Summer Dance School with English National Ballet

This Summer, East London Dance and English National Ballet collaborated, to bring a group of young Newham residents to ENB’s new home in Canning Town.

During the jam-packed five days, young people got to explore ballet and choreography with ENB Lead Artist Jo Meredith and musician Benjamin Khan, watch previous ENB work at ‘watch parties’ and then learn the choreography, find out about costume making, make their own Swan Lake headdresses, understand more about how ENB produce their shows and were even given their own pair of ballet shoes to keep!

“I enjoyed learning new skills and creating strong friendships” Summer Dance School Participant, Surya

In their usual classes with us, the young people learn styles such as hip hop, contemporary and Bollywood, so for many of them this was their first experience of ballet training, and they took to it like swans to water.

“I enjoyed learning new choreography because it made me learn new moves” Summer Dance School Participant, Swarup

Based on the potential she showed over the week, one of the young people was offered a grant space for ENBYouthCo-nnect, a 3-day Summer Intensive run by ENB.

“I am so glad for the opportunity to have been a part of ENBYouthCo-nnect. It was really good and I’m proud of myself. This experience has encouraged me to keep up all that I have learnt” Summer Dance School and ENBYouthCo-nnect Participant, Joella

During the week the young people also curated a film to showcase the movement and choreography they worked on with Artist Jo Meredith. We will add the film to this page once completed, so do pop back in the next few weeks!

ENB’s new home, the Mulryan Centre for Dance, is an incredible building and it was inspiring to see the young people experience dancing and working in these large professional studios. We want to say a big thank you to Jo, Benjamin and the whole ENB team who made the young people feel so welcome and gave them such a fantastic experience.

“I enjoyed meeting new people and it allowed me to be open and share” Summer Dance School Participant, Callia

Socially Distanced Photo

The project was funded by the London Borough of Newham’s HeadStart programme, a commission issued by the National Lottery Community Fund which is designed to promote and support resilience and emotional wellbeing of young people through engaging, creative activities.

All photos by Chris O’Donovan