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Students live in a friendly and caring community which is committed to their safety and welfare. Students receive outstanding Health & Well-being support specifically designed for dancers.
We are proud to be a world class centre of excellence for the training and education of classical ballet dancers where graduating students are prepared to secure contracts with national and international ballet companies. Teachers come from successful professional dance backgrounds and teach with passion and commitment.
A student-focussed learning experience maximises each studentís potential in learning, living and dancing skills. The positive learning environment and high expectations prepare our graduates for life in the very best national and international ballet companies.
Elmhurst in Association with Birmingham Royal Ballet is a world renowned centre of excellence for the training and education of ballet dancers. Students are equipped with the skills, resilience and creativity to succeed and make a difference in the professional dance world and beyond.

Robert Parker

Artistic Director

Robert joined Elmhurst as Artistic Director in autumn 2012, following his retirement as a Principal dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Born in Kingston upon Hull, Robert Parker trained at the Royal Ballet School and joined the Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1994 under the directorship of Sir Peter Wright. He received early acclaim when he danced the Second Seminarian in Carmina burana at the Royal Opera House in 1996. He quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to Principal in 1999. He has danced a wide and varied repertoire from the classics to contemporary works, closely collaborating and creating many lead roles with director and choreographer David Bintley and other international choreographers. He has made guest appearances with the Royal Ballet and received various accolades including a Critics' Circle Award in 2003 and an Olivier Award nomination in 2001.

In 2008 he took a sabbatical and moved to the USA where he successfully acquired his Commercial Pilots' Licence. A year later he returned to his first love of dance, rejoining Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2009 where he continued to perform Principal roles. During this time, he also began teaching at Elmhurst on a regular basis, completed a Masterís degree in Philosophy in Education and was selected to attend the 2012 Rural Retreat for aspiring artistic leaders. After retiring from Birmingham Royal Ballet he passed his RAD Professional Dancersí Teaching Diploma with distinction. That same year he was appointed President of the London Ballet Association.

His repertory with Birmingham Royal Ballet included:
Frederick Ashton: La Fille mal gardée (Colas), The Two Pigeons (Young Man), Scènes de ballet and Voices of Spring
George Balanchine: Apollo (title role), Agon (first pas de trois), Four Temperaments (Melancholic Variation), Prodigal Son (title role), Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (Hoofer), Western Symphony (Fourth Movement) and Duo Concertant
David Bintley: Edward II (Edward, Gaveston), Far from the Madding Crowd (Oak), Hobson's Choice (Will Mossop, Fred Beenstock), Carmina burana (Second Seminarian), Choros (Pyrrhic), The Seasons ('Spring', 'Autumn'), Tombeaux (lead role), Dance House, and David Bintley and Galina Samsova's production of Giselle (Albrecht)
Ninette de Valois: Checkmate (Red Knight), Job (Satan) Kenneth MacMillan: Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), Elite Syncopations ('Friday Night') and Song of the Earth (Messenger of Death) and Song of the Earth (Messenger of Death)
Hans van Manen: Five Tangos
Jerome Robbins: Fancy Free (Sailor)
Twyla Tharp: In the Upper Room, Nine Sinatra Songs
Peter Wright's productions of Coppélia (Franz), The Nutcracker (Prince), The Sleeping Beauty (Prince Florimund, Bluebird), and Peter Wright and Galina Samsova's production of Swan Lake (Siegfried)
Spring Waters pas de deux

His created roles include:
David Bintley: Arthur (title role, Mordred) Cyrano (title role), Beauty and the Beast (Beast), The Nutcracker Sweeties (Sailor), The Orpheus Suite (Orpheus), The Shakespeare Suite (Hamlet) and The Protecting Veil
Stanton Welch: Powder
Lila York: Sanctum
Kim Brandstrup: Pulcinella

His awards include:
Olivier Award nomination, 2001; Critics' Circle Award nomination, 2001; Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Male Artist, 2003.

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