Now celebrating our 14th Anniversary! Open studios week is 8-13 January 2018! All welcome!
Please note: To find out where each class/course is held, at what time, what dates, and what the cost is, please go directly to TIMETABLE tab on homepage http://www.ballet4life.com/timetable All the details are there.
Ballet4Life.com® prides itself of creating a supportive and friendly environment in which to have a dance class whether you are a retired professional dancer, someone returning to dance classes after many years, or as a complete novice. We serve all levels from age 16 upwards! Our teachers exhibit great care for our clients, understand their individual needs or conditions, endeavour to learn our clients' names and to build trust and a professional relationship. Ballet4life's speciality is teaching dance to adults and we have done this since 2004 and have build up a solid client base and recognition in the field for our great achievement in pioneering adult dance education in the UK! Our teachers also give group and individual feedback in each and every session. Our clients are encouraged to work at a pace that is suitable for their needs and perhaps also with pre-existing physical limitations. We offer authentic, thorough and proper classes but we deliver them in a fun, engaging, stimulating, fresh way with lovely music, positive comments, and yearly outings to see professional dance performances should people wish to partake.
We also have developed our own methodology and deliver specially bespoke ballet, dance, and exercise for the more mature body! #silverswans #50+ dance! This we started 6 years ago well before the current wave of ballet for the older dancers.
Dance has now been scientifically proven to increase wellness, mental acuity, and general health. We are glad that science has caught up and we cannot agree more with their findings! We also witness on a daily level how important the social aspect of dance is. Many a long lasting friendship has been formed at Ballet4Life!
If you have no or little previous ballet experience, we recommend you start with our Beginner Taster Classes that happen 3-4 times per year or start with Ballet4Life 1: Beginner Course. These courses are offered daytime and evenings throughout the entire year. There is one weekly session to attend and information sheets are shared at the start of the course. Our highly skilled Course Leaders are also always approachable for extra assistance or to answer any queries that may arise. Many of our courses also have a classroom assistant. Age and ability are not concerns here! We teach the basics in a caring and careful way. This includes posture and alignment, musicality, positions of the arms and feet, series of exercises at the ballet barre such as plié, tendu, glissés, ronds de jambe, developé, grands battements.Please check the current timetable for venue, timings, dates, and prices.http://www.ballet4life.com/timetable Pre-registration is required.
We offer many Drop-In Ballet and Dance Classes including Pointe, Contemporary, 50+ Dance, General Flowing Exercise. See below for a full overview, class descriptions, and videos. We ask our new clients to register the first time they are taking any of our drop-in classes. This allows us to know a bit more about you and your level of experience ahead of time, as well as to help us anticipate the demand for particular class times and venues.
|Ballet4life 1||Beginner Ballet Course|
|Ballet4life 2||Beginner Ballet Short Course|
|Ballet4Life 3||Drop-in 50+ Ballet|
|Ballet4Life 4||Drop-in Beginner Improvers Ballet|
|Ballet4Life 5||Drop-in Pointe Classes|
|Ballet4Life 6||Drop-in Beginner Follow-On Class|
|Ballet4life 7||Drop-in Intermediate Ballet|
|Ballet4Life 8||Drop-in Intermediate/Advanced Ballet|
|Ballet4Life A||Drop-in General Contemporary Class|
|Ballet4Life C||Drop-in 50+ Dance|
|Ballet4Life D||Dynamic Dance Days- Workshops & Special Courses & Masterclasses|
Move into Wellbeing
Drop-in Dance & Movement classes for people with Parkinson's and other mobility restrictions
|Ballet4life F||General Flowing Exercise Class|
Suitable for all
Beginner level - for people with no previous ballet experience or a very small amount of ballet training
Age and ability are not concerns here! We teach the basics in a caring and careful way. This includes posture and alignment, musicality, basic positions of the arms and feet, series of exercises at the ballet barre such as plié, tendu, glissés, ronds de jambe,développé, grands battements. You then progress to short movement sequences standing without the barre in the centre of the ballet studio. The lovely musical accompaniment is used throughout. The teacher and the assistant are there to ensure you are working safely and to assist at every moment. By the end of the course, you will have a good grasp of the classical ballet basics that make up a beginner ballet class. You will hopefully feel stronger, more flexible, more graceful, and generally speaking, have a better sense of your body and of the joy of movement. You will have the choice to enrol again or to progress to Beginner Improvers Drop-in Classes but we are on hand to discuss this and to answer your queries at the end of each course.
