Elmhurst Ballet School Photography Campaign

Elmhurst Ballet School Photography Campaign

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Posted 2024-01-25 by Tony Collinsfollow
A prestigious UK ballet school is celebrating 20 years in its 'new' home in Birmingham with a year-long series of events throughout 2024. Elmhurst Ballet School, which commemorated its centenary last year, was founded in Camberley, in Surrey, in 1923 before moving to Edgbaston, Birmingham, in 2004. The move will now be celebrated during 2024 with a brand-new campaign called Exceptional Dancers, Exceptional People which seeks to recognise and applaud the diversity, individuality, and talent of Elmhurst students from across the school.

Kicking off the Exceptional Dancers, Exceptional People campaign is a collection of stunning photos by highly regarded dance photographer Johan Persson. The dynamic images are designed to highlight the diverse students who live, dance, and learn at Elmhurst Ballet School.

Australian dance student Olivia Rickard. Photo Johan Persson


The students featuring in the photography collection are Olivia Rickard from Harrison, Australia; Elaine Fan from Guangdong, China; Alfie-Lee Hall from Warrington, Cheshire; Amber Cook from Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire; Tom Wood from Nuneaton, Warwickshire; Omarian Beckford from Hockley in Birmingham; Joseph Chow from Boldon, Tyne and Wear; and Annabelle Handley from Kings Bromley, Staffordshire.

Commenting on working with the eight students, dance photographer Johan Persson said: “The students from Elmhurst Ballet School were an absolute joy to work with on this campaign. A photoshoot can be an overwhelming experience, and being involved in a ballet photoshoot where you are looking for a perfect line, or a particular visual look, is even more challenging."

Omarian Beckford in dance pose. Photo Johan Persson


Added Johan: "The students engaged in it with conviction, making minor changes to their positions and lines when asked to, something that even professional dancers can find difficult. They approached it with complete professionalism and passion and allowed their personalities to shine through, which was exactly what we wanted to achieve.”

Year 8 student Joseph Chow, whose life-size photograph is among those to be unveiled at the ballet school, said: “When I came to the Open Day at Elmhurst, I instantly fell in love with the school, and I begged my parents to let me audition. My favourite memory of Elmhurst so far is performing in front of Queen Camilla, who is Patron of the school. It was a very magical moment for me and all my friends, and I was so proud. Some professional dancers don’t even get the chance to perform for the Queen, and as a student I’ve already been given that opportunity at Elmhurst.”

Student Annabelle Handley, Photo Johan Persson


Annabelle Handley, Year 9: added: “I was involved with the Elmhurst Young Dancers scheme for three years before I came to train at Elmhurst full-time, so I’ve been coming here for most of my life. I really like it here; everyone is so friendly. Because we spend such a lot of time with each other, it feels different to a normal school. To me, ‘Exceptional Dancers, Exceptional People’ means that we always give our best in everything we do, and we always strive to be our best self in dance and in every other aspect of life.”

For more than a century, Elmhurst has firmly secured its place amongst the top ballet schools in the world, attracting local, national, and international dance students to Camberley and now Birmingham. The aim of the relocation to Birmingham was to meet the growing demand for professional dance training, education, and research outside of London. The invaluable link with Birmingham Royal Ballet was also initiated.

Tom Wood's life-size photo will also be displayed in the school. Photo Johan Persson


To find out more about Elmhurst Ballet School, please visit the school website https://www.elmhurstballetschool.org

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276117 - 2024-01-23 13:49:26

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