Doncaster dance student to perform at London theatre
Jessica Crompton, aged 17 from Doncaster, will perform at London’s Bloomsbury Theatre in Central School of Ballet’s (Central) annual Summer Performance.
Jessica joins over 100 dancers from Central’s undergraduate degree programmes in a celebration of dance achievement at the end of the academic year.
Jessica has been dancing since she was three years old and has just completed her first year of training at Central School of Ballet, a world-leading training centre for professional dance in London. Selected from over 300 applicants, Jessica was one of just 34 students to secure a coveted place last September on Central’s BA (Hons) degree in Professional Dance and Performance programme, accredited by the University of Kent and affiliated with the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama.
Jessica studied dance at the Northern Ballet Academy in Leeds and was a student at Mexborough Academy in Doncaster before gaining her place at Central joining last autumn aged 16.
Jessica explains her experience to date at Central in London: “I am learning so much, gaining skills in different styles of dance and it’s inspiring to be surrounded by like-minded hardworking people who are driven to reach a similar goal – to be a professional dancer. The training requires determination and discipline as we train six hours a day, six days a week, but the atmosphere is supportive at Central, we are like a big family.”
“I have learnt that it’s really important that we look after ourselves mentally and physically to keep motivated and ensure that we are performing to our highest potential”, Jessica continues. “The advice and lectures on nutrition we receive helps. Dancers love to perform so I am really looking forward to demonstrate my progress and new skills in the Summer Show.”
Heidi Hall, Director of Central and herself an alumnus of Central says: “Central’s training ethos is based on strong technique, creative interpretation and artistic expression. Our annual Summer Performance is an opportunity for the students to experience the joy of performing in front of ticket-buying audiences, allowing them to demonstrate their enhanced skills – this is what drives student dancers to succeed as professional dancers.”
Choosing a career as a professional dancer demands not only considerable talent and exceptional levels of skill, but also the resolve to manage the training required. Places on Central’s degree programmes are highly competitive, and entry is awarded through challenging auditions between October and March each year in London, Leeds, Glasgow, Japan and USA. The process involves performing for Central’s teaching staff, all of whom are former professional dancers themselves. The focus of the course is classical ballet supported by classes in Contemporary Dance, Spanish Dance, Pilates, Jazz Dance, Drama, Singing and Contextual Studies.
Students typically join Central age 16 on completion of their GCSEs and many will have been dancing since primary school. A career as a professional dancer is possible for all young dancers with talent. Central has a long history of accepting student from a diverse range of backgrounds and financial assistance is available to those in need to allow them to complete their tuition.
Graduates from Central go on to join the world’s premier dance companies. Recent Central students are currently employed with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Company, English National Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Ballet Ireland, National Ballet of Estonia, Ballet Black, Northern Ballet, K Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Singapore Dance Theatre, Michael Clark Company, The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera and An American in Paris.