Beginners Adult Ballet Course
This course has been designed for adult learners with either no previous training in ballet or with a small amount of experience. Age is not a concern nor do we require the attendees to be in top physical shape! Just come with an open mind and eagerness to learn!
For Arts Ed_ Turnham Green /District Line tube Bus lines 94, E3, 272 Limited metered parking bays along Bath Road and side streets. Upon entry of the building please state the name of the course to the person at Reception if required. For ST. Peter's Hall, E3 bus stop, on-street parking, 15-minute walk from Turnham Green Station or South Acton Rail.
Fee: £130 please check the payment page as this varies, payable in advance by cheque, by PayPal online, or by bank transfer
Online Payment via Credit Card: After pre-registering, you will be given the option of paying online with a credit card through a secure payment via PayPal.
Bank transfer: Please give send your mobile number and we will text you the bank details if you wish to pay by bank transfer
Cancellations and refunds policy: There is a £50 cancellation fee should you cancel one week or less prior to the start date of any course. No exceptions.
There are no refunds should you have to miss lessons on the course or if you choose to drop-out from the course.
Make-up lesson: Should you miss one session due to circumstances beyond your control such as illness or work/family, we offer one free make-up session on another beginner course or later to use in a drop-in class. This has no expiry but must be booked in.
Please wear clothing for exercise that you can move freely in.
Jogging bottoms and T-shirts, or leggings and jogging top or ballet gear if you already own some.
Dance belts or athletic supporters for the gentlemen
For the feet:
Ballet slippers are not mandatory to start. Bring along thick sports socks and we can advise about ballet slippers
If you have long hair please tie it back to ensure that it doesn’t distract you whilst moving
Jewellery: Please remove dangling earrings and long necklaces to ensure your safety whilst moving in the class.
If you have a planned absence you may find out from the Ballet4life Team beforehand what material you might miss. Should you miss a lesson there will be no refund. There may be an opportunity to make up one lesson on another course.
Confirmation of your place on the course: After you have completed the enrolment form and agreed to the T&C's, and your payment has been received, you will be sent an e-mail confirming that you have secured a place on the course
As part of correcting placement, carriage of arms or alignment there will be physical contact between the students and the teacher
Beginners Ballet Short Course
Suitable for all
Beginner level - for people no previous ballet training or with a very small amount of ballet training, or who have taken this course before
This course was created for our clients who have fewer weeks on the calendar to dedicate to learning the basics of ballet and also for those who prefer daytime classes and shorter bursts of learning and exercise in one go. The coursework is condensed into five or six, sixty minute long sessions. The participants may repeat the course as often as needed until confident enough to progress to our Drop-in Beginner Follow-on or Beginner Improver Ballet Classes. Coursework is rotated and the basics are reinforced to ensure that each time there are also new steps and new vocabulary to learn as well as previous coursework to practise when applicable.
50+ Ballet drop-in #silverswans
Suitable for all levels
Created, codified and devised by Founder & Director Donna Schoenherr over 6 years ago. This class is structured for the more mature body. It is a pioneering, wonderful, popular class in which you can dance to lovely music and work on strength, flexibility, balance and core, memory, coordination, and mental acuity. You will learn and try very enjoyable and stimulating classical ballet exercises at the ballet barre. Then the class progresses to sequences across the dance studio. These provide more challenge to both the mind and the body and are perfect for self-expression, sense of freedom in movement, and for proprioception. We also have fun and laughs along the way and the group is very welcoming to newcomers!
This class is an excellent accompaniment to our Beginner Imrpvoers drop-in Ballet classes.
Ballet targets core strength, flexibility, muscle strength, posture, and alignment. It has the added benefits of providing personal expression to music and mental stimulation. The brain is challenged to remember patterns that are tricky and changeable and to move to the music effectively. The body is stretched and toned and fun is had by the entire group in this positive and supportive environment. This class is offered at a convenient time of day in a large local bespoke dance studio.
Special rate offered.
Beginner Improvers drop-in classes
Suitable for clients with at least one year of training
Beginner-Advanced Beginner Level
A popular drop-in class for ballet lovers of all ages.
This class takes what has been established in Ballet4Life’s Beginner Courses, Beginner Follow-on, and the clients' past training and slightly increases in its levels of difficulty by having longer barre exercise part of the class and more centre movement sequences to memorise, more strengthening exercises, more pirouettes and quicker allegro. There is also the fun of one or two big sequences on the diagonal which incorporates waltzes, turns, and or jumps. It is an excellent class for those who take 50+ Tuesday classes, for those returning to ballet after a long break, and for a perfect compliment to any other dance or fitness class. Remember ballet compliments other dance and exercise training and is a sound base from which to try any movement, physical training, or fitness regimens.
