Raise the Barre programme photoshoot - December 2016

A huge thank you to everyone who took part in the photoshoot for the Raise the Barre show programme - to Andrew the Photographer, to everyone who helped behind the scenes, and most of all to our star models!

As you can see in the pictures, everything started calmly, but soon Daisy was holding back the queue! Alice was only ever stuck for a moment and amazed us all with her choreography and poses.

It will take Claire some time to make her final selection for the show programme - choosing just a few from nearly 500 lovely photographs - but more of the new pictures are now starting to appear around the website.

Chatsworth Chistmas Magic - November 2016

Christmas came early to the Claire Dobinson School of Dancing this year, when we were invited to the press call for the opening of the magnificent Chatsworth House 2016 christmas decorations. This year the decorations have the balletic theme of 'The Nutcracker'.

Huge thanks to our dancers Daisy Edwards, Ben Jones, Daisy Mae Kerry and Alice Rathbone, who brought the scenes to life for the press. The event was covered by ITV Yorkshire Calendar, BBC East Midlands and Peak FM, with large features in the Times, Telegraph and Guardian on Saturday. We were further delighted to hear that the photographs were taken up by Reuters International, to show the magic of Christmas at Chatsworth to people all over the world.

The photographs shown here are courtesy of Paul David Drabble Photography, www.pauldaviddrabble.co.uk.

In the Nutcracker ballet, Clara is given a Nutcracker doll for Christmas. In the night he comes to life and they have many adventures - fighting off an army of mice and visiting a magical land of sweets where they dance with fairies.

In the press photoshoot, they also help to put up the decorations at Chatsworth House!

Save the Date and we'll Raise the Barre - September 2016

Raise the Barre

We are delighted to announce our next full school production: we will be performing 'Raise the Barre' at the fabulous Buxton Opera House on Monday 10 April 2017. Tickets will be available from 10:00am on Monday 07 November, either online from the Buxton Opera House website or by calling the Box Office on 01298 72190.

All the pupils of the school are invited to perform with each style of dance class they attend. Claire choreographs and stages a full school production every two years and since 2011, we have been performing to a completely sold-out Buxton Opera House. Pictures from our previous shows can be seen on the performances page.

Maddie Joins Company Chameleon - September 2016

Company Chameleon

Maddie Shimwell is now an apprentice dancer with Company Chameleon. Based in Manchester, the company create very physical work and often physical theatre, which they perform across the UK and worldwide.

The apprentices rehearse and train with the company and get a chance to perform with them, although Maddie does not yet know which performances she will be doing. Maddie tells us that the Company are currently working on a show called 'Witness' which has two pieces. The first is 'words unspoken' which is about things that have happened to people that they have never spoken about to anyone. They wrote down their stories anonymously and then the choreographers created the piece. The second piece is 'Witness' which is about bi-polar and mental illness awareness which they will be creating next week!

Maddie graduated with Trinity National Diploma in Professional Dance in 2014 before joining Chrysalis London, a contemporary dance company established in 2014'to capture the energy, excitement and raw hunger of brand new talent' and bring it to theatres, fashion shows and events.

Maddie studied with the Claire Dobinson School of Dancing from a very young age, and has continued to visit us in breaks from her studies at Tring Park in Hertfordshire. We are delighted to be able to showcase Maddie's amazing portfolio below.

Summer Masterclasses - August 2016

We are delighted to announce two exciting new Summer Masterclasses this August.

Thursday 18th August 2016 9.15am -12.45pm
Join us for a fabulous morning of dance! There will be three distinct classes: Lyrical with Claire Dobinson FNATD, Physical Theatre with Noelle Foster PGCE and Jazz with Emily Rathbone as she returns to the UK between her performances aboard Celebrity Cruises!

Tuesday 30th August 9.15am-12.45pm
Our second Masterclass also promises to be a brilliant morning of dance. Firstly we have a Street materclass from the inspirational Kelly Lynn who has taught for some of the top performing arts schools in the UK .... followed by a technical Ballet class and Repertoire (Sleeping Beauty) by the wonderful Victoria Westall-Eyre, former princpal with Northern Ballet and internationally acclaimed teacher! We can't wait!

Both Masterclasses are for pupils aged 7 yrs and above, and cost £12.50. Please contact Claire for details and availability (claire@clairedobinsonschoolofdancing.co.uk, 01629 733893).

Announcing the Youth Ballet Theatre - August 2016

All students age 11-18 are invited to take part in a wonderful performance opportunity with brand new Professional Dance Experience Youth Ballet Theatre.

You can watch a video introducing the Youth Ballet Theatre and download application forms on the Youth Ballet Theatre website, http://www.youthballettheatre.co.uk.

As a member of the Youth Ballet Theatre, you will experience elements of working in a professional ballet company, with ballet classes taught by Royal Ballet School graduates and internationally acclaimed professional dancers Michael and Kimberley Berkin, and rehearsals led by award-winning professional choreographer Louise Bennett.

The Youth Ballet Theatre season starts with a pre season workshop in Manchester in December 2016. The rehearsal period begins in January 2017 and consists of 5 consecutive Saturday afternoons. This will be followed by two intensive rehearsal days in the February half term. During the rehearsal period, the students will take part in professional style ballet classes. The students will also learn from Louise and experience the full process of a new dance work being created.

The Youth Ballet Theatre season culminates with a performance on stage, giving all students the wonderful opportunity to perform in costume and make up in a professional theatre at Z Arts in Manchester.

