The Royal Ballet School’s primarySTEPS programme starts its fourth year in Blackpool with a special day of ballet demonstrations for almost 350 young people on Thursday at the Grand Theatre.
Year Three pupils from five Blackpool primary schools will gather at the theatre for a rare opportunity to see first hand the athleticism and artistry of ballet students.
The pupils will also have the opportunity to experience the positions and movements of ballet for themselves by having a go on stage.
A group of teachers and musicians from The Royal Ballet School’s Dance Partnership & Access Programme will arrive at The Grand together with final-year Royal Ballet School students and younger students from the school’s nationwide Junior Associate Scheme.
In Blackpool, the school’s partners, Bispham High and The Lowry, have helped to develop the innovative programme involving Anchorsholme, Bispham Endowed CE, Devonshire, Layton and Revoe Community primary schools.
Year Three pupils from the five schools will spend the subsequent six weeks working closely with teachers from The Royal Ballet School’s Dance Partnership & Access Programme, discovering ballet through a carefully-designed series of creative dance workshops.
primarySTEPS involves more than 2,000 young people throughout England each year in Blackpool, Dagenham, Swindon, Bury St Edmunds and Mansfield.
At the end of the six-week course, 25 of the most talented pupils will be invited to further their new-found knowledge and skills by joining free weekly primarySTEPS classes, hosted by Bispham High School, for up to four years.
The youngsters taking part will receive their training from teachers specially approved by the royal school. After the four 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 funded by the Department for Education in its aim to make a significant contribution to dance opportunities in Blackpool.
The project aims to bring ballet into the consciousness of local children, giving them a unique opportunity to learn from one of the world’s great ballet schools.