Barre work goes at a quicker pace than the Beginner Courses and Follow-on class. Clients change from one side of the barre to the other more frequently and new steps are introduced to one’s barre exercise repertoire. The sequences are longer and stretching is often given as well. In the centre exercise portion of class clients work on pirouettes in the open and closed direction, small, medium, and large jumps, moving through the space on a diagonal, change of the weight of the body, implementing connection steps that clients have practised in order to build the longer and more varied movement patterns. The teacher advises and helps when there may be difficulty in gaining the understanding of a new step or in practising steps that are especially tricky.
Beginner Pointe Work drop-in
Suitable for clients with at least one year of classical ballet technique training*
Beginner and Intermediate Levels
Your health and well-being is our main concern so the Ballet4Life Team will make sure you are ready to try Beginner Pointe and we can advise you on Pointe shoes and accessories.
The pointe work is given at the barre holding on with two hands and with one hand. Exercises developed for ankle strengthening are done in parallel and rotated ( turned out ) positions of the feet and legs. It is a slow, simple, and careful series of exercises which develop more strength, confidence, and awareness of how to stand with the weight of the body placed properly over the base of the toes.
Slow rises are done along with rolling through the feet to get used to the pointe shoe and how it works and feels. Faster and repetitive feet and leg exercises are done such as relevés and échappés. Clients also do the slower sustained movement to develop core strength, fluidity, and endurance. Exercises that move along the barre and which change from one to the other are also practised. Amongst other steps clients learn and execute bourées, échappés, pas de bourées, piqués, and relevés. The Intermediate Level builds on this and the exercises are longer and more demanding.
A few centre exercises are also used and practised to gain strength, balance, and confidence. Again in the Intermediate class, more centre work is done and pirouettes and travelling combinations are practised. No client is asked to execute steps for which they are not yet ready.
*Subject to Ballet4Life’s approval based on teachers’assessment of ankle strength
Beginner Follow-on drop-in class
Suitable for all
A lovely Monday morning class to get your body stretched and aligned and ready for the week ahead. It is a gentle slower paced class than the Beginner Improvers and General Level class with a bit of centre dance exercises. It is an excellent partner to any other class we offer and a lovely way to reinforce the basics or to learn more of the ballet basics in a safe, structured, systematic way under Chris' careful eye.
A nice way in which to give yourself one hour of extensive effective enjoyable exercise by executing the classical ballet moves, learning new steps and vocabulary, and addressing core strength, muscle strengthening, alignment, and posture. This class can help stretch, tone, and strengthen the body. Memorising the movement sequences can keep the mind alert and stimulated. it is geared to bridge the gap between our Beginner Ballet Courses and our Beginner Improvers classes so the clients feel more confident with the transition steps, movement through the dance studio, and more complicated series of steps put together,
Done to lovely music and with mirrors to use as tools, ballet barres to hold onto for added stability and security, and good dance flooring to work on. Ballet4Life’s feedback and tips are given on an individual and group basis. This class is aimed to help you gain confidence; improve your strength, understanding of the basics, alignment, posture, and preparation for more difficult centre exercises. The attainment of a good standard with ballet barre exercises and centre practise helps any other dance or form of exercise you are practising and doing.
Intermediate Ballet class drop-in
Suitable for clients with at least 2 years consistent ballet training
These classes are a haven for clients of many skill levels and are an enjoyable chance to implement 75+ minutes of exercise into your weekly routine. We work with beginner improvers up to professional dancers in this drop- in class. A very thorough series of barre exercises is taught and executed and we also have a complete centre exercise section in each class complete with slow sustained movement, placement exercises, turns, and jumps.
This is good for people returning to ballet after a break or also for people studying other dance forms since ballet complements other exercise systems and other dance forms very well. Clients practice all the regular elements of barre exercise such as plie, tendu, rond de jambe, frappé,
developpé, and grand battement. In the centre part of the class, clients learn longer sequences designed to work on placement, spatial awareness, movement through the studio with a change of weight and connecting steps, pirouettes, small, medium, and big jumps in different combinations of movement. There will be a cooling down calming finish to the class. We may focus on different themes or special steps each term but new clients are always welcome to drop-in and will not feel out of the loop.
