Celebrating 40 years of Northern Ballet School

Testimonials

What our graduates say...

Northern Ballet School graduates talk about their student experiences and subsequent careers as professional dancers and dance teachers.


Melissa Brown

NBS Graduate 2012

I was advised by the principal of my dance school to audition for Northern Ballet School, where she thought I would be suited, and thankfully I was offered a place with a Dance and Drama Award. The training at NBS was extremely hard work – but I enjoyed every minute of it, mainly because of the tutors who prepared me for the professional world.

Before graduating, NBS tutors gave invaluable advise on auditioning. One such audition was for The Benidorm Palace, where I have been happily working for nearly two years now. I'm thankful for everything NBS taught me and I made many lifelong friends there. I would recommend the school to every aspiring dancer.


Sinead Corcoran

NBS Graduate 2012

I feel so very lucky to have studied at Northern Ballet School. Not only did I have the opportunity to train under some fantastic teachers, I made friends for life there and have some great memories. At NBS you'll be pushed to your limits as a dancer but there is always help and support when things get tough. I left NBS prepared to start my career and I've had many wonderful opportunities, and there are many more to come.


Anthony Gifford

NBS Graduate 2014

NBS was the perfect springboard into my professional career. The technical training and artistic development is provided to students by some of the most knowledgable and passionate professionals in this industry.

As a graduate I received not only top class training but a plethora of qualifications and opportunites, including teaching examinations, TV appearances and performance experience in their own in-house theatre. My three years at Northern Ballet School provided everything I needed and more, and made it possible for me to pursue my career in this amazing industry!


Martina Gumbs

NBS Graduate 2011

NBS gave me the training that I needed to become a professional dancer. I chose the jazz theatre focus and was happy to do so. The faculty at NBS were the best, in every class I became a stronger dancer both mentally and physically. As a result I was able to work on Norwegian Cruise Line as a dancer/aerialist for 3 years.


Melissa Gumbs

NBS Graduate 2011

Northern Ballet School helped me to gain the strength not just physically but mentally to become a professional dancer. I'm very grateful for the training I received at NBS and will never forget my training days, I also made friends for life there too. Since graduating I have been working on cruise liners such as Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line as a production dancer and aerialist.


Elina Haikka

NBS Graduate 2012

The time I spent at Northern Ballet School opened up a whole new world to me. I was privileged to learn from experienced professionals and be inspired by my peers. I improved my technical abilities as a dancer and gained valuable performance experience and knowledge on audition technique – which helped me to secure my first professional jobs in the industry. Thanks to those three years of hard work I now get to pursue my dreams all around the world.


Suzy Halstead

NBS Graduate 2011

I started my Professional Dance training at Northern Ballet School. In the first year I studied a mixed discipline of dance genres and specialised in Classical Ballet in my third year. Studying Jazz, Tap, Contemporary and Ballet prepares you to face the current job market and enables you to take on a range of diverse and interesting roles. We also had great teachers with experience with major Ballet companies, cruise ships, West End, the Lido and even Vegas.

NBS has it's own theatre so you get first-hand experience with lighting, stage sets and sound when putting on a production. I danced with Manchester City Ballet in Nutcracker and Coppelia and in the School's Contemporary/Jazz productions. After I graduated from NBS, I spent a further year at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland which was followed by a contract with Scottish Ballet touring with Ashley Page's Nutcracker.

I've just finished a tour with the National Ballet of Ireland in Swan Lake before my next contract with the Really Useful Group, where I will join a world tour of Phantom of the Opera. Life after NBS has been fun and very fulfilling.


Alexandra Hardie

NBS Graduate 2012

I've been dedicated to dance from a young age and wanted to progress in a full-time course that would give me the skills, strength and capability to pursue a career as a professional dancer. Northern Ballet School proved to be the perfect place to do this. Strