Dulwich Ballet School offers classes in ballet, pointe work, contemporary, tap and modern dance from age 3 upwards. We currently have more than 400 children taking classes in seven venues in the Dulwich area.
Principal – Sally-Ann Hodge A.R.A.D L.R.A.D A.I.S.T.D R.T.S
I founded Dulwich Ballet School over 30 years ago and the team at DBS look forward to welcoming you to the DBS family and helping you find a dance school that’s just right for your child.
More about me. I started my love of dance at the age of 6 at the Harlow Playhouse with Harlow Ballet under the guidance of Leo Kersley and his wife Janet. At 16 I came to London to train at the
Royal Academy of Dance, graduating in 1986 with a dance teaching diploma, licentiate & associate teaching qualifications as well as gaining the Advanced examination.
Following graduation, I joined a touring ballet company based in Germany before returning to the UK both to teach in local schools and start my own ballet school. In 1998 I took over the running of another local ballet school and Dulwich Ballet School was formed!
As well as teaching, I am passionate in giving teenagers the opportunities to fulfil their potential, and over the years I have enjoyed mentoring and developing many young teachers at the beginning of their teaching careers. My other huge passion is providing opportunities for students to perform in full length classical ballets. I believe that performing is a huge benefit to children of all ages. They learn to dance as a corps de ballet, supporting each other, building strong friendships and self-confidence.
The ballet school has become well-known by locals in Dulwich for their bi-annual productions, including The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Coppelia and Swan Lake.
In March 2022, we celebrated 30 years, 2 years later than planned with a special anniversary show incorporating dances from all previous productions. It was a fantastic event and enjoyed by all that were involved in it.
I feel privileged to have been asked to appear as the teacher, with the students of Dulwich Ballet School, in two successful videos “How To Be A Ballet Dancer” and “You Can Be A Ballet Dancer”. They were on sale in the Royal Opera House Shop, M&S & WHSmith and my Mum was so proud she’d buy a copy, telling staff “That’s my daughter!” More recently, I was approached by a film company to appear in the feature film, “King of Thieves” starring Michael Caine, Jim Broadbent, Ray Winston & Tom Courtney. A group of Grade II ballet girls & myself had a special day filming with the Oscar winning director James Marsh. What a treat!
We follow the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Syllabus for Ballet. It provides the children with a broad spectrum of ballet and enables them to develop in the different dance styles.
We also offer pointe work classes for girls from 12 years and classes for the RAD Vocational exams for students who are able for this more challenging and rigorous training. We encourage students from Grade 3 upwards to take a Body Conditioning class to improve their core stability and general strength and flexibility.
Tap, Modern and Contemporary dance
We offer Tap & Modern classes, following the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) syllabus, as well as non-syllabus classes in Modern Dance, Musical Theatre and Contemporary Dance.
All teachers at Dulwich Ballet School are fully experienced, qualified and hold valid DBS checks. We are First Aid qualified and attend regular safe-guarding courses. Our registered teachers participate in annual Continuing Professional Development for both RAD and ISTD.
We welcome girls and boys from age 3 to join our classes. We encourage new students to come and try a class as a free taster before signing up for a term of lessons. We are happy for children to join mid-term.
The School is affiliated with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) and upholds the values and ethos of these International Organisations. Students are externally examined, accredited and their qualifications are accepted for higher level dance courses.
DBS assesses and encourages students throughout their time with us with a view to entering RAD (Ballet) and ISTD (Tap and Modern) exams according to their ability with the full support of the School.
The syllabus provides the students with a broad spectrum of dance and enables them to develop in the different styles. As a result of this training our students become an appreciative and enthusiastic audience of tomorrow.