Intermediate/Advanced ballet drop-in classes
Suitable for clients with more than 3 years of training
Intermediate/Advanced/ Professionals Levels
These classes are for those clients who are ready to progress from the Beginner Improvers and Intermediate as well as for those wishing to keep strengthening and honing their ballet technique. Many take this class along with another one during the week. The more advanced clients use it as a way to work on technique and all can enjoy building up their strength, confidence, and knowledge of ballet vocabulary and movements. The exercises will be greater in length, have changes of direction and placement of one’s centre, and have more complex musicality with changes of rhythm and timings.
The barre work is more challenging than our Beginner Improvers and Intermediate classes and will include battement fondu, battement frappé, exercises for rond de jambe en l’air, series of single leg strengthening steps at the barre, more balances on one leg, practice for turns, more complex use of the arms and coordinated movement in conjunction with each barre exercise, and more extensive stretching of the legs and the upper body.
The centre exercises will cover sequences for placement, preparation for pirouettes, diagonal movement through the studio and allegro movement. Patterns will be more complex including transference of direction and weight, more challenging musicality will be implemented, and before finishing the class the clients do small, medium, encouraged .and large jumps. A sense of expansion and reaching one’s potential whilst working correctly and with good habits is encouraged. Many clients take this in addition to a Beginner Improver or Intermediate Level Ballet Class or Lyrical Jazz/Contemporary Dance since they all compliment each other well.
General Contemporary Drop-in Classes
All welcome- twice weekly
Using fluid and rhythmic energy, Beatrice builds her Contemporary dance class around exciting combinations and coordination with an emphasis on timing, strength, dynamics and enjoyment. The course will introduce Beatrice's contemporary dance style, which draws inspiration mainly from two contemporary dance techniques: Limon and Release. The class starts with a warm-up which consists of set exercises; she starts with simple torso bends, gentle pliés, and swings in the upper and lower body parts. As the class progresses, she focuses on core strength and precision through more technical footwork, leg kicks, and jumps. Her fun class then progresses on to travelling sequences across the large studio space. The dancers play with the movement dynamics and spatial awareness. A short dance sequence is also developed at the end of the sessions and the participants have the chance to focus on their performance skills and build upon the material on a weekly basis.
Mark Kimmett's class
"We will work on connecting to the body and living deeply in the skin as the inspiration to express ourselves freely. There will be time to experience an expansion in the body taking up more space and sharing that with the other dancers in the class. Taking time to listen and be aware of what is going on inside and out of your body. The class will be fun and supportive of connecting to others in your own unique way."
A low impact dance class for anyone interested in exploring and expressing themselves through movement. No previous dance experience is required, as the movement vocabulary used in this class is purposely chosen from everyday pedestrian movements and gestures. If you can walk, wave and navigate through a busy street, you can certainly attend this class; it is all the movement experience you’ll need! The class starts with a full body warm-up, to then develop to sequences involving upper and lower body as well as isolations, such as footwork. As the class builds up, longer sequences are introduced and also a choreographic phrase, which encourages individual expression. Music is an integral part of each exercise and is chosen to act as another layer of inspiration and motivation. Participants are encouraged to explore the movement capabilities inherent in their bodies, be ‘present’, occupy space and enjoy moving within their body and with others.
Dynamic Dance Days
Masterclasses, workshops, and special events
Our last Masterclasses took place on 16 December 2017. Alina Luts taught a fantastic a Character Dance Class and Donna taught a two hour the Int/Adv Ballet Class.
Our next Dance Showcase will take place on Saturday 12 May 2017.
Our SPRING 2017 MASTERCLASS SERIES took place on Saturday, 18 March 2017
with The Royal Ballet First Artist
Tara taught our 10.30am Intermediate/Advanced Adult Ballet Class which wias be followed by a Pointe and Variations Class.
About our Guest Teacher:
Tara is a Canadian ballet dancer, who is currently a First Artist of The Royal Ballet.
Tara started training at the age of two and went on to study at Canada’s National Ballet School aged 10–18. She represented her country at the first International Congress of Classical Contemporary Ballet in Mexico (2000) and was awarded the Peter Dwyer scholarship for excellence in dance and the 2001 Erik Bruhn Memorial Award. Upon graduating in 2001 she spent six months at the Paris Opera Ballet School before joining The Royal Ballet in 2002. Since then she has danced many roles in all of the ballets performed at the Royal Opera House and around the world with the Royal Ballet.
