Leanne Kirkham, Dance Education Officer
My name is Leanne Kirkham and I’m the new Education Officer at Northern Ballet, I’m here for six months and will keep you regularly updated on my time and experiences here. I’m very excited about working with such a well established professional company and am looking forward to meeting lots of new people in Leeds through my outreach work. My job is mainly to promote Northern Ballet as an accessible, friendly place where you can watch the amazing company in their performances and experience dance yourself, even if you’ve never danced before! It’s a great way to keep fit, make new friends and be creative.
I was quite nervous on Monday morning but everyone here made me feel very welcome and has helped me to find my way around the impressive new building and its seven studios. I spent the fist few days finding out about the history of Northern Ballet and observing a wide range of classes from the Over 55’s ballet class to the little level one creative dance sessions and ballet classes for children and teenagers. I was really impressed with the standard of the students and the brilliant teachers but best of all, everyone was enjoying themselves. On Wednesday I was lucky enough to watch Yoko working with the females of the company rehearsing the Geisha dance from Madame Butterfly. It was a wonderful experience to see the professionalism of the dancers and to see how detailed the direction is.
The latter part of my first week has been brilliant. I’ve started planning workshops alongside the rest of the learning team and feel much more clear idea about my role within Northern Ballet. Everyone here works incredibly hard and I am delighted to be part of such a great team. I am teaching my first workshops on Monday at All Saints School in Ilkley, based on Northern Ballet’s most recent production ‘Beauty and the Beast’. I cannot wait!