Central School of Ballet is one of Europe’s leading centres for dance training. The school is an affiliate of the Conservatoire for Dance & Drama and is led by Director Heidi Hall 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 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 graduate 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.
Heidi Hall, Director and Christopher Marney, Artistic Director, now lead Central. Both are Central alumni, with Chris being one of the first students to complete the school’s MA Choreography degree.
“A graduate from Central School of Ballet is a valuable asset in any company as 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 and individual graduates of Central School of Ballet, indeed, several have played demanding leading roles in my productions with great success.” Matthew Bourne, Artistic Director, New Adventures
“I can normally spot a Ballet Central student after just a few minutes working in a studio. They are always professional, they understand how theatre works and they engage physically and (most importantly) verbally in the creative process.” Christopher Hampson, Artistic Director, Scottish Ballet
The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama
Central School of Ballet is a member of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, a group of world-leading schools delivering education and vocational training in the performing arts. The six member schools are:
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
Central School of Ballet
London Contemporary Dance School
National Centre for Circus Arts
Northern School of Contemporary Dance
Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance
Widening Participation and Access
Central runs a wide programme of outreach work to encourage and broaden participation in dance. As well as working in schools and offering workshops, Central also runs an Associate School which includes a thriving Junior School, and Prep & Pre-Senior programmes. Central also offers an extensive programme of evening and weekend adult classes for all abilities.
“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