A centre for education

30th October 2009 at 00:00

This month, the launch of a new degree course; last month, the opening of a purpose-built home for Scottish Ballet at the Tramway, in Glasgow.

"Tramway is a catalyst, a great enabler with its bespoke education centre, ballet studio and lecture theatre from which we can do live streaming online," says Ailsa Mary Gold, associate director education. There will be twilight CPD and daytime visits for teachers, lots of school visits, and IT potential to stream live from the studios.

The company is setting up its own Glow site, using existing online primary and secondary resources and developing the first phase of a Higher art and design programme. The first Glow session will stream an art and design talk by the wardrobe department at Tramway on November 26. Live, repertoire-based events will be relayed to schools across Scotland, and a careers bank will be built up with resources for different curriculum areas.

"There are lots of doorways into appreciating dance," says Ms Gold, "so many layers, different ways in through other departments like design - and music, which we will be developing."

Curriculum for Excellence will be a boon, she believes, providing a grounding for dance and springboard from primary. "It will help shift dance from PE to an expressive arts role in its own right, and we will be doing a lot to develop teachers to deliver dance where they lack confidence.

Ballet Buzz will fill in critical gaps. "Often we see young children in schools with talent, whose parents wouldn't normally send them to dance classes. Working with various trusts and foundations, we are currently recruiting for the first phase - a maximum of 15 pupils - using the "Nutcracker" schools programme and headhunting workshops. They can then move on to the associates programme.

"We need to select the right young people and ensure they get access to formal training at the right time. Some will still go to the Royal Ballet School, but the through-line is very much there."

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