In May 2019, former student Oscar Ward danced alongside the world-renowned dancer Sergei Polunin at the London Palladium. Oscar, who was promoted to Soloist within a year of starting at the Bucharest National Ballet Company, gave an outstanding performance. Some of you may remember that he made a guest appearance at our last show in 2015.
Paige Curzon has had another incredible year of successes at KS Dance in Warrington. She has gained Distinction in three Spanish exams, Advanced Modern and Advanced 1 Classical Ballet. Whilst on tour with Allegro Dance Company, she danced the lead role of Clara in The Nutcracker together with the lead in several Jazz and Contemporary numbers. Paige also won 2nd & 3rd prize in the school choreographic competition and was runner up in The Cyril Beaumont competition.
Bethan Hickey has completed her first year at Wolverhampton University where she is studying Dance Science and Performance. Bethan gained a 1st in every module and was selected to be course representative. Bethan was also selected to be in the university student dance company which involved performing at several venues around the West Midlands.
Rebecca Gale has successfully completed the second year of her BA Hons Dance course at Lincoln University. For the second year in a row she has successfully auditioned for the Lincoln Dance Collective, which has given her further performance experience and opportunities to work with different choreographers. Rebecca is also working towards an IDTA teaching qualification and has led several dance workshops with primary aged children.
Rebecca is very involved with the university’s Dance Society, competing in the advanced jazz, lyrical and contemporary categories and choreographing for and teaching the advanced ballet class. Recently Rebecca was elected as President of the Dance Society for the next academic year.
Tassia Sissins, one of our Advanced students, was a finalist in the 2019 Young Creatives Awards. Tassia was Highly Commended for a piece she choreographed and for one in which she danced. Tassia has also been selected to audition for the National Youth Dance Company and will attend an audition later this month at Sadlers Wells.
Former student, Oscar Ward, has secured a contract with Opera Nationala Bucuresti. Oscar also reached the final of the BBC Young Dancer Competition 2017, which was screened in March. In December 2016 Oscar competed in the Genee International Ballet competion in Sydney, Australia. Before leaving for Bucarest Oscar was awarded the Solo Seal, which is the highest and most prestigious award offered by the Royal Academy of Dance.
Oscar trained at Leonard School from the age of seven and then completed his vocational training at Ballet West in Scotland where he also gained a BiA Hons Degree.
Paige Curzon has successfully auditioned for the KS Dance School and will be continuing her vocational training at the Cheshire-based school from September 2017. Paige gained Distinction in all the RAD Grades, Higher Grades and Vocational Grades up to and including Advanced 1.
Rebecca Gale has secured a place at Lincoln University where she will be studying for a Degree in Dance. Rebecca trained at Leonard School from the age of three and gained Distinction for all her RAD Grades and Higher Grades examinations.
Leonard School of Dance Performs for the Queen
Nine Leonard School of Dance students, Grace Bolton, Paige Curzon, Rebecca Gale, Charlie Howard, Carla Jones, Sophie Lawrence, Alex Markland, Anya Mistry and Tassia Sissins, together with Director, Helen Leonard, represented the Royal Academy of Dance in The Patron's Lunch Parade which took place on The Mall on Sunday 12th June 2016.
The Parade was broadcast live on BBC 1 and involved a cast of over 1,500. With choreography from Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Dance, Lynn Wallis OBE, the parade featured a procession of live bands and dancers who performed themed routines based around the decades of Her Majesty's reign from the 1950s to the present.
Leonard School of Dance represented the 1970s and this segment was inspired by animals, environment and agriculture and the Queen's love of the countryside.
The Queen is Patron of over 600 charities and organisations of which the Royal Academy of Dance is one such organisation. Leonard School of Dance is a Royal Academy of Dance school and was asked to submit an interest in taking part. After several week's wait it was announced that Leonard School of Dance had been selected out of hundreds of applicants to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime event.
On the same day, Michelle helped to organise a Pop Up Dance Floor in Birmingham New Street Station. One of our Grade 3 students, Abigail Huxley-Binns, was selected to perform, also as part of the Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrations.
Life Membership of The Royal Academy of Dance
In September 2015 Helen Leonard was awarded a Life Membership of the Royal Academy of Dance in recognition of her ongoing commitment and dedication to the RAD.
Royal Academy of Dance Regional Advisory Committee
Michelle Widdison was elected onto the Royal Academy of Dance Regional Advisory Committee for the Midlands and East England at the AGM held on Sunday 16th November 2014.