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Earlier this month Duchy Ballet celebrated its 20th anniversary with a splendid performance of The Nutcracker with the Scottish ballerina Sara Maria Barton as the Sugar Rum Cherry which I reviewed in No Ordinary Nutcracker - Duchy Ballet's 20th Anniversary PerformanceNext year, Chelmsford Ballet Company will celebrate its 70th anniversary. It will be a splendid affair if their 69th year performance of The Snow Queen is anything to go by.

I started to think that if two medium size communities in the South of England can produce excellence then surely adult ballet dancers in the Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield city regions can do the same.  I canvassed the idea on Facebook on the way back from Chelmsford and found lots of support and encouragement from amateur dancers in all parts of the North.

We then considered how to get started.  We decided that the way forward was to hold a class in a place  easily accessible by road or public transport from anywhere in Greater Manchester and South and West Yorkshire and see who turns up.  To attract good dancers the teacher would have to be well known on both sides of the Pennines.  I am glad to say that an excellent teacher who meets that criterion has expressed interest in taking that first class.  I have also shortlisted venues with good parking close to Huddersfield station.

Over the next few weeks I shall be talking to people in the Royal Academy of Dance, Northwest Dance and Yorkshire Dance, Arts Council England, local dance schools and existing companies and others doe advice and support.  I shall report back regularly.

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