The end of a summer term is always full of mixed emotions as we bid farewell to the graduate year students of Elmhurst Ballet Company. Many school alumni or ‘Elmies’, now professional dancers or succeeding in other sectors, have studied at Elmhurst for eight years through the Lower and Upper Schools, all in preparation to take make their mark on the world. This year we see the Class of 2021 graduate to an impressive range of jobs and opportunities.
Elmhurst alumni dance in companies across the UK and further afield and with thanks to a strong academic offer, students also leave with the building blocks to succeed in higher education and other sectors. A global pandemic has made securing work a lot harder, so hats off to this year group who have faced many uncertainties during their final year but whose futures are still looking bright.
Graduate Amelia Thompson hails from Worcestershire and dreamed of joining Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) close to home. Her wish has come true as she signs an Artist contract with Elmhurst’s associate company based one mile from the school in Birmingham’s city centre. Amelia’s full-time position was secured after dancing the featured role of Snow Fairy in BRB’s production of Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker, streamed around the world earlier this year.
Graduate Hannah Martin also joins Birmingham Royal Ballet on a one-year apprenticeship. Hannah follows in the apprentice footsteps of alumni Jade Wallace, Joseph Taylor and Ryan Felix. Joseph and Ryan are now full-time Artists with BRB.
Also staying in the UK is Enrique Ngbokota who has been offered a fixed term contract with New Adventures. Enrique was part of the Young Cast in Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet in 2018 so this is a fitting next step for the young dancer with a passion for contemporary dance and choreography. Leila Wright stays in the UK to complement her Elmhurst dance training with Rambert 2 and their Professional Dance Programme.
A number of graduates will work internationally taking the Elmhurst name further afield: Maddie Irwin heads to Balletto di Siena; Luca Freudenberg has been offered a place on The Joffrey Ballet (USA) Trainee programme; Nicola Marchionni joins Cleveland Ballet (USA); Colby Catton heads to Ballet Vanemuine (Estonia); Bradley Howell has been contracted by Ballet Vanemuine (Estonia); Canada calls for Jessica Stead and Yuzuka Kogure who join the Ballet Jorgen Junior Company in Toronto; Annett Dushi heads to Mystic Ballet (Connecticut, USA). Mary Riley and Ugo Frediani join Arles Youth Ballet Company (France); Tim Morgenstern joins Estonian National Ballet; and Libby Rimmer continues her dance journey with EBB Company (France).
Ben Randall pursues a freelance dance career, and Georgina Farrar moves on to Salford University and undergraduate study for a BSc in Physiotherapy.
We wish the Elmhurst Class of 2021 the very best of luck as they continue their exciting and rewarding journeys in life and dance.