Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers) as well as attending a range of events enabling them to gain a greater understanding of ballet and its associated art forms.
In April 2008, Dance Track will expand to ten new schools in the north of Birmingham, offering places to 20 children and Holte Visual and Performing Arts College will host the children's weekly classes. The first round of assessments will begin in schools following the Easter break.
Former Dance Track students have gone on to win coveted places at The Royal Ballet School and Elmhurst School for Dance.
Pear Chesterman, Director for Learning for Birmingham Royal Ballet said:
'Our experience with Ballet Hoo! taught us that there is an enormous amount of talent out there and the great thing about Dance Track is that it has the ability to tap into those communities who may not normally think about training in classical dance. It can surely be only a matter of time before we find the next Carlos Acosta or Robert Parker.'
Schools taking part in the project include Anglesey Primary School, Heathfield Primary School, Lozells Junior and Infant School, Mansfield Green School, St Chadís RC Primary School, St Francis Primary School, Aston Tower School, Cromwell Primary School, Prince Albert Junior and Infant School and Birchfield Common School.
Once selected, children chosen to take part in the scheme will receive free weekly ballet classes and free dancewear. The children and their families are then also invited to performances and related events.
Notes for Editors
The Government recently announced a £5.5m boost to dance opportunities for young people. The new investment and support structure will help young people dance for fun and for fitness and help talented young dancers move into the profession.
For further press information please contact:
Simon Harper, Media and PR Manager, on 0121 245 3562; Email: SimonHarper@brb.org.uk
or Claire Lishman, Media and PR Officer, on 0121 245 3549 Email: ClaireLishman@brb.org.uk
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