Owen Morris - BA(Hons) Graduate 2016
Owen Morris writes ... Working in the professional world has been an incredibly exciting and enriching experience for me, but none of this would have been possible without the support and preparation given to me at Ballet West. Working with the Ballet West touring company and working hard every day under a variety of different teachers and techniques has not only prepared me for the rigours, dedication and hard work required to be a professional dancer but also the opportunity and rewards. The national tours I performed on whilst a student with Ballet West taught me a variety of different skills which has helped me in the working world including learning a variety of different stage crafts and repertoire, learning about performance and stage preparation, improving my performance skills as an artist, performing and working with a wide variety of different people and getting used to performing in a wide range of challenging and different performance venues.
The world class training at Ballet West provided me with the foundations to build myself as a dancer, along with a lot of hard-work, dedication and discipline. Ballet West also provided me with a network of teachers, choreographers and friends who I can count on to help connect with people in the industry and who support you every step of the way to reach your goals whether it be a job, exam or degree assignment.
Dancing abroad and in the UK has been incredibly rewarding and has really developed me as an artist and person, it has allowed me to perform in a wide variety of different venues. This includes at the state opera house in Bulgaria with the Ballet of the State Opera Varna and being given the opportunity to perform soloist roles, filming on set at Pinewood studios with Sergei Polunin, Misty Copeland, Liam Scarlett and Morgan Freeman as well on tour around the UK with Vienna Festival Ballet. I have also had the chance to appear in a television advert and gain some freelance teaching jobs as well. I will always carry into the future the skills and teaching I was provided with at Ballet West as well as a set of happy and fun times filled with people with the same passion, ambitions and goals as me.
Natasha Watson - BA(Hons) Graduate 2015
At the end of July 2010, Natasha Watson, who came to Ballet West through our Aspiring Professionals, won the Level 2 Genée Dance Challenge, organised by the Royal Academy of Dance. The competitors were judged on a solo which had been choreographed by their teacher. Natasha's solo, "River Flows in You" by Yiruma, was choreographed by Ballet West principal dancer Sara-Maria Barton, herself a medallist in the Genée International Ballet Competition. As a winner she was invited to perform her solo at Supper with the Stars, an exclusive fundraising dinner and curtain-raiser for the Genée International Ballet Competition, taking place in November.
In 2011, Natasha won a Festival 4 Stars Special Achievement Award for her achievements in dance and Best New Scottish Actress at the 2011 Scottish Variety Awards. She gained Distinction with a mark of 92% in her RAD Advanced 1 examination. She is also the youngest ever actress to be nominated for a Scottish BAFTA.
In 2013, Natasha was a bronze medalist at the Genée International Ballet Competition. Following her success at this competition, Natasha Watson danced with Scottish Ballet on their 2014 tour of Hansel and Gretel. Natasha graduated from Ballet West with a BA (Hons) in 2015.
Here are some examples of the destinations and prizes won by Ballet West students and graduates
- Ballet Cymru
- Ballet Dortmund
- Ballet Theatre Hof
- Ballet Theatre UK
- Birmingham Royal Ballet
- Cork City Ballet
- Dancer on MSC Cruises
- Dancer on Queen Elizabeth 2 Cruise liner
- Disneyland Paris
- EBB Junior Company, Madrid
- English National Ballet
- Estonian National Ballet
- Fage Yoghurt UK Advert Campaign
- Fertile Grounds Dance Company
- Greek National Ballet
- London 2012 Opening Ceremony
- London Ballet Company
- Macedonian National Ballet
- Mediterranean Entertainment Productions
- Modelling & TV Work
- New English Ballet Theatre
- Peter Schafuss Nutcracker
- Royal New Zealand Ballet
- Royal Opera – Dancer
- Scottish Ballet
- Scottish Opera - Dancer
- The Crown (Netflix Series) Dancer
- The Nutcracker and The Four Realms (Disney Movie) Choreography Liam Scarlett
- The Royal Ballet
- Theatrehagen Ballet
- Varna State Opera Ballet, Bulgaria
- Vienna Festival Ballet
- BBC Young Dancer Ballet Finalists
- Genée International Ballet Competition Finallsts and Bronze medallists
- RAD Senior Awards Day Terry Darke Award for Musicality
- RAD Senior Awards Day Winner (Advanced Level)
- Solo Seal Award