Residential Performance Company – Staff Page

Welcome

WELCOME

We are so excited to have you as part of the team for our ‘Evolving Visions’ season this Summer. 

In 2023, National Youth Ballet is providing a really special opportunity for 95 young dancers to come together with a brilliant team, to develop their skills and work on new and existing pieces, culminating in two sharings of work in progress on Saturday 19 August. We are really passionate about creating a positive experience for all involved and want NYB to be a pioneer of inclusivity, positivity and forward-thinking in our industry.

Nurturing and supporting the young dancers is at the heart of the NYB ethos, and with this webpage we want to set out some guidelines that we believe constitute good working practices when working with young people, as well as providing useful information for you in the run up to the residential summer school.

Below you will find a draft timetable for the week. This is a work in progress and is subject to change, but gives you an idea of how the week will run. The senior company is split into three groups of 25 dancers, in which they do their morning classes: McOnie (16-18), Singleton (14-15), and Tookey (12-13), and the Junior Company has 20 dancers (9-11). 

All choreographers/re-stagers working with the senior company will deliver a two hour workshop to each group in the senior company, over the first two days. Beyond Ballet choreographers will work with smaller groups. In conversation with you, we will then reorganize the groups into something that looks more like cast lists, and you will work only with your group for three days, preparing for the sharings on Saturday.

You will also see on the timetable that we run a choreographic competition on Thursday evening – this is open to all our young dancers and we encourage all the staff to watch the competition and support them. It’s always a really lovely evening. On Friday night we will have a party for the company in the theatre space, which will be a costume party with a jungle theme, so please bring your best fancy dress!

You will find a merchandise order form below; please note that you will receive a free NYB t-shirt, but any other merchandise will need to be ordered through the form. If you would like to take up the offer of a free t-shirt, please email admin@nationalyouthballet.org with the subject line ‘Staff T-Shirt’ and indicate which size you would like (XS, S, M, L, XL) by 6pm on Friday 30th June 2023.

Please note that there are important forms to fill out below, so please do fill those out as soon as you can. This includes the Headshot and Biography form, which we would love for you to fill out as soon as possible so that we can announce your involvement with NYB across our social media channels!

We would love to bring the team together for a short zoom meeting around a week before the residency starts, to answer any questions you may have and to meet our Moving Minds practitioners Charlie Brittain and Carrie Johnson. Our Moving Minds initiative is an important part of our work at NYB, working to nurture young dancers’ mindsets, helping them to adapt to new challenges, developing their confidence, and supporting ongoing health and wellbeing. Moving Minds is also there to support our practitioners and at this short meeting Charlie and Carrie will provide us all with some useful tools to create and maintain a positive and nurturing environment in the studio. Please fill out the availability doodle poll, so that we can find a time that is convenient for everybody.

On Sunday 13 August we will have a full company meeting in the theatre space at 17:30, so please arrive at Elmhurst at 16:00 so that we can show you to your accommodation, and you will have a little while to unpack and settle in before the meeting. This will be followed by dinner, then the staff will gather at 20:30, when we can give you any useful information that you will need, you can meet each other, and we can answer any questions you may have. 

Lastly, please note that we have several young people in the company who have severe allergies to nuts, therefore NYB is a nut free zone. Please do not bring any products to Elmhurst that may contain nuts.

We hope that the information below will be useful – please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions: louise.bennett@nationalyouthballet.org

With best wishes and very much looking forward to working with you!

Louise Bennett (NYB Residential Performance Company Artistic Director) and the NYB Team

 

Emergency Contact Details

If you need to contact National Youth Ballet in an emergency during the course the number to call is 07598 827621. A member of our team will have this phone with them at all times. Please do not call prior to the start of the course. Any queries prior to this date should be sent to admin@nationalyouthballet.org.

Photo (c) Jack Thomson

Useful Information

Information for Staff (click on the headings below to be taken to the specific information):

Our Ethos

A guide to the NYB ethos and useful things to remember:

We believe passionately in supporting and nurturing young people, and we place their learning and development front and centre of the NYB experience. In previous years we have witnessed the rate at which young people can grow in confidence over their time with us, and we believe that this is down to the excellent work of the team in creating an inclusive and positive company atmosphere. 

