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About the Burberry Inspire Programme

About the Burberry Inspire programme

As part of the Burberry Inspire programme, Northern Ballet works with each participating school to develop a tailored experience that meets the school’s curriculum, careers and wellbeing aims for both students and teachers. 

Cultural Experience 

Every Key Stage 3 student is given the opportunity to watch a Northern Ballet performance. This usually involves around 1000 students visiting Leeds Grand Theatre for a special matinee performance. 

Workshops & After School Clubs

Our Dance Education Officers work with the schools to understand where creativity could be injected into the curriculum, using creative dance in lessons such as PE, English and History to explore key learning aims. We aim to showcase all aspects of working at a ballet company, looking at set design in art classes and costume in textiles classes. 

Our sessions range from one-off introductory sessions to in-depth project work with a class, for example creating a whole set for a performance. 

‘Students really enjoyed the workshop and it was definitely beneficial for them in terms of exploring the text more and looking at it from a performance perspective. Students expressed how much they enjoyed the workshop afterwards and were heard talking about it to other students in the year group.’
Ruth Gorse, English Teacher
A group of students in a dance workshop. They are leaning to the side stretching one arm over and across themselves.
A student holds a puppet of a person which casts a shadow against a white sheet.
A group of students doing pencil-jumps into the air with Dance Education Officer Keisha Hamilton.
Three students sit around a large piece of paper with the word 'Otley' written on it.
A group of students in a dance workshop. They are holding their hands in fists in front of them and smiling.
Three students stand together holding a piece of fabric, in a classroom. They are looking at it closely.
‘I enjoyed the activities because it increased my confidence. It showed me how to work in a group.'

Dance Film Project 

We aim to work with a class of students for the whole year to create their own dance film. This deep engagement allows them to develop their movement vocabulary and choreographic skills before working with a choreographer and film maker to create their own narrative dance work. 

Behind the scenes at the filming of a dance film with students. We see the silhouette of the camera operator and the back of the camera, in the background we see a student looking down the camera, out of focus,
A group of students performing in a dance film. They have their arms in the air in a V shape.
A group of student sitting on the floor during a dance film performance. We see the camera operator and their camera pointing at the students.
A group of student performing in a dance film. They are stood in a line, the student at the front is looking at her wrist to indicate she is checking the time.

In year two of the project, we were stopped in our tracks by COVID-19. As our work in school came to a swift end, we worked with the schools to develop creative activities for the students while at home. From this, we were delighted to work with Northern Ballet and American Ballet Theatre company dancers to create four short dance films based on students’ choreographic ideas. 

Watch Blended

Watch A Lonely Summer's Day

Watch Trapped

Watch Roots

We were also able to create a lockdown inspired dance film with some students from Airedale Academy. 

Residency Days 

We introduce students to the range of careers available at a ballet company in assemblies and lessons throughout the year, but also invite a smaller cohort of students to visit Northern Ballet HQ. During this Residency day, students tour the building and take part in a range of workshops delivered by Northern Ballet staff and associates. 

‘There are a number of students here today who have only ever experienced dance at Castleford Academy. Today has given them a real taste of the pathways that they could follow in the arts and allowed them to experience what it would feel like to work within the industry’
Teacher, Castleford Academy
A large group of students listening to a talk by a Dance Education Officer in the foyer of Northern Ballet.
A group of students sat on the floor of a dark dance studio with some blue and yellow stage lighting. They are listening to a talk on lighting and technical.
A group of students on a tour of the Northern Ballet building. Mannequins and boxes of costumes can be seen in the background.
A group of students in a dance studio. They are watching a tutor leap into the air.
A group of students on a tour of Northern Ballet's offices, led by a Dance Education Officer.

The Runway 

At the end of each year all the Burberry Inspire partners and schools come together for a huge celebration. Students share their work and get to enjoy and appreciate the work of others.