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Headshot of Leanne Kirkham

Leanne Kirkham

Director of Learning and Academy Operations

Leanne completed professional dance training at Performers College in 2000 where she attained ISTD dance teaching qualifications. Upon graduating, Leanne performed across the UK and Europe in a variety of settings, including the UK tour of 42nd Street as a dancer/chorus. During this tour, Leanne taught repertoire on behalf of the Company and developed a passion for teaching.

In 2002, Leanne began teaching dance full time in a variety of locations and genres, from private dance schools to main-stream education and SEND settings. Throughout this time, Leanne worked with The Royal Ballet School on both their Primary Steps and aDvANCE programmes, which aimed to bridge the gap between classical ballet, and community dance, whilst seeking and developing potential ballet talent of the future. The varied and fulfilling nature of Leanne’s teaching career led her to consolidate her practice, and she therefore undertook a BA Hons in Community Dance Practice in 2011.

Leanne joined Northern Ballet as a Dance Education Officer in 2012, teaching repertoire and creative dance sessions for people of all ages and backgrounds. In 2016, she became the Director of Learning with responsibility for all Learning and Outreach activities, developing new programmes such as Rise, Dance for Parkinson’s, and Rise & Shine.

In addition to her roles at Northern Ballet, Leanne is Deputy Chair of Council and trustee at ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) and is a steering group member of the Leeds Cultural Education Partnership.