Sian - Founder, Artistic Director
Originally from Wales, Siân’s first experience of dance was teaching herself steps from books and television, before starting formal training at a local ballet school at the relatively late age of 12. On reaching RAD majors, Siân took up full time training at the Rubicon Centre in Cardiff followed by Morley in London.
In 2001, she became a member of Chelsea Ballet and danced principal roles with the company, including Myrthe, Queen of the Willis in Giselle, Pas de Quatre and creating new roles in The Bracelet and The Snow Maiden. During this time she continued training at advanced level at Morley College. In 2002, she began teacher training and subsequently taught at the college.
Moving to Bristol in 2005, Siân was at once struck by the lack of opportunities for adult dancers outside the capital. Missing the experience of performing and convinced that there would be others that felt the same, she lay the foundations for the creation of Ballet Bristol, and is proud to have been joined in her vision by a company of dedicated dancers.
Committed to Community Dance, in 2010 she set up her own small ballet studio for adult learners. She has also taught class at Beginners and Improvers level at the University of Bristol. Siân is a Professional member of the Foundation for Community Dance and a Recognised Instructor with the Council for Dance Education and Training.
|Ellie - Founder Member, Ballet Mistress|
Ellie is a professional dancer, teacher, choreographer and theatre technician.
Ellie started her training at the Bristol School of Dancing and the Bristol Stage School. Here she took
part in numerous performances at the Hippodrome and Redgrave Theatre working with The English
National Ballet Company, European Ballet Company, Kenwright Ltd and performed in many Christmas
Pantomimes. She was a soloist with the Bristol Youth Ballet Company, playing leading roles in ‘Cinderella’,
‘The Nutcracker’, ‘The Spanish Wedding’ and ‘Cardboard City’. She then progressed to train at the Central
School of Ballet on the Pre-Seniors course followed by a two year course at the Arts Educational School,
Tring Park, gaining both performance and technical experience and her teaching qualifications in ballet and
modern dance, and was a finalist in the prestigious end of year ‘Cup’ Competitions.
Post graduation followed a few years of performing in small touring shows around the UK and Europe.
Then five years in London’s West End working on show such as Mary Poppins, Dirty Dancing and some
Gala performances. Ellie now works full time as a ballet teacher at the Bristol School of Dancing and
Bristol School of Performing Arts, teaching children from the age of 2, up to adults!
Ellie is delighted to have become a founding member of Ballet Bristol as ballet mistress,
choreographer and soloist. Read more about Ellie on her website.
|Fiona - Publicity and Marketing|
I started ballet at the age of 3 with the Westbury School of Dance in Bristol. I danced until I was 17 with the school and narrowly missed out on a place at the Royal Ballet School at the age of 11. At 17 I decided to concentrate on my academic studies and stopped dancing and have regretted this decision to this day! Ballet (and dance) never left my system and I am so happy I found Ballet Bristol and to be dancing and performing again! Goes to show – you can never give up what is in your blood.
Since joining Ballet Bristol in 2009 I have had so many opportunities to dance in front of lots of people who truly appreciate what we do. The idea that we can bring ballet to many people who cannot get to the theatre anymore makes the experience of doing something I truly love even better!
My repertoire since joining Ballet Bristol has grown gradually, starting with a few pieces from Sleeping Beauty – Jewel Fairy and Enchanted Garden. Since then I have added Dawn from Coppelia, Summer Flowers from the Seasons, Esmeralda’s friend variation, Degas, Mirlitons from the Nutcracker Suite and the Sugar Plum Fairy! All the dances are special to me from solos to group pieces, however having the opportunity to perform the Sugar Plum Fairy at the Black and Gold Ball and St Monica’s was very special. I relish the opportunity to get stuck into something new.
I started dancing at the age of 2 and have barely stopped since! Even moving to Spain at the age of 9 didn’t stop me – I studied at Marcia's dance centre and The Valerie Jean school of dance until I returned to the UK at 15. Upon my return to the UK I continued to study all types of dance from Ballet and Tap to Latin and Ballroom. In 2000 I was chosen to perform with English Youth Ballet in a production of Coppelia as one of Swanhildas 'friends' where I had the pleasure of dancing alongside Richard Slaughter and Ursula Hageli, ex Royal Ballet and Stuttgart Ballet dancers and Roddie Patrizio formerly of Scottish Ballet.
In my adult years I have tried several schools/companies and after a period of ill health, which forced me to give up any idea of a performance career, I found my home when I joined Ballet Bristol in 2009. Not only do I get to dance again but I have made some amazing friends for life who share the same crazy passion for Ballet that I do! I love to perform and since joining Ballet Bristol I have had the opportunity to learn many great pieces, including: Prayer from Coppelia, Mirlitons and Harlequin and Columbine from the Nutcracker Suite, Hail and Summer Flowers from the Seasons, Nikiya from La Bayadere, Esmeralda’s friend variation, Aurora from Sleeping Beauty and Degas.
I'm not a dancer, I'm just a guy who can dance a bit and enjoys it. After trying to be a proper dancer as a kid
(it was no Billy Elliot story), I drifted back to dancing as an adult, and now my most important job is to make
the other dancers look fabulous, graceful and elegant.
Nina started ballet at the age of 4 at a local ballet school in Bristol. She moved to the Westbury School of Dance when she was 11 and continued until she was 14. She stopped at this age to concentrate on her academic studies and has regretted the decision ever since.
Nina joined Ballet Bristol in February 2009. Her favourite dance is the Mazurka as she enjoys the dance and the costumes are very colourful.
