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Central School of Ballet

Ballet Central 2017

Image: Bill Cooper

Central School of Ballet

About Central School of Ballet

Central School of Ballet is one of Europe’s leading centres for dance training. The school has been an affiliate of the Conservatoire for Dance & Drama since 2004 and is led by Executive Director Mark Osterfield and Artistic Director Christopher Marney. The school was founded in 1982 by Ann Stannard and the late Christopher Gable CBE, who established the school’s values of artistic expression in dance, and the importance of technique. Central offers a two year Foundation Degree in Professional Dance and Performance leading to a further year of training to complete a ‘top up’ BA (Hons) degree, and a ballet-focused MA Choreography programme, all accredited by the University of Kent.

Ballet Central is the Central School of Ballet’s renowned undergraduate performing company. The company’s annual tour takes place from March to July each year;  audiences across the country have the chance to see young and dynamic dancers on the cusp of their professional careers showcasing newly-commissioned works and celebrated masterpieces by the dance industry’s top choreographers.



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 Josh Yeardley, Senior School Admissions & Administration Manager on 020 7520 2065 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.

Central School of Ballet at Paris Gardens site, image by Bill Cooper
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“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

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“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

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"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)

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