All of the dance teachers at the Harlow Ballet School have a huge variety of experience in performing in dance and theatre to pass on.
The School is a partnership between Michael Branwell, Henrietta Branwell and Claire Hickles, who all teach Classical Ballet. In addition, Claire teaches Pre-Ballet classes, and runs the Meldoy Bear classes for the youngest students. Stefan Donovan teaches boys' class with Michael and Henrietta. Michael also teaches Adults classes in London, which are currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic
With the exception of Henrietta Branwell, all the other teachers are former puplis of Leo Kersley, who, with his wife Janet Sinclair, founded the Harlow Ballet School in 1959 and the Harlow Ballet Club, the predecessor of the Harlow Ballet Association, in 1961.
The Philosophy of the
Dancing is fun!
Part of the HBA Adults' Group in Cindrella 2003
(Cinderella was revived at Easter 2011)
Performances by students are held at The Playhouse (through the Harlow Ballet Association) and have always formed an important part of the development of the students from beginners (of any age!) to mature, self-assured dancers, able to take their place on any stage in the world with confidence. Examinations and the pressure that they cause to young dancers play no part in the School's curriculum, but every student has the chance to appear in productions both on the Main Stage at the Harlow Playhouse and in The Studio Theatre, where they also have the chance to choreograph for their peers.
Dancing is FUN!
A large number of our students just dance for fun. They learn not only the steps and moves, but also the self-discipline, confidence, grace and fitness that go with the enjoyment of learning an art form that is as popular today as it was when Janet and Leo Kersley first founded the School. We have now extended that enjoment to four to six year olds. We now offer two classes a week for adults, who are delighted to have found somewhere where the emphasis is on self-expression and "Balletic Enjoyment", not just "how high can yo lift your leg?". As dancers progress, they explore more styles of dance and the more that you can do, the more you enjoy it!