My Spotted! Experience
Hi! My name is Jonathan and I am a student at the Academy of Northern Ballet. I have been with the Academy since 2012 and I was spotted during a Northern Ballet dance workshop at my old primary school in Leeds - aged 9.
Spotted! is a programme designed for young children who may not have had any previous dance experience. With the help of the Academy, they are spotted for having the potential to become amazing dancers and invited to come along to more classes. All the Spotted! classes are free of charge and introduce children to ballet whilst being lots of fun. The classes are held in Northern Ballet's dance studios at their award-winning home in Quarry Hill, Leeds.
If you find the classes fun and want to start doing more ballet then you can go to the Open Classes as a hobby. Some of my friends joined the Boys Only class. Or if you think that you would like to start dancing more often, or even think of becoming a professional dancer when you are older, then you might be asked to audition for the Centre for Advance Training (CAT) programme, which is the programme that I am in.
I have had a wonderful experience with the Spotted! programme and the Academy. The Spotted! programme allows young dancers to express their love for dance and realise just how much potential they have within them. When I first joined Spotted! classes I was very scared. I was really shy, and I didn’t feel comfortable surrounded by the other children I didn’t know. However, the more I went, the more I liked it and I made new friends. All the staff were very kind, and the atmosphere was incredible. The studio space was massive (and they have lots of them). I became friends with a lot of the people there and later the Academy gave me a letter inviting me to join their CAT programme – I was so excited! The CAT programme is very professional and trains young and talented dancers to progress in their ability and strength. The CAT programme aims to help all students to become strong dancers of the future. It has been a great experience so far - I even got to perform in The Nutcracker alongside the Company dancers. I have loved every bit!
So, if you are thinking of going to Spotted! classes, you should. If you are still not sure and maybe think it’s a course just for girls, then you are wrong. There are many boys in the programme and many incredibly talented male dancers that tour around the world. So, stop thinking and go because you never know what you might find!
For more information about Spotted! please click here.
Photos Emma Kauldhar & Justin Slee.