This season we want the young people to have the time to learn about the rehearsal process so that they can fully understand, and develop, the skills that are needed in a professional environment. Please remember that stepping into a company environment may be a little more overwhelming for some students. 

One way we are mitigating the potential feeling of being overwhelmed is with our Moving Minds scheme, taking the students through a mindfulness practice during their rehearsal day. This will be led by Charlie Brittain and Carrie Johnson, who will lead scheduled sessions titled ‘Cultivating Courage’.

Safeguarding is essential to our work at NYB. We will be sending you some informative videos to watch prior to the residency, which will explain and lay out clearly the rules for working with young people both inside and outside the studio setting. It is imperative that these rules are adhered to, for your own protection as well as the protection of the young people.

In the meantime, here is a list of things to keep in mind about the way we work and about what is important to us. We would appreciate it if you would read this carefully.

  • The number one priority is the learning experience of the students. Choreographers: please keep this in mind and balance the level of challenge accordingly. Please do push them (they are really really capable!), but recognise the moment when things get overwhelming and adjust accordingly.
  • Please remember that the students may be away from home for the first time and  will get very tired and possibly homesick. Please treat them with sensitivity and communicate any concerns you may have with Louise and with Nisha Denton, Safeguarding and Support Team Manager.
  • One of the ways NYB is becoming more and more inclusive is in our awareness of the language we use around gender identity. We have asked the students and team members what their pronouns currently are. We ask that you please avoid using gendered language where possible, and when referring to individuals please use the correct pronouns. Examples of non-gendered language can be things like ‘everybody’ or ‘dancers’, rather than ‘boys and girls’. If you are teaching class, please do not separate steps by gender – either give everybody the same steps or give options from which the dancers can choose. If a genuine mistake is made, for example accidentally mis-gendering someone, please treat yourself and others with kindness.
  • Social media – it is likely that the young dancers will follow you on social media. Please do not follow them back, interact with them or accept their requests. This is for your own protection as well as the young people’s.
  • Punctuality: NYB is very much a company atmosphere, and we expect everyone involved to approach the week with professional discipline. Please set an example to the dancers by starting and finishing any session you are responsible for on time. Break times are as important as rehearsal time.
  • Lastly, NYB should be and normally is an extremely enjoyable experience for all involved, and we don’t want the guidelines and rules to overshadow what is always a very genuine, warm and welcoming environment for the whole team. We believe that having clear guidelines provides the freedom to enjoy the experience and create beautiful work and beautiful memories for all involved!

If you have any questions about any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact Louise on louise.bennett@nationalyouthballet.org.

Safeguarding

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Please make sure that you have read the NYB Safeguarding Policy

Training (Updated 19/07/23)
As promised, here is the mandatory whole team safeguarding training for all staff and volunteers. Please ensure that you have watched all of the videos and submitted the relevant feedback form for each of the videos by 0900 on Monday 31st July 2023

1. Types and Signs of Abuse (22m 18)                                      Video 1 feedback

2. Code of Conduct (21 m)                                                         Video 2 Feedback Form

3. Psychological Safety (11m 47)                                               Video 3 Feedback Form 

4. Reinforcing positive messages for growth  (16m 05)       Video 4 Feedback Form

There will then be a 1-hour safeguarding meeting carried out over zoom on Sunday 6 August, 9:30-10:30am. This is mandatory for all members of the team who will be present at the residency, and will also include essential training on how to safely administer an Epipen, as we have several young people in the company who have severe allergies. If you are unable to attend the meeting, it is mandatory that you watch the recording before your arrival at Elmhurst.

Key staff
Our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is Barbara Palczynski and will be contactable throughout the course by telephone on 07884 312808. If you have any safeguarding concerns about a young person please contact her directly. As per the Safeguarding Policy, the DSL is the first point of contact for the staff and volunteers, if there is a safeguarding concern or advice is needed on a safeguarding issue. Do not discuss your concerns with other staff members. 

