Applied Ballet – All In!
NYB believes that ballet is for everyone and we aim to challenge perceptions about what ballet can be, who it is for and how to reach the widest audience.
Ballet as an art-form, both within the creative sector and further afield, is not traditionally perceived as being inclusive. NYB asserts that being given the opportunity to work with differently-abled students and being taught how to understand the value of inclusive teaching will lead to a new generation of ballet teachers. These teachers will have learned holistically how to develop a more responsive form of teaching which will both embrace a more inclusive practice and which in turn will start to turn the dial towards a more inclusive art-form.
The traditional construct of a ballet class has created barriers that prevent many young people with SEND needs or disabilities from accessing ballet. This has meant that historically they have not always been able to access authentic ballet opportunities.
Applied Ballet – All In! will provide teachers with the professional skills development opportunity to learn from experts and understand inclusive practice, enabling teachers to work in a much more responsive way with their class. In addition it means that teachers are better able to support all young people that they meet with different learning needs, as inclusive practice helps to develop their understanding of a range of young dancers.
What are the benefits to ballet teachers of training them to have a better understanding of inclusive practice?
Inclusive practice across all art-forms enables teachers to work in a much more responsive way with their class. By working inclusively, teachers are innately more engaged and invested in the evolution and creativity of their class. For a youth organisation this is particularly important as we want to create a space which can pioneer a different approach. In addition, it means that teachers are better able to support all young people that they meet with different learning needs, as inclusive practice helps to develop their understanding of a range of young dancers.
How can NYB work to develop Applied Ballet – All In! and achieve its aim to be a more inclusive company?
Since February 2022 NYB Creative Director Jo Meredith has been working with Parable Dance practitioner and Co-Founder Natasha Britton to share knowledge and specialist ballet expertise and to think about how the Parable Dance approach to inclusive teaching can guide NYB’s aim to make ballet more inclusive. Former Co-Artistic Director of Magpie Dance, Natasha says “Inclusive practice is good practice”. Their commitment to accessibility, inclusivity, progression, development and enjoyment aligns closely with NYB’s commitment to changing the perception of what ballet can be and who it is for.
Image credit: Parable Dance delivering CPD at the Royal Academy of Dance.