The Place’s Centre for Advanced Training in Dance (CAT) students Lydia Mackett (17 years), Tierney Lawlor (18 years) and Georgina Pini (18 years) were awarded scholarships to attend the Arte Balletto Summer School in Italy. The course ran from the 16-23 July in the heart of Cantina, the home of Mount Etna. This was the first time that participants from the nationwide Centre for Advanced Training scheme had taken part in an international exchange programme, which was initiated and led by core Centre for Advanced Training faculty member, Nicky Ellis.
Nicky Ellis has taught at many of Britain’s leading dance institutions including The Royal Ballet School (White Lodge), Central School of Ballet and Elmhurst Ballet School, English National Ballet School and The Place.
Nicky was pleased with the experience the students had and remarked that the exchange ‘achieved its aims in giving the students the opportunity to have a taste of life beyond prevocational training’. The project enabled the students to be fully immersed in an unfamiliar dance school, working in different ways and learning new dance techniques they were not used to, which pushed them ‘I think the students will remember the experience very positively, an exciting and challenging experience in a very different environment than which they are familiar with’.
‘It’s been an amazing week where I’ve been pushed more than ever and it’s that feeling of achievement at the end of each class that’d been the most enjoyable and rewarding. In contemporary we had the opportunity to teach our solos to the Italian dancers which was really daunting to start with but they were really lovely and picked up the material very quickly’. Centre for Advanced Training scholarship student.
For the Centre for Advanced Training the project was not just an exchange in the studio, but an ‘exchange of support, training and CAT's holistic approach when working with young people.’ Hannah Waters (Centre for Advanced Training Coordinator at The Place). Last year a student from Arte Balletto attended the Centre for Advanced Training’s Summer Intensive at The Place and this year the exchange has further developed with the UK CAT students visiting Italy. The programme has a view to grow even further next year with four students from Arte Balletto Summer School being invited to attend the summer school at The Place.