Central School of Ballet

Ballet Central 2017

Image: Bill Cooper

Central School of Ballet

About Central School of Ballet


Through excellent training, passionate dedication and sheer hard work, Central School of Ballet aims to take your inherent talent to create the mind, knowledge, body and technique of the best possible dancer you can and want to be.

When Central School of Ballet was founded in 1982 by the late Christopher Gable, CBE and Ann Stannard, it was designed to offer students a very different experience of ballet training; namely, one that would value artistic expression alongside technique.  Christopher and Ann had a very strong sense of the value of the individual in performance believing in a personal approach to working and this continues to be developed upon today.

Central School of Ballet joined the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama in 2004.

Key features of the three year course in Professional Dance and Performance:

  • Ballet as the primary core subject of the curriculum.  Students work daily towards the highest standards of technique and artistry in syllabus based classes, repertoire, pas de deux, pointe work for Ladies and allegro for Men;
  • Contemporary Dance forms the secondary subject with the three main techniques (Graham, Cunningham and Limón) studied across the three years enhancing the students’ versatility to enter this highly competitive profession;
  • In addition, the curriculum is enriched with Jazz Dance, Spanish Dance, Music, Drama, Pilates, Dalcroze Eurythmics, Singing and Contextual Studies; arming the students with a wealth of further knowledge and employable skills;
  • Enormous value is placed on the experience of, and preparation for, performing with all students regularly taking part in public and private performances;
  • Each academic year, the Third Years form Ballet Central which is unique in its national standing as a touring ‘student’ company in that it travels extensively across the UK delivering up to 35 performances, over four months, in both prominent and regional venues.  In addition, Ballet Central dancers participate in educational workshops with diverse sectors of the community and also gain behind the scenes (technical, wardrobe) and front of house experiences which truly enhances their all round understanding and appreciation of life in a dance company.



Access for disabled people

The School welcomes applications from disabled people and offers places solely on the basis of potential and suitability for a career in any of the areas taught. The school prides itself on its proactive and collaborative approach to supporting individuals with different abilities and additional needs. Students can contact Josephine Alsinger, Senior School Manager on 0207 837 6332 to discuss their needs before enrolment or at any point during their time at the school.

Students, staff and visitors with some impairments and conditions may find it difficult to move around some areas of the building owning to the nature of the premises. The School is committed to converting such areas where possible.


“A graduate from Central School of Ballet is a valuable asset in any company for they have already experienced life as a professional dancer by touring with Ballet Central. I have had the pleasure of working with many highly talented graduates of Central School of Ballet, indeed, several have played demanding leading roles in my productions with great success.”

Matthew Bourne OBE
Artistic Director, New Adventures

“Central is a catalyst in the profession, producing highly desirable graduates. Central offers choreographers career changing opportunities, with many works commissioned by Central going on to become part of companies’ repertoire. In summary, Central is essential.”

Christopher Hampson
Artistic Director, Scottish Ballet

"Over the course of the last five years as the financial climate for the arts has grown tougher I have seen the Central School of Ballet graduates only flourish. I notice an increasing number gaining the top jobs upon leaving and this is down not exclusively to a well-rounded technical training, but the opportunities they have in meeting and working with the elite, current practitioners of the theatre world whilst the students are in their final year of studies.
Having worked intensely with the 2015 graduates, now, after only one month of them leaving I have already encountered some preparing for major performances on the Sadlers Wells stage, appearing in West-End productions and several who are now integral parts of dance companies in Europe and the USA.
As alumni of the school, a choreographer and also an employer of some of these students I have unequivocal insight into the strength and relevance of the top class training Central students are receiving."

Christopher Marney, Dancer and Choreographer

Central School of Ballet Alumni

Hannah Bateman, Dancer (Central)

Anna Trevien, Choreologist (Central)
ROH profile

Freya Jeffs, Dancer & Curator (Central)

Fergus Logan, Dancer (Central)

Norman Douglas, Dancer & Artistic Director (Central)

Paul Chantry, Dancer & Artistic Director (Central)

Kizzy Matiakis, Dancer (Central)

Darrel Toulon, Dancer (Central)

Richard Winsor, Dancer & Actor (Central)

Michael Keegan-Dolan, Choreographer (Central)

Sarah Kundi, Dancer (Central)

Kenneth Tindall, Choreographer (Central)

Joseph Poulton, Dancer (Central)

Kanika Carr, Dancer (Central)

Christopher Marney, Choreographer (Central)

Dane Hurst, Dancer & Choreographer (Rambert/Central)