The Chance to Dance Schools Program at the Royal Opera House

"Develop every child’s self-confidence, creativity and self-discipline through participation in regular ballet-based dance activity and public performance".

A creative introduction to ballet for Year 3 children

Chance to Dance works with 24 primary schools in Thurrock and the London Boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark to provide a creative introduction to ballet for all Year 3 children through a mix of Royal Ballet demonstrations and practical workshops. Children identified with enthusiasm and aptitude for dance are invited to join the Chance to Dance Company for up to four years, going to weekly classes locally, attending family days at the Royal Opera House and working towards an annual performance alongside dancers from the Royal Ballet.

Teachers in each partnership school also receive training to deliver their own creative dance projects, with the chance to share their work with other schools and attend a Royal Ballet dress rehearsal.

Project aims

  • Create access to ballet for those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the art form
  • Give all Year 3 children in Chance to Dance schools the opportunity to see, participate in and enjoy dance through demonstrations and in-school practical workshops
  • Through establishing strong relationships with schools, strengthen their engagement with dance and the Royal Opera House, particularly by developing teachers’ enthusiasm for, and skills in, delivering creative dance
  • Link the programme with the wider dance education ecology at both local and national level, in order to maximize its contribution to good practice and the establishment of effective progression pathways for young dancers

The Chance to Dance company aims

  • Develop every child’s self-confidence, creativity and self-discipline through participation in regular ballet-based dance activity and public performance
  • Enable every child to enjoy dance and realize his/her full potential as a dancer

All the children wear shoes provided at no cost by Freed of London, a major supplier of custom-made pointe shoes. The company also supports the programme’s end of year performance, when the children have the opportunity to perform at the Royal Opera House.

Schools can also book onto a schools matinee at the ROH (prices start from £7.50). Check what's coming up and here, and of course if you would like My Culture Club to take care of the booking, and help with the school trip, contact me by email here

Chance to Dance is generously supported by Marit Mohn, MariaMarina Foundation, Thurrock Borough Council, Gonzalo and Maria Garcia, Simon and Tracey Holden, Orinoco Foundation, The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund, CHK Charities Limited, Gisela Graham Foundation, Dame Sue Street DCB, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, The Rothschild Foundation, The Lauffer Family Charitable Trust, Freed of London, Sue Sheridan OBE, Chapman Charitable Trust, Fowler Smith and Jones Trust, Memery Crystal Charitable Trust, Essex Youth Trust, The Sargent Charitable Trust, Donald and Rachael Stearns and donors to the Chance to Dance Appeal. To make a donation in support of the programme, please click here.