During her time as a professional dancer, Tara has gained two teaching qualifications, as an Associate with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and is an honours graduate of The Royal Ballet School’s Professional Dancers’ Teachers Course. She has taught at the National Ballet School and the Royal Ballet School and most recently taught at the Teacher’s Exchange at the Canadian Dance Expo in August 2016.
Tara is very excited to be guesting with Ballet4life and to sharing her wealth of knowledge and experience.
We look forward to welcoming her and dancing with her in the New Year!
Please visit here to learn more about Tara-Brigitte
Move into Wellbeing®
Registered Charity 1172264
Bespoke Dance, Movement, Exercise Classes for people with Parkinson's or other mobility challenges
No dance experience required.
Drop-in, all levels
The original concept was founded and created by Donna Schoenherr. The bespoke programme was devised by Donna Schoenherr and Progamme Leader Beatrice Ghezzi. These unique and lively inspirational dance, movement, and exercise classes are specially created for people with compromised mobility including those with Parkinson's. They are devised and lead by highly experienced dance teachers who have trained with David Leventhal and the Dance for PD® programme. Each class has a group of volunteers and one or more Movement Assistants who are skilled dance instructors.
Move into Wellbeing® was created over four years ago and launched its exciting programme in January 2015. This was directly inspired by the fact that our Director’s father lived with Parkinson’s for 30 years and this had a direct impact on her life and work in the field of dance. She had attended many dance, movement, and music classes with her father in USA over the decades and was also aware of the brilliant Dance for PD® course created by David Leventhal and the Mark Morris Dance Company. Ballet4life also interacted with and gained insight at the start from David Leventhal of Dance for PD®, the Dance for Parkinson's Programme offered by English National Ballet, and Alexis Ephgrave of A.W.E. Inspired Dance.
Now in its fourth year, it has grown and established itself as the sole class of this nature in the area and goes from strength to strength! Two weekly classes are on offer and a mentorship scheme is being created at present to train up new teachers. a third class is in the planning stages as well.
Move into Wellbeing® is a Registered Charity, number 1172264, to ensure its long-term future and to continue to provide this vital class for the community.
Please visit www.moveintowellbeing.org.uk and @Movein2Welbng
Please note that the first visit is free of charge and one friend or partner is always welcome to attend free of charge per registered client.
These popular classes are comprised of fun exercises to music which uses the large and small muscle groups, coordination, balance, flexibility, core strength, and the use of the vocal chords. Control and confidence tend to improve in the sessions and the clients leave feeling quite elated. People often go together to the local cafe afterwards as well. They are held weekly on Thursday and Saturday and last one hour each. The participants will be taught rhythmic dance movements and exercises, both seated and standing, where possible. Stimulating and inspiring music is used throughout to accompany and to uplift the class.
Each session is divided into four parts basically consisting of the following:
1) seated in a circle: introductions, making sounds with the voices and with breathing, exercises and tasks done with large arm movements and gestures, hand, wrist, and finger exercises, upper body movements, spiraling action of the spine and torso, leg and foot extensions, bending of the upper body, reaching of arms, learning of gestures, and mirroring a partner's movement
2) standing exercises: dance and movement exercises for the feet, legs, arms, and torso using either the ballet barre or the back of the chairs for support, extension of the feet and legs, flexing and extension of one foot, bending of the torso, toe rises, and smooth arm sweeps, coordination to the music's rhythm
3) movement sequences that travel across the studio: using rhythm to enhance the enjoyment and coordination of the movements, short sequences of movement which travel, might include marching or a few steps added together, might include clapping to the music or working with a partner, to reflect on a few themes that might already have been introduced, sometimes free-form dancing is enjoyed as well
4) return to a circle: either standing or seated, a quiet moment to round off the class and to allow things to sink in, to acknowledge fellow participants, course leaders, and volunteers until the next session, a thank you to all involved
General Flowing Exercise Class
Invite your friend, partner, a family member along to work out whilst you enjoy Mark's 11am Ballet Class at the same venue!
This class intends to provide an hour of fun exercise for the whole body. It is suitable for all ages and abilities, as exercises can be adapted according to fitness level. The workout comprises short sequences focusing on core strength, balance, flexibility and stamina. The body is addressed as a whole as well as in isolated parts (arms, legs, feet, torso, etc.). Following a thorough full-body warm-up, the class will progress with increasingly demanding exercises, to conclude with expansive movements, utilising the whole space. Music is present throughout the class, which apart from making the whole experience more fun, aims to give participants focus and drive. At the end of each class, we hope everyone leaves with a sense of elation, accomplishment and hopefully a sore muscle or two!