The Wells Ballet Courses
Artistic Director: Francesca Filpi
Patrons: Darcey Bussell, Jonathan Cope, Lesley Collier
Exclusive, prestigious Masterclasses, summer retreats and private coaching with dancers of The Royal Ballet
The Wells Ballet Courses started life as The Wells Summer School, founded by Francesca Filpi in 2002, at Beechwood School, Royal Tunbridge Wells, a handsome historic mansion set in beautiful grounds with stunning views.
The concept of the Summer School, was for Royal Ballet dancers to share their expertise and love of dance, with young ballet students, in a relaxed holiday atmosphere, thus broadening their awareness of life in The Royal Ballet Company.
Due to its popularity, the course had to become very selective and soon became a major event in the dance calendar, attracting aspiring dancers from all over the country and overseas.
We spent four happy summers in Tunbridge Wells and I am sure that all of us, dancers, students, teachers, pianists, housemothers, parents and invited guests, will always have very fond memories of those sunny last day demonstrations in the marquee overlooking the Kentish Weald..!
2007 saw our move to the fantastic facilities of Sadler's Wells Theatre in London. We were very sad to say goodbye to Tunbridge Wells, especially as it meant losing our “little ones”. It wasn't long however, before those little ones reached the age to join us in London, and they are now dancing with professional companies such as The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Ballet!
Sadler's Wells enabled us to open our doors to more professional students, leading to our much acclaimed Wells weeks culminating in open masterclass days, seminars and demonstrations.
We then introduced to our programme of events, the Wells Weekends - intensive two day courses, held at the Royal Opera House and Sadler’s Wells.
2012 saw the opening of the glorious Dar Danse, the Bubble on the Beach, a retreat built specifically for dancers and their families, on the wild Atlantic coast of Morocco. This heralded the launch of our exciting WellsAway Weeks - ballet, beach, sunshine...and a dash of adventure - all with the world class faculty and inspirational atmosphere one would expect from The Wells!
We then introduced prestigious Masterclasses at the Royal Opera House and the faculty have included Francesca Filpi, Marianela Nunez, Lauren Cuthbertson, and Steven McRae.
The exclusive and nurturing retreats started at Dar Danse, seemed to fill a gap in students´training, and I am delighted to now be able to offer EXCLUSIVE COACHING WEEKS at our family Finca, in the Cadiz province of Spain for just a handful of lucky students at a time. The sunshine, sea and pool will still feature - though we can´t promise camels! These retreats are aimed at young dancers wanting to develop their performance skills, and build confidence in a very supportive, and positive environment.