Accessibility links


Sign In
  • Home
  • News
  • Student from Chance to Dance outreach programme to join The Royal Ballet School

Student from Chance to Dance outreach programme to join The Royal Ballet School

Jacob Tidmarsh to start at The Royal Ballet Lower School White Lodge in September 2014.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

12 April 2014 at 2.27pm | 6 Comments

Chance to Dance student Jacob Tidmarsh has been offered a place at White Lodge, The Royal Ballet Lower School.

Jacob, who joined the Chance to Dance programme in January 2011,  first watched a Royal Ballet demonstration in September 2010. Since then, his passion for dance has grown immensely. He gained a place in the Junior Associate programme at The Royal Ballet School in 2012, and was selected to dance in The Royal Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty earlier this Season. He will start with The Royal Ballet School in September 2014, marking his next step into vocational dance training.

‘We are absolutely delighted and very proud of Jacob’, say Andrew Tidmarsh and Cordelia Galloway, Jacob’s parents. ‘It is just wonderful to see how far he has come in three years; to say that Chance to Dance changed Jacob's life would be an understatement.’

Since joining the programme, Jacob has performed in two Chance to Dance annual performances: Jam Tomorrow (May 2012) choreographed by Royal Ballet Soloist Kristen McNally, and The Rite of Spring (May 2013), which was adapted by Kristen and fellow Soloist Thomas Whitehead.

‘I was initially unsure about the idea of Jacob doing ballet’, says Andrew. ‘But the whole process has been a life-changing experience for the whole family. By attending Family Days, we've developed a real understanding and appreciation of ballet; it has become a commitment for the whole family!’

Chance to Dance is designed to enable the children taking part to enjoy and participate in dance, developing their creativity, self-confidence and self-discipline. The programme works with 30 primary schools across Thurrock, Lambeth and Southwark, who have the opportunity to attend Royal Ballet demonstrations and stage rehearsals, as well as take part in practical workshops. Children who show enthusiasm and an aptitude for dance are selected to join the Chance to Dance company, receiving weekly classes and attending Royal Ballet performances and practical family workshops for up to four years. Applications for Chance to Dance academic year 2014–15 will open to participating schools in May; you can register your interest below.

'The Chance to Dance programme is an amazing and wonderful thing at a time of cutbacks to the arts', say Andrew and Cordelia. 'It has opened a world to Jacob that he probably never would have encountered otherwise: he has made new friends, grown in confidence, gained an understanding of collaboration, learned to value creativity, and become determined and tenacious. We are particularly grateful to the Royal Ballet dancers Jacob has encountered - Tom Whitehead was so supportive to Jacob ahead of his audition.’

Other Royal Ballet dancers involved in the programme include First Artist Nathalie Harrison, Soloist Laura McCulloch and former Soloist David PickeringFind out more about Laura’s experiences as a teacher on the programme.

Applications for Chance to Dance 2014–15 will open in May. If you represent a primary school in Lambeth, Southwark or Thurrock and would like to register your interest please email us.

Chance to Dance is generously supported by Mrs Lily Safra, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, MariaMarina Foundation, Marit Mohn, Orinoco Foundation, Marina Hobson MBE, Simon and Tracey Holden, Gonzalo and Maria Garcia, Eugene and Stephanie Leouzon, Atosa Moini, Raymonde Jay, Robin Vince, Sue Street, Katrin and Chritoph Henkel, Royal Opera House Endowment Fund, Thurrock Borough Council, Freed of London, Sue Sheridan and The Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators Charitable Trust.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

12 April 2014 at 2.27pm

This article has been categorised Learning and tagged Ballet, Chance to dance, Dance, Education, Jacob Tidmarsh, learning, learning and participation, The Royal Ballet School, White Lodge

This article has 6 comments

  1. Gordon Cotterill responded on 12 April 2014 at 3:47pm Reply

    Great news about a great outreach programme. Our daughter was introduced to ballet at year 3 thanks to Chance to Dance and is now at WL year 9. Congratulations to the dedicated staff of C2D!

  2. Zara Kirk responded on 17 April 2014 at 9:48am Reply

    I am wondering why 'chance to dance' is just in London, what about all the other potential dancers around the country - my daughter would love opportunities like this but we dont live in London !

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 21 April 2014 at 8:57pm

      Dear Zara

      Chance to Dance isn't just restricted to London as a whole, it is limited to 30 primary schools in London and Thurrock. These areas have been specifically chosen to offer an opportunity to children who would not otherwise be exposed to dance. The level of contact and commitment is high, and the schools need to be geographically close to the ROH as they involve dancers from The Royal Ballet, who need to be rehearsing in Covent Garden.

      We have another scheme that trains teachers to inspire pupils with a love of dance - Dance Dynamic - and you may wish to recommend it to your daughter's school:

      We also hold schools' matinees at the ROH, and state schools outside London can apply for a grant to help with travel costs:

      We are very keen to offer experiences and opportunities to children outside London, but we have to be realistic about what we can achieve. Where are you based in the UK? It may well be that there is a scheme similar to Chance to Dance run by a ballet company near you.

      Best wishes


  3. Madeleine Plaut responded on 23 April 2014 at 2:58pm Reply

    To the parent who would like to know more about opportunities for wonderful ballet classes out of London,
    It is a terrific scheme and has been around for 40 years. Good luck!

  4. NELLY GORE-BI responded on 24 November 2017 at 12:38am Reply

    I would like to know if there is another way to apply for the ballet classes. My daughter is so disappointed and upset she hasn't been chosen in her school today, specially when her big sister attended the chance to dance classes for three years (I am the one on the last picture with my daughters Shyann and Kelyssa). Please let me know if there is another way to apply.
    Thanks in advance

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 28 November 2017 at 9:19am

      Hi Nelly,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Currently, the process to access the Chance to Dance, Company Classes, is only via the In-school workshops.

      We are sorry to hear that your child was not selected for the next stage of the programme, but it’s great to hear that your child’s primary school was selected from many applications within your borough to be a part of the 2017/18 programme and access the five weeks of creative ballet workshops.

      If you would like to get in contact directly with the Chance to Dance Team at, they will be able to provide further details on the selection process and also more bespoke options about other ballet classes in your Borough, which your child could get involved with.

      Best wishes,


Comment on this article

Your email will not be published

Website URL is optional