Pictures: Barre fun as Royal Ballet School teach skills to Dagenham pupils

Royal Ballet providing a demonstration at Dagenham Park School (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Royal Ballet providing a demonstration at Dagenham Park School (photo: Arnaud Stephenson) - Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson

Budding ballerinas spent an unforgettable afternoon learning from Royal Ballet School dancers.

Almost 400 pupils from five Dagenham primary schools saw the professional dancers’ athleticism and artistry up close – and even had a go themselves.

The workshop, held at Dagenham Park Primary School on Friday, is part of the Royal Ballet School’s primary STEPS programme, now in its eighth year.

Pliés, pirouettes and jetés were among the skilful moves demonstrated for the captive audience.

Pupils from the five schools – Beam, Godwin, John Perry and Marsh Green primaries and William Ford Junior School – will spend the next six weeks working through a specially designed creative dance course.

At its end, the 26 most-promising and talented pupils will be invited to receive training from Royal Ballet School approved teachers for up to four years.

Aspiring dancers may then be invited to audition for the ballet school’s junior associated programme.

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Caroline Watkins, Dagenham Park’s head of dance, said the demonstration had proved inspiring for her pupils.

“The demo is about offering the primary children who are receiving a weekly class at their school greater insight into ballet and [the chance to] make links with some of the things they’ve been learning,” she added.

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