Our Safeguarding and Support Team Manager is Nisha Denton. She will be on site throughout the course to support our pastoral support team in their role and can offer guidance and support with all other matters that may arise. Also on site will be Residential Healthcare Support, Dr. Surya Gupta Wright, and  a Sports Physio for drop-in sessions in the evening for injuries (details tbc).

As per our Safeguarding Policy when sharing a safeguarding concern with the DSL please ensure:

  • Information is accurate 
  • The concern is reported as soon as possible 
  • Information is up to date
  • Any written notes or information relating to safeguarding concerns should be handed to the appropriate member of NYB team so that they can store it in a safe and secure place. The DSL will advise on this.

When you record the information: Write down your concerns or those of the person who raised them using the Reporting a Concern Form (Appendix A Page 25 in the Safeguarding Policy). Be clear, concise and factual.

  1. Name of child
  2. Date, time and place
  3. Who else was present
  4. What was said / What happened / What you noticed … speech, behaviour, mood, drawings, games or appearance
  5. If child or parent spoke, record their words rather than your interpretation
  6. Analysis of what you observed and why it is a cause for concern

Written documentation should be handed to the appropriate member of NYB team so that they can store it in a safe and secure place. The DSL will advise on this.

Please see these important details from our Safeguarding Policy:

Flowchart of Safeguarding Reporting

2023 Team

We are really excited to share with you that the following people will make up the 2023 Residential Performance Company team:

Junior Company:

Choreographer: Tierney Lawlor
Rehearsal Director: Abbie Steele


Senior Company:

Restager of ‘Ada’ by Louise Bennett: Anya Mercer
Rehearsal Director: Emily Yong

Choreographer: Richard Bermange
Rehearsal Director: Amy Groves

Choreographer: Daniel Davidson
Rehearsal Director: Rosie Mackley

Choreographer: Neus Gil Cortés
Rehearsal Director: Savannah Ffrench

Choreographer: Miguel Altunaga
Rehearsal Director: Ciara Clayton

Beyond Ballet Choreographer: Savannah Ffrench
Rehearsal Director: Emily Yong

Beyond Ballet Choreographer: Amy Groves
Rehearsal Director: Ciara Clayton

Beyond Ballet Choreographer: Rosie Mackley
Rehearsal Director: Arwen Gogerly

Beyond Ballet Choreographers’ Mentor: Charlie Brittain

Dancers’ Development Experience Lead Artist: Hannah George
Assistant: Emma Van Boolen

Moving Minds Practitioners: Charlie Brittain and Carrie Johnson

Drama Coach: Nick Evans

Technical Director: Andrew Ellis

Head of Wardrobe: Emilie Depauly-Viguié

Stage Manager: Anna Freire Camacho

Photographer: Lachlan Monaghan

Timetable

Click the link below to view or download the draft timetable:

Draft timetable RPC 2023

Forms to complete

Diversity & Inclusion Monitoring Form (to be completed by 30th June)

Staff Questionnaire (to be completed by 30th June)

Biography and Headshot form (to be completed by 12th June)

Merchandise order form (to be completed by 30th June – please note you will receive a complimentary t-shirt, but all other merchandise is available for you to purchase)

Doodle poll for Moving Minds meeting

Useful Information

What to bring

Party Invitation

Tickets for sharings

Each member of staff will be reserved one ticket for each sharing on 19th August. If you would like further tickets for the sharings there are a limited number of tickets available. To book additional tickets please follow these instructions:

To take up this place please follow the registration instructions below;

  1. Follow the links below to the booking page for the particular sharing you wish to book additional tickets for
  2. Click on the get tickets button
  3. You will then see a box requesting a promo code – please use code Staff2023
  4. You will then be able to proceed with the registration process.

> Book tickets for the 11am sharing

> Book tickets for the 2.30pm sharing

 

Policies and Guidelines

Physical Contact in Dance policy

Code of Conduct for Staff and Volunteers

Safeguarding Policy

Social Media Policy

The Residential Performance Company is a NUT FREE ZONE. Please do not bring food containing nuts to Elmhurst or the performance venues. This includes pine nuts, peanut butter, cashew nut butter, almond butter and hazelnut spread (Nutella). Please also be aware that some food items might also contain nuts like cereal bars.