The innovative programme provides an alternative to the current model of examination study offered by recreational dance organisations and will drive forward the standard of recreational dance training. Applications for the first cohort of Affiliate Teachers will open in March 2022, with training commencing online and in person at The Royal Ballet School in July.
About the Affiliate Training and Assessment Programme
As a world leader in ballet education, The Royal Ballet School has developed their Affiliate Training and Assessment Programme to extend the School’s System of Training to recreational dance teachers in the UK and across the globe. The programme has been developed from the School’s firm belief in updating dance training in all areas, including the recreational sector. The programme aims to keep pace with established developments in pedagogy and educational theory, and to ensure the art form continues to thrive. Mark Annear, Head of Training & Access, and Karen Berry, Senior Teacher Training Manager, have led the development of the programme, with the passionate support of Artistic Director Christopher Powney.
The programme empowers recreational dance teachers with the responsibility for guiding and assessing their own students’ learning, offering a programme of study with associated learning outcomes and internal assessments, rather than a set syllabus with external examinations. Students and their experiences are at the centre of the learning process and teachers have flexibility and versatility in what and how they teach, driven by the learning needs of their own students. Assessments are conducted by the Affiliate teachers themselves, supported by on-going monitoring and moderation of assessment results by Royal Ballet School staff. The programme is uniquely holistic, with students at all levels learning and being assessed, not only on ballet technique, but repertoire, choreography and appreciation.
The Affiliate teacher training will be delivered via a mix of in-person training, virtual webinars and rich video content distributed via The Royal Ballet School Video on Demand platform. The School has extensively developed their digital capability over the past 12 months in order to increase their reach globally, making content available to new audiences across different time zones.
The benefits of the programme are numerous. The inclusive, flexible programme will widen access to classical ballet training, particularly to those with differing learning styles and needs. Teachers will enjoy autonomy and ongoing professional development, leading to greater creative and career satisfaction, and will be trained directly by The Royal Ballet School staff, ensuring consistency of quality. Offering a varied, holistic programme will ensure the development of intelligent, dynamic young dance students who can enjoy and appreciate the art form in context and as a whole, understanding that dance is an outlet for creative expression, not simply about technical prowess.
Christopher Powney, Artistic Director at The Royal Ballet School, said:
‘I’m thrilled to see the Affiliate Training and Assessment Programme come to fruition and to see The Royal Ballet School’s strong values and rich heritage of training become more accessible and extended to a much wider audience, made possible by the development of our digital platforms.It’s long been established that supporting children to understand how to learn, and to value and enjoy the process, will build stronger foundations and has far-reaching benefits. The Royal Ballet School’s Affiliate Training and Assessment Programme is the first to apply these principles to a recreational ballet training programme. This truly is ground-breaking and a necessary evolution. I believe it will bring untold rewards, with students supported and nurtured to become happy, resilient young people with the curiosity and confidence to shape their own paths.’
Kevin O’Hare, Artistic Director at The Royal Ballet and Governor of The Royal Ballet School, said:
‘As artists we must always work to push the boundaries of our art and to reflect the times in which we live. It’s essential that today’s artists are versatile, able to adapt and flex, and this must be nurtured from the very beginning of an artist’s training. As a Governor and Advisor of The Royal Ballet School, I’ve long valued the principles of innovation and versatility that are embedded in their training, and I’m thrilled to see this extended through the Affiliate Training and Assessment Programme. Not only will the programme ensure that we have a generation of young dancers and dance supporters who understand and value ballet and its history, but will support young students to be fearless in expressing themselves creatively, whether they eventually pursue a career in the arts or not.’
Carlos Acosta, Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet and Governor of The Royal Ballet School, said:
‘Classical ballet enriches lives in so many ways, and recreational training is the start of that journey. As a Governor of The Royal Ballet School and Advisor, I’m delighted to see the advent of this innovative programme, which will open up access to ballet training and foster an understanding and appreciation for ballet as an art form in young people across the world. Affiliate Teachers will facilitate a holistic learning environment where students are free to explore, experiment and to fall in love with expressive movement, bringing great joy and fulfilment to both students and teachers.’