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.

Lei Zhao


Lei Zhao joined the Elmhurst School for Dance Artistic Faculty in September 2012. She was born in Shanghai, and trained at the Shanghai Dance School then Northern Ballet School. She was a member of Birmingham Royal Ballet from 1995 to 2011, rising to the rank of First Soloist. In December 2003 she became an MA in Applied Studies in Dance and in August 2007 she received her Professional Dancers' Teaching Diploma from the Royal Academy of Dance.

Lei's repertory with Birmingham Royal Ballet included:

Frederick Ashton: Dante Sonata (lead Child of Light) and Birthday Offering
George Balanchine: Apollo (Calliope), Concerto barocco
David Bintley: Beauty and the Beast (Belle, Vanité), Hobson's Choice (Salvation Army), Allegri diversi (lead role), The Nutcracker Sweeties (Volga Vouty), The Seasons ('Autumn'), Tombeaux (lead role), Les Petits Riens and David Bintley and Galina Samsova's production of Giselle (Moyna, peasant pas de deux)
Kim Brandstrup: Pulcinella (Pimipinella)
John Cranko: Brouillards ('Les Fées sont d'exquises danseuses')
Milicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer's reconstruction of The Rite of Spring (Chosen One)
Kenneth MacMillan: Elite Syncoptations ('Calliope Rag') and Song of the Earth (Fourth song)
Peter Wright's productions of Coppélia ('Dawn'), The Nutcracker (Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara, Rose Fairy, Snow Fairy), The Sleeping Beauty ( Fairy of Honour, pas de quatre, Songbird, Enchanted Princess), and Peter Wright and Galina Samsova's production of Swan Lake (Polish Princess, pas de trois)

Lei has also been a guest lecturer for the International Dance Teachers Association, guest ballet teacher with Singapore Dance Theater, guest teacher with Shanghai Dance Academy and Shanghai Ballet Company 
ballet tutor for 'CAT' programme, Dance Exchange, ballet mistress and choreographer with Midlands Theater Ballet, a member of the artistic faulty for the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD Associates and Genée dance challenge), and a guest teacher with Elmhurst School for Dance. Lei also had the opportunity to teach company class at Birmingham Royal Ballet, and has been involved in Birmingham Royal Ballet summer schools as ballet teacher and choreographer.

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