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Francesca Filpi, ARAD, FISTD, Royal Ballet Company (1997 - 2011)

Artistic Director of The Wells

Francesca grew up in Devon, training at Stonelands, the Paris Opera Ballet School and the Royal Ballet Upper School. Throughout her training, she was the winner of various awards including the RAD Phyllis Bedells Bursary, the ISTD Imperial Ballet Awards, the Margot Fonteyn Award (South West Ballet Seminars), the Paul Clarke Bursary, the Stella Mann, Baines Hewitt, and Eileen Reed Choreographic Award. Other awards included the Grandison Clarke National Awards, the Ruby Ginner Greek Awards, the Junior and Premier Janet Cram Awards and various competitions in France including the Danser Journalists’ Cup for best foreigner in Grasse, La Jeune Danseuse Mediterranee and the Chausson d’Or in Paris.


Francesca joined The Royal Ballet at the age of 16, as one of the youngest ever company members. Throughout her fifteen year career, she has performed soloist roles at the Royal Opera House, London, and theatres around the world during the Company´s international tours, to include Japan, Russia, Hong Kong, China, Mexico, Italy, Australia, Spain, Cuba, and the USA.

Her roles include Fairy Godmother (Cinderella), Hermia (The Dream), Prayer solo (Coppelia), Arabian and Dancing Mistress (Nutcracker), Red Girl (Les Patineurs), Lead couple (La Valse), Lise’s Friends and Clog Dance (La Fille Mal Gardee), Lead Hungarian (Raymonda), Lead Swan and Spanish (Swan Lake), the Nurse (Onegin), Benvolio’s Harlot (Romeo and Juliet), Valerie (Mayerling), Now Nothing (Penguin Café), Serenade, Sinfonietta, Nacho Duato’s Por Vos Muero, and Mats Ek’s Carmen. 

Whilst still dancing with the Royal Ballet, she founded The Wells Ballet Courses, which has now become one of the most selective and sought after events for aspiring ballet students.

Francesca was awarded a Fellowship of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, for which she co-founded the Imperial Ballet Scholars programme, and has choreographed examination variations. She is invited to teach at vocational schools and courses worldwide, and to adjudicate many dance events including the All England Finals, RAD Fonteyn Nureyev Young Dancers Competition, the Imperial Ballet Awards, Ruby Ginner Greek, and Grandison Clarke National Awards, and the Cecchetti International Competition.

Since ´retiring´, Francesca has at last realised her dream of having her own studio, where she can now offer private coaching to students of all ages.

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