Elmhurst Ballet School aims to produce excellent classical dancers with the emphasis on purity of line, musicality, artistry and a strong technique. Most world class classical ballet companies have a repertoire which includes strong elements of all dance disciplines. It is not sufficient for dance students to be proficient in classical ballet alone. For this reason Elmhurst offers a comprehensive programme to include Contemporary, Jazz and Flamenco. The classical ballet curriculum is supported by Mat Mattox based jazz technique and Cunningham/Graham based contemporary technique.
Students also study intensively Pas de Deux, Solos, Upper Body for male students, Pointe Work for female students and, in conjunction with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Repertoire. Students are assessed in their dance studies at regular intervals. The assessment procedure is clear and fair. Assessment policies and procedures are available to all students.
Upper School students study for the two-year National Certificate in Professional Classical Ballet or the three-year National Diploma in Professional Dance, validated by Trinity College London. The Diploma is a Level 6 qualification, which is recognised on the new Further Education Qualification Framework as the vocational equivalent of an honours degree. It consists of modules that are assessed both internally and externally and moderated externally throughout the three- year course. The Certificate is a Level 5 qualification.
Students auditioning for this course are accepted for their physical facility, technique and musical aptitude. In their final two years of training students may be selected to dance with Birmingham Royal Ballet in its productions in Birmingham and on National and International tours.
All Upper School students are intensively coached on a one-to-one basis in preparation for entering the annual Solo Competition the finals of which are performed to an invited audience in our theatre. Additionally the students are encouraged to produce a piece of choreography to be performed in the school’s annual Choreographic Competition. During the last two years of study students may be selected to perform in various outreach programmes. This gives students valuable performance experience. Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Learning Department are now recruiting sixth formers to assist in their schools' Outreach Programme.
Graduates are given guidance, during their final year, on preparing their Curriculum Vitae with appropriate photographs, DVDs and portfolios prior to auditioning for professional dance companies.