12 April 2014 at 2.27pm | 6 Comments
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 Pickering. Find out more about Laura’s experiences as a teacher on the programme.
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.