By Andrea Slivkova
Ballet is considered one of the most beautiful and graceful of all dance styles. When you watch ballerinas gliding effortlessly across a stage, you probably don’t think about how much hard work, dedication and discipline it takes to make the complex moves look so effortless. The training of top ballet dancers is often compared to that of Olympic athletes.
Anyone can benefits from learning the art of classical ballet, with its skills, grace, poise, self-discipline and self-confidence. While the rules and techniques of ballet have been handed down over the centuries, today’s lessons at any level continue to build a positive self-image.
Karen Jones, Principal of Ledbury Dance Company, said: “I recently had the pleasure of sending a wonderful bunch of ladies for their Grade 3 Ballet Examination with the Royal Academy of Dance. The ladies, ranging in age from twenties to mid sixties, have been working towards this exam for months, and all passed their exams with Passes and Merits.”
Such wonderful results prove that truly anyone can learn to dance. If you have never tried dancing, Pilates offers a great start by developing core strength and improving posture through a series of low impact exercises which include stretching, toning and conditioning.
The past decade has seen the Ledbury Dance Company teaching a number of children’s classes in Classical Ballet, Tap, StreetFit and Cheerleading, as well as adult classes such as Over 60’s Keep Fit, Yoga, Pilates, Adult Ballet and Adult Tap.
Karen Jones runs the dance school at the Sear House Studio in Ledbury, but also teaches dance to boys and girls in local primary schools and nurseries, even finding the time to run workshops, produce plays and put on dance shows.
Dancers of any age and level can take part in the Progressing Ballet Technique, an innovative programme which uses the fitball to help students improve their understanding of core stability, weight placement and alignment, crucial skills for those who want to achieve their personal best in classical ballet.
More recently, an exciting new Gym Dance & Rhythmic Gymnastics Class was added to the timetable. Suitable for children aged 5 to 9, and 10+, this dramatic fusion of gymnastics and dancing teaches flexibility, balance, body awareness and physical strength required for progression into tumbling, flips, tricks and stunts.
The spellbinding routines of rhythmic gymnastics teach the participants to express themselves to music whilst developing their skills with ribbons, balls and hoops.
Karen Jones has been the Principal of Ledbury Dance Company since April 2006. She studied at the Elizabeth Baker Dance School and her qualifications include examinations with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD), as well as RAD Registered Teacher. Karen is also a qualified level 2 Personal Fitness Trainer and is about to complete her Specialist Diploma in Mat Pilates.
Ledbury Dance Company
R.A.D. accr. Principal Karen Hall
Sear House Studio, Bye Street, Ledbury
Tel: 01531 634 214 or 07809 890 117
Facebook: Ledbury Dance Company