“A School Like No Other!”
In 2014, advertising began for an ‘all-boys’ Ballet programme in London, United Kingdom.
After several months, the response was small and somewhat disappointing. With just four students, the first ‘all-boys’ Ballet class took place in the nation’s capital, but no one could have imagined where this would lead within the next four years!
Driven by a passion for dance and a determination to succeed, the founder Mr James Cunliffe, continued to persevere, invest and develop in what he believed was a much-needed opportunity for boys to explore Ballet and dance.
James was brought up in South Wales, UK and like many parts of the world, boys who dared to attend a Ballet class were in the minority. Sports such as rugby, football and cricket were the expected, and attending classes largely represented by girls was not the ‘done’ thing. Having been deterred from attending Ballet in his younger years, James set himself on a challenging and well overdue journey - to follow his passion for Ballet and dance.
Investing his time heavily in an intensive Ballet training whilst attending as many classes as the day, and his body would allow, James remarkably completed his vocational Ballet examinations within just two years.
“What now I said? Why didn’t I dance when I was younger?...and this is where the idea of the London Boys Ballet School was created!” says James.
The ‘London Boys Ballet School’, (LBBS)
With an innovative approach and updated image to encourage boys into dance, 2015 saw the ‘London Boys Ballet School’ experience unprecedented growth, becoming the premier school for male dance training in London. What started as a niche dance class in a small studio space, soon joined the mainstream, twice relocating to larger premises, offering a multitude of weekly classes, and a teaching faculty that would not be out of place at a full-time training establishment.
Over 200 enthusiastic boys and young men, (Aged 4 – 18), are now enrolled at this unique school, each attending classes with a strong feeling of camaraderie.
“Feedback from parents is always extremely positive. We often hear how boys attending LBBS are at their happiest and have made some of their closest friends, all of course with one common interest – They LOVE Ballet!” says James.
The school, which has developed male-focused training across all genres of dance, boasts a 100% examination pass rate and offers pupils a high calibre dance training.
Catering to all ages and abilities, the school has firmly established its place within the dance world and is now a recognised authority for those seeking information, support and guidance for the young male dancer.
Excitingly, the school has been responsible for a nationwide boost in boys’ classes and has inspired dance associations and schools alike to recognise and offer more encouragement to boys.
Attending LBBS goes far beyond classes; regular guest teachers, workshops, theatre trips, Ballet company visits, and the opportunity to meet some very high-profile international dancers. Their theatre performances are also innovative, exciting and beyond expectation!
“We are always trying to WOW our supporters and are continuously developing new ideas and projects to ensure the very best of training for our pupils,” says James.
Having been featured on TV, radio, national and international newspapers, LBBS will continue to have a positive impact for young male dancers around the globe and is presently building new connections with dance companies and schools worldwide.
“We are always looking to create new partnerships and relationships both nationally and internationally, this way we can make a real difference!” says James.