The Bluebell School of Dance aims to provide an introduction to dance and performing arts, in particular Classical Ballet, for pupils of all ages and abilities with the major emphasis on participation and enjoyment and not solely on the attainment of examination passes and medals.
When I founded Bluebell School of Dance in 1977, classes were held in Bluebell Hill Village - hence the name. The school now teaches approximately 180 pupils in three centres.
Performance is a very important part of the school's aims, and all children are able to take part in dance productions. These productions are self financing through ticket sales, with any costumes or props required by the children paid for by the school. Any profits from performances are donated to charity and we have raised over £20,000 from the profits of past productions.
The school aims to produce a children's production of a full length ballet every other year. Past productions have included Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Coppelia, La Fille Mal Gardee, Cinderella, La Bayadere and Sleeping Beauty. In between ballets, a revue is produced, showcasing our other performance skills, tap, modern and singing.
We also aim to provide as many other opportunities as we can for pupils to perform both locally and nationally. Children are encouraged to broaden their experience by participation in productions with groups such as Kent Youth Ballet and English Youth Ballet, and in local pantomimes. Pupils compete in local dance festivals and they are encouraged to create their own work for our annual choreographic competition.
We specialise in NATD Classic Ballet, which is based on the teaching method developed by Agrippina Vaganova for the Kirov Ballet School. We also teach NATD modern and Tap. Pupils achieve excellent examination and festival/competition results. Many continue their dance studies at university or dance college and several have become professional performers.