Image credit: LVBS

Arriving at the school in Shepherd’s Bush, the members were warmly greeted by Gavin McCaig, Director of Business Operations, and Kate Blakeburn, Academic Director. LVBS began life as Young Dancers Academy in 2006 and has grown from 4 students to a thriving school of 50 students. The school offers dance and academic training to youngsters from Years 7 to 11. With only 13 students to a class, the students receive exceptional training in dance and an excellent academic education. Following their GCSE’s many of the students go on to prestigious ballet schools. For example, of this year’s graduating class, 8 of the 13 have been offered places at English National Ballet School. Those students who have chosen not to continue with a career in ballet have gone on to study at Oxford and Cambridge.  

The school’s mission is clear: to prepare aspiring dancers for the rigours of upper school ballet training, all while fostering their intellectual growth. This is exactly what the members observed. On a tour of the building, we saw large, bright studios, and well-equipped classrooms. 

Following the tour, we watched the Year 11 students in class with Head of the Senior School, Josephine Holling. The lively piano accompaniment was provided by James Golborn. The energy, the passion, the dedication, and the enjoyment that each of these young dancers was experiencing was plain for all to see. The combinations were long and complicated, and the students relished the challenge and gave it their all for the entire class. After a much-appreciated tea break, we watched the students from all years rehearsing a new piece by Gavin McCaig, entitled Awakening, which will premiere at Sadler’s Wells in late May. And finally, we enjoyed a Q&A with Gavin, Kate and the Head Boy and Head Girl.  

This was the LBC’s first visit to LVBS but it won’t be the last!! The enthusiasm, the warm family feeling and the joy exuding from the students was infectious. The members of the LBC left with a spring in their steps and a smile on their faces. Following the visit, the LBC donated £195 to the school.

The London Ballet Circle is registered in England and Wales under charity number 1123258 © 2021 The London Ballet Circle. All rights reserved unless explicitly stated otherwise.
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