Chiswick Student Wins Place At Top Dance School

Jack MaCartney is dancing his way to the top


Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

A sixteen-year old Chiswick dancer has won a place for professional dance training at one of Europe’s premier schools. Jack MaCartney was recently accepted into the Central School of Ballet (CSB) in London which is this year celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Jack has been dancing since he was 10 years old. He is one of only 39 pupils accepted for a place on this three year degree course, a BA (Hons) in Professional Dance and Performance. CSB is the only dance school in the UK to offer this qualification. Jack was selected from approximately 350 applicants who applied to CSB this year.  

Images supplied by Bill Cooper

Entrance to CSB is through auditions which are held between October and March each year in London, Glasgow, Leeds, Italy and Japan. The process involves performing for the school’s teaching staff, all of whom are ex-professional dancers themselves. The course’s main focus is on Classical Ballet supported by Contemporary Dance as an additional subject, and also includes tuition in Choreography, Spanish Dance, Pilates, Jazz Dance, Drama, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Singing and Contextual Studies.

Jack gained his early enthusiasm for dance by attending the West London School of Dance and then the Young Dancers Academy based in Shepherd’s Bush.  He also participated in CSB’s Summer School and Easter Course to gain access early to professional training.  Before joining CSB on the degree course Jack gained 8 GCSEs.

Jack says; "You have to be dedicated to make it to the top of this profession but it's my dream to be a dancer at one of the leading ballet companies when I graduate. The training is very challenging, similar to the training of the best athletes, but we are all motivated by the rewards of performing."

Sara Matthews, director of CSB, explains how competitive it is to obtain places at a dance school at this level:  “Students typically join us aged 16 after GCSE. Only the most talented and dedicated students are accepted but ballet is no longer an elitist profession. 25% of CSB students are given some kind of financial assistance through the school to allow them to complete their tuition here. We have a long history of accepting students from a diverse range of social and economic backgrounds.”

Graduates from CSB go on to join the world’s premier dance companies. Recent CSB students are currently employed with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Company, English National Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, and others.


January 22, 2013

Bookmark and Share