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The Charlesworth Ballet Institute was founded in 1960 by WA’s first prima ballerina and provides a nurturing and gentle introduction to classical ballet.
- Arts:Performing Arts
The Charlesworth Ballet Institute (CBI) was created in 2012 under the direction of Sonya Shepherd. The Institute is the union of two significant establishments of ballet training in Western Australia: The ‘Terri Charlesworth Ballet School’ founded in 1960 by WA’s first prima ballerina Terri Charlesworth OAM Cit WA, and the ‘Ballet Centre of WA/Youth Ballet WA’ founded in 2004 by Sonya Shepherd (Terri’s eldest daughter).
CBI offers two programmes: the Charlesworth Ballet School and the Charlesworth Ballet College.
The Charlesworth Ballet School (CBS) – formerly TCBC – with studios at 1 Mabel Street, North Perth, and many centres throughout the metropolitan area, conducts classes for children from 4 years of age. The school’s philosophy is to provide a nurturing and gentle introduction to classical ballet. Ballet lessons are carefully planned to give children an inspirational introduction to the world of dance first and foremost, and a love for dance and beautiful music. Approximately 500 boys and girls, ranging in age from 4 to eighteen, attend classes through the CBS; students (depending on age & level) attend classes once or twice weekly.
The Charlesworth Ballet College (CBC) – located at our new purpose built venue at 74 – 76 Goodwood Parade, Burswood, and at 1 Mabel Street, North Perth, the College is a professional dance training programme designed to nurture and develop the young dancer to enable him or her to achieve a career in dance. The programme uses the Russian Vaganova method of training considered the finest syllabus for classical ballet. Approximately 160 students from 9 years of age attend the College. Enrolment to the College Programme is by audition.
Performing is an integral part of the program, giving the students the valuable experience of rehearsing and performing in a large company environment. Students perform regularly with ‘Youth Ballet WA’.
CBI’s faculty is composed of a diverse group of brilliant teachers whose backgrounds provide students with a variety of artistic influences. All staff members undergo continual professional development throughout the year; particularly in the Vaganova methodology of training, ensuring the highest quality tuition for your child.
The faculty is led by Sonya Shepherd; Artistic Director of the Institute and Director of Youth Ballet WA; Western Australia’s premiere youth performing ballet company. Terri Charlesworth OAM, now semi retired remains on staff as an integral part of the artistic development of the institute.
Youth Ballet WA (“YBWA”) is a Charitable Institution focused on education and performance in dance for youth. The company, founded in 2004, comprises of 110 talented dancers ranging from 8 – 21 years. Since its inception in 2004, the organisation has delighted audiences with its unique and vibrant performances.
- Arts:Performing Arts
Junior Professional Programme
Dancers of YBWA get their technical training skill within the Junior Professional Programme delivered by Ballet Centre of WA. Open to applicants from 8 years of age, the Junior Professional Programme uses the Russian Vaganova method of training considered the finest syllabus for classical ballet. Other studies include Pointe, Pas de Deux, Repertoire, Contemporary, Composition, Drama, Spanish, Character, Music, Dance History, Anatomy and Yoga. Successful applicants perform as members of Youth Ballet WA (YBWA) – Perth’s full time youth company with 110 members. YBWA is a Charitable Institution recognised for innovation and excellence in the technical and artistic development of gifted young dancers. Established in 2004, YBWA has a history dating back to 1960, intertwining with the Terri Charlesworth Ballet Centre.
Ballet Centre of WA’s Junior Professional Programme is a Registered Training Organisation offering Nationally accredited Certificate III and IV in Ballet Performance and year 11 & 12 Course of study in Dance. Certificate III and IV are listed and endorsed by the Curriculum Council. Certificate III is worth 18 points and Certificate IV is worth 25 points towards WACE - The West Australian Certificate of Education or High School Graduation.
Director, Sonya Shepherd hails from the famous Charlesworth ballet family and is proud to work closely with her mother, Terri Charlesworth OAM, who fulfils the role of Artistic Advisor to both Youth Ballet WA and Ballet Centre of WA and was a recent winner of the WA Citizen of the year Award for Arts and Culture Development. Youth Ballet WA are extremely proud to have the support of our patrons, The Governor His Excellency Dr. Ken Michael and Mrs. Julie Michael.
YBWA reaches out to the wider community through mainstage productions, school performances and workshops, public performances, special seniors performances and displays, and corporate opening ceremonies.
Youth Ballet WA has become a launching pad for talented young dancers from Perth and around the state. Many former dancers are now performing in prestigious ballet companies throughout the world.
The dancers of YBWA join the company through a rigorous audition process which takes place annually and at the Director’s discretion. All dancers train at an elite level, studying dance fulltime under the direction of Youth Ballet WA staff.