Please do not let Powerhouse Ballet wither on the Vine

Author Tom Mack
Licence Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 unported
Source Wikipedia Edele rotting 

In two weeks time, we make our debut at the Dancehouse in Manchester as guests of KNT in their 10th-anniversary gala. We shall be premiering Aria, an entirely new ballet created for our company by Terence Etheridge. We have worked very hard and invested a lot of time, effort and money to get to this point and our piece looks very good.  I am very proud of everybody involved in this project.  As the piece in which I appear finishes well before Aria, I should be in the auditorium to cheer our performers.

Aria is not the only good thing we have achieved since our first class in Huddersfield last May (see We have a Company 27 May 2018),  We are working on another beautiful piece which Yvonne Charton of the Jos Dolstra Dance Institute in IJsselstein taught us in February (see Morning and Aria 6 April 2019).  We held a great workshop with Ballet Cymru on 28 Nov 2018 (see More than a Bit Differently: Ballet Cymru's Workshop and the Launch of the Powerhouse Ballet Circle 29 Nov 2018 Terpsichore).  We have had great company classes from Mark Hindle, Annemarie Donoghue, Jane Tucker, Karen Sant, Yvonne Charlton and Fiona Noonan.  And I have provisionally booked more with the prospect of a super master class from the superabundantly talented Dutch National Ballet artist Maria Chugai.

But despite all this success, we are in danger of stalling.  Numbers have been tailing off for company class and I have had to boost our ads on Facebook, send out lots of emails, make many phone calls and even a bit of bribery to ensure a reasonable turnout for some of our events.  That is unsustainable.

As a non-dancing member of Chelmsford Ballet, I have received treasurers' reports for every year since 2014.  I have also looked at the accounts of all the amateur ballet companies that have registered as charities since are available for public inspection.  All of them have an annual income of at least £50,000 and much of that must come from ticket sales.  If we are to be viable we have to do the same.

Getting from where we are now to where we have to be cannot be done overnight and it is more than can be achieved by any one person.  In the short term, we need to recruit more members and, in particular, more men, and raise more money. That means that we need to organize.  Ultimately, we want to register as a charity in order to access funds from Arts Council England, the National Lottery and corporate sponsorship but we are not in a position to do that now.  For now, I propose a members' club with a simple constitution and a very small committee.

I have set out my ideas in a business plan and draft constitution which I should like all members to consider before 27 March 2019.  I  have circulated those documents in the company's private user groups on Facebook.  If anyone else would like a copy please let me know.   I hope we can agree the business plan and constitution t the meeting just before class and elect at least a secretary and treasurer to work with me on 27 April  2019.   The plan is for us to become a members' club immediately after our performance on 4 May 2019. Though I am not sure how much dancing I can do because my legs are still like jelly I shall be at KNT's Day of Dance today and available for questions and discussion.


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