It has been a very strange week for Northern Ballet Academy. With the Company only moving into the building last Monday we made the decision to move the Academy across a week later so that staff could fully get to grips with the building before more than 200 academy students came through the doors.
I have spent my week going back and forth from Quarry Hill in the daytime to West Park in the evenings and it really has made me realise quite how lucky the Academy is.
We had all become very fond of West Park and it definitely does have its own character but for the Academy students being able to take full advantage of such fantastic facilities in the new building really is a dream come true. For years our students have been changing in the leaky toilets, have been taking their study classes in the corridors and have used the studios late in the evenings on cold, rainy and depressing week nights.
I am writing this just after watching one of our pre-ballet classes (6-8 year olds). At the end of the class the teacher put on some music and asked the children to dance to it in any way they wanted. I felt really moved by the amount of emotion the children were putting into the exercise. They really were showing how much they loved to dance and in a little studio downstairs in West Park with no windows and bare walls I felt so excited for the students and the dancing we will see from them when they are in our new bright and airy studios. I dread to think how excited they will all be when they arrive at the new building next week.
The move to the new building has been on the students’ minds all term and here is what they have to say:
‘My experience at West Park was very good, we have had a great time with lots of dancing. The building at West Park was great but not our own building which means it was not special to us as much. Time goes on and it’s time to move to our new building which is brilliant but we will take all our memories with us. I hope with the new building that we have new memories and even better memories’.
Ashley, age 13
‘I am just really excited about everything!’
Lara, age 6
‘I am excited because there will be even more classes and changing rooms. I think being able to look out the window and see the whole of Leeds will be really funny’.
Amelia, age 6
‘I am always hungry so I’m excited most about the café’.
Samuel, age 6
‘…I can’t wait to see the toilets and the cool hand dryers’.
Ronnie, age 11
I’m so pleased that our students are thinking of all the important things!!!