Summer Masterclass with Lukas McFarlane - 12 August 2016

This August we have a fabulous opportunity for our dancers to take a masterclass with the fantastic Lukas McFarlane. Lukas is a 20 year old Canadian contemporary dancer, the winner of 'Got to Dance' 2013 and crowned the UK and Ireland's best dance act. Since moving to London, Lukas has worked with Ronan Keating, Taylor Swift and Celine Dion, and danced on shows such as Red or Black and the X Factor.

The masterclass will be held on Friday 12 August and is open to all dancers age 12yrs and over. Please contact Claire for more details.

Ben Performs with English Youth Ballet - July 2016

Huge congratulations to our star Head Boy, Ben Jones, who repeated his 2014 audition success to be being chosen from nearly 300 talented young dancers to perform with English Youth Ballet at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham - this year in their production of Giselle.

Ben is pictured here during rehearsals, enjoying a true taste of the life of a professional dancer.

Summer Display at the Whitworth Centre - 17 July 2016

Our next public performance will be a display at the Whitworth Centre on Sunday 17 July, as part of the Whitworth Centre Open Day celebrations.

Our dancers will be giving a 20 minute display during the afternoon - to be held outside (if it is dry!), or in the Brunel Room downstairs. See the Whitworth Centre website for more details.

Daisy is the Urdang Academy Poster Girl - June 2016

Daisy Edwards is currently appearing as the poster girl for the Urdang Academy show - and will be performing at the Hackney Empire in London 23 / 24 July. Visit the Urdang Academy website for further details.

Daisy is studying for a 3 year diploma in Professional Dance at the Urdang Academy, but we are extremely proud that her love of dancing started at the Claire Dobinson School of Dancing, and delighted when she can join us for an occasional class.

Open Days, Examinations and Enrolment - Summer 2016

Open Classes
We are so proud of everything our dancers have achieved that we would love to invite you to join us at our open classes. Classes will be open to spectators on:
Monday 27 June 4.30-7pm
Monday 11 July 7-8.30pm (split open days due to exam preparation)
Tuesday 12 July 4.45pm onwards
Wednesday 6 July all classes
Thursday 14 July all classes
Saturday 9 July all classes.

Our Summer examination sessions will be held on Sunday 3 July and Wednesday 6 July.

As an established school we offer over 35 different classes per week from nursery ballet to vocational qualifications - and we are now enrolling for September! There are no auditions, every child is welcome... but we often have waiting lists so please reserve a provisional place to avoid disappointment. Contact Claire to reserve a place, on 01629 733893 or by email to claire@clairedobinsonschoolofdancing.co.uk.

Oscar joins the Hammond School - April 2016

You may recognise Oscar Edwards (11) in the local newspapers shortly - Oscar has successfully auditioned against hundreds of hopeful dancers to gain a full time vocational place at the prestigious The Hammond School of Performing Arts, Cheshire. Oscar will study all aspects of performing arts as well as academic subjects. He will be taking his RAD intermediate foundation ballet exam in June and has just started rehearsals for the end of year performance which he is thoroughly enjoying.

Oscar trained at the Claire Dobinson School of Dancing, Darley Dale from nursery age. His passion for ballet and dance was always apparent, as was that of his sister Daisy (18). Daisy started her training with Claire at just two and a half years old and also successfully auditioned for the Hammond School. She studied there until she was 16 and has chosen to attend the Urdang Academy, London for her senior training. She performed at Move It, the uk's biggest annual dance event, at ExCel, London last month.

Claire said 'I am so proud of everything Oscar and Daisy have achieved so far and very excited for their futures in the dance world. They return to classes at our school whenever they can and it is always a joy to see them.'

Chloe and Phoebe invited to audition - April 2016

The second piece of lovely news this month is that Chloe Gilbert (8) and Phoebe Bell (8) have both been invited to audition for the Royal Ballet School Junior Associate programme. Poppy Cordingley-Lynn (10) is currently a JA and is thoroughly enjoying the experience. Claire wishes Chloe and Phoebe the best of luck with their auditions.

Claire takes maternity leave - April 2016

Claire is on maternity leave this term, having had beautiful baby Charlie at the end of April. Mother and baby are both doing well, and we all send our heartfelt congratulations.

Charlie is pictured here with proud big sister Thia-Louise, who was captured while practising Grand Battements en Cloche to impress her new baby brother!

In Claire's absence, all classes will be taught by Beverley and Viki, with the assistance of Alice and Hannah. Please continue to contact Claire with any queries. She may not be able to respond immediately, but will get back to you as soon as she can.

Spectacular exam results - Spring 2016

The Claire Dobinson School of Dancing is celebrating some outstanding exam results this term. The school has held five days of exams over the last few months and has achieved 100% pass rate, from the youngest ballerinas to those taking vocational qualifications. Eight dancers took their intermediate foundation ballet exams all gaining merit or distinction. The NATD exams are recognised by Ofqual and are eligible for UCAS points for university applications.

Hannah Kerry (20) and Alice Rathbone (23) both took their NATD Associate Ballet exams to become qualified Ballet teachers. They gained fantastic results with Alice being awarded 90% and Hannah 93%. Alice and Hannah are now Assistant Teachers at the Claire Dobinson School of Dancing, so you may see them demonstrating in some of your classes.

Well done everyone, Claire is extremely proud of you all!