The Duchess of Cornwall visits Elmhurst Ballet School

Elmhurst Ballet Company in Paquita excerpt. Photography Andy Ross

The Duchess of Cornwall will visit Elmhurst Ballet School, the vocational school in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet, on 22 January 2020. Her Royal Highness has been Patron of Elmhurst since 2006 and this will be her fourth visit to the Edgbaston based school.

Her Royal Highness will be received by the Lord Lieutenant for the West Midlands, MrOBE, and introduced to the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Mohammed Azim, and his consort Lady Mayoress Bushra Bi, Principal of Elmhurst Ballet School Jessica Wheeler, and the school’s Chair of Governors Mr Daniel Howard.

Jessica Wheeler, Principal of Elmhurst Ballet School, said: “It is always a great pleasure to welcome Her Royal Highness, a long-standing supporter of Elmhurst, to Birmingham and the school. On behalf of all our students and staff, we are thrilled Her Royal Highness has included a visit to the school in her busy schedule. Since Her Royal Highness’s last visit we have continued to work hard to retain our place at the forefront of ballet education and training, ensuring our students leave us with the very best chances to succeed in a professional dance life. We look forward to sharing our latest news with our wonderful Patron.”

Her Royal Highness will observe a Year 7 ballet class, watch a performance in the school’s studio theatre and take a short tour of Elmhurst’s state-of-the-art Health and Wellbeing Centre.

The Health and Wellbeing Centre, in development the last time Her Royal Highness visited the school in 2014, was officially opened in 2016 by Carlos Acosta, international ballet star and new Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet. The centre offers a wide range of services and facilities, including a purpose built physiotherapy and exercise suite. Run by a dedicated team, the centre includes specialists in paediatric and emergency nursing, dance injury prevention and management support, performance enhancement coaching, counselling services, and access to The Young Performers’ Health Trust Scheme, a bespoke healthcare provision for elite dance students, pioneered by the school.

Her Royal Highness will meet a number of school representatives, including: Head Boy Bradley Howell from Devon, and Head Girl Maddie Irwin from Cheshire, both currently Upper School students in their penultimate year of training; Annelli Peavot, Assistant Principal responsible for Health, Wellbeing and Safeguarding; and Nico Kolokythas, the school’s award-winning Performance Enhancement Coach and a University of Wolverhampton PhD candidate who continues to conduct pioneering studies to challenge attitudes and approaches to ballet training, and dance injury prevention and management strategies.