English National Ballet School returning to Toledo in JulyWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Chase Will, Toledo Free Press Staff Writer
The English National Ballet School (ENBS) in London will be returning to the Ballet Theatre of Toledo to teach a workshop July 21-26.
Dancers interested in participating may fill out an application and post an audition video on YouTube.
“We’ve tried to keep it as much online and easy to work with,” said Nigel Burgoine, artistic director at the Ballet Theatre of Toledo. “It’s more user-friendly, and makes it easier to get back to the kids and let them know about acceptance. We’ve already had applications from Australia, Brazil, Vancouver and California.”
This will be the second time ENBS has come to Toledo. The Ballet Theatre of Toledo also hosted classes for ENBS last summer, the internationally-recognized company’s first time offering a workshop in the U.S.
The idea of bringing the ENBS to Toledo developed two years ago during a discussion Burgoine had with Samira Saidi, director of dance at ENBS, in London. Their joint efforts made it possible to give students the opportunity to learn the style of training specific to ENBS in the U.S.
“Because Toledo is easily accessible from both the U.S. and Canada, it seemed the ideal venue. There are also motels and hotels within walking distance and parking is very easy,” Saidi said. “Ballet students are always hungry to learn and all the students who took part were keen to learn as much as possible. I think they would have stayed longer each day if it had been possible.”
The atmosphere at the workshop is supportive, with focus on personal growth rather than one-upmanship, organizers said. At the end of the workshop, students perform what they’ve learned for an audience of their peers and family.
Scholarships are available for prospective students with financial constraints. Local arts patron Dorothy McKenzie Price has donated more than $3,000 to the program.
“It’s very similar to my career,” said Burgoine, who grew up in England. “I left home at the age of 11 and joined the Royal Ballet School, had a full scholarship until I was 17, and was the youngest dancer in the company. I came from a poor family and really couldn’t afford any of it.”
Last year, two students aged 16 and 17 were selected from the workshop to continue their studies in London with ENBS, which offered an opportunity for continued learning.
“Your international career can start here,” Burgoine said. “It’s really fairy tale stuff. Never turn back and think it won’t happen. It’s your talent at the right time and right place.”
The deadline for application is Feb 28. For an application form and directions for submitting an audition video, visit the ENBS website at enbschool.org.uk and click on “Short Courses.”