“I was so pleased when I heard about Ballet Bristol on the radio and loved it from the first class! It is a great place to meet people, have fun and keep fit! I love being able to learn and perform ballet again as an adult!”
|I started dancing at the age of 3 at the Parkewood School of Dance where I grew up in Southampton, eventually reaching RAD grade Advanced in ballet. I was then offered a place at the Central School of Ballet, London in 1997 but decided to pursue the less glamorous (!) career of A Levels, University degree and I'm now a full time Event Manager. Whilst I don't regret the decision and have managed to keep up classes ad hoc over the past 12 years, I didn't realise how much I missed dancing until I joined Bristol Ballet in Summer 2010. I was made to feel very welcome from the start and have met lots of lovely and talented people. The fact that we get to perform and wear proper costumes as well is an added bonus - I never thought I would get to wear a tutu again!|
Victoria started ballet at the age of 3 at a number of dance schools in Lincolnshire and Shropshire. She knew she didn’t want to pursue dance as a career and when the grades became more advanced and more ‘serious’ she stopped enjoying it and stopped dancing.
Victoria joined Ballet Bristol in 2009. Her favourite dance is Snow from the Seasons and has really made it her own, she is currently developing it for pointe, this is also a good way to develop her performance capability.
“Ballet Bristol has allowed me to re-discover my passion for dance while making some great friends.”
Sarah started ballet aged 3, dancing with the Gill Caplin School of Dance in Leeds. She continued dancing until the age of 18, reaching Grade 7 and Elementary RAD levels, when she left Leeds to go to university.
Sarah joined Ballet Bristol in May 2011 and so far has performed the Spanish Dance from the Nutcracker. She’s looking forward to learning and dancing more repertoire with Bristol Ballet soon!
“I didn’t realise how much I had missed dancing until I joined Ballet Bristol, plus I’ve gained a lot of new friends as well!”
Sarah has trained at Tring Arts Educational School, The Royal Ballet School, Central School of Ballet and Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. During her training years she worked with many well know and distinguished dancers and chorographers in works ranging from Petipa to Grahame. Also with companies such as Ballet Russe, London Ballet Company and Rambert Dance Company.
Sarah joined Ballet Bristol in the Summer of 2011 and her first performance with Ballet Bristol was in June 2011 in the Les Sylphides as Prelude.“I enjoy dancing with Ballet Bristol very much and love to work with the traditional pieces as well as new works too.”
Melanie started ballet at the age of 4 at the Jennifer Bullock School of Dance in Belfast. She danced until 18 when she left home for University. Following University Melanie attended classes at the Centre de Danse du Marais in Paris for a few years. She stopped dancing completely after the birth of her first child 5 years ago.
Melanie joined Ballet Bristol in July 2011 and the Gala represents her debut performance with Ballet Bristol. Melanie is looking forward to performing in the Degas piece.“It is lovely to have found such a great class in Bristol and be dancing again!”
Rose started ballet at the age of 4 and studied until the age of 20 with the Wendy Clark School of Dance in Bath. She continued to dance with the University College London Dance Society but eventually stoped when she beame pregnant with her first son. Rose joined Ballet Bristol in May 2011 and made her debut peformance in the December Gala which she was very excited to to take part in.
David joined Ballet Bristol in October 2011. He started ballet in October 2010
David took his first ballet class at Princeton Ballet School when he was 23 and studying in The States, and he still doesn't exactly know why! Immediately he became addicted to ballet and took adult classes there and in New York while living out there.
David has so far only performed the Pas des Déesses with Ballet Bristol, but considering it's about three girls fighting over him he’s got a feeling it's going to remain his favourite dance for quite some time!
“Ballet Bristol is a chance to dance with other adults who are passionate about ballet, and a rare opportunity to perform as an adult 'recreational' dancer! Although I'll never be an amazing dancer I'm determined to keep training and be the best I can be.”
Carrie joined Ballet Bristol in December 2011. She started Ballet aged 19 when she started a Diploma in Dance Theatre at the Laban Centre, London.
Carrie became interested in dance at secondary school and joined a community dance project (Peterborough Dance Project) where she began learning about contemporary dance. She danced with the project and at school all through her GCSE's and A Levels. When applying for university her form tutor persuaded her to audition for The Laban Centre...not at all expecting to get in, she was overjoyed when she did.
During her training she battled with illness and injury but made it and after graduating danced on contracts through Britain and Europe...all feathers and sequins! When she stopped dancing she retrained as a physiotherapist and now works in a rehabilitation team in Bristol.
Carrie says her favourite dance with Ballet Bristol is Hail. “Hail is great - me dancing a ballet solo, who would have ever thought it? - never worn a performance Tutu before, I felt like a kiddie in a sweet shop - amazing!” Two sisters - ballet with that contemporary twist...is a little more in her comfort zone, which was a good place to start
“After a break of 8 years I wanted to get my dancing shoes on again; I loved Ballet at Dance School even though it wasn't where I started and wanted to give it another go and was really pleased to find BB where I could do class, meet other dancers in the area and get the buzz of performing again! Loving it!!”
|Kate - Guest Performer|
I trained at the Urdang Academy of performing Arts and graduated as a dancer, performing various dance styles within a touring educational group affiliated to Urdang. After a brief career, injury caused me to give up dancing and after several years I retrained as an RAD ballet teacher at the RAD. Whilst there as part of the course, we were taught Anatomy by Moira MacCormack an ex Royal Ballet dancer. I wanted to learn more about anatomy and its role in movement, so I trained as a Sports Masseur and graduated in 2009 with a Diploma in Sports Massage.
I joined Ballet Bristol in July this year and I have been made to feel very welcome by everyone. I love the fact I can combine my two great passions: Dance and Anatomy and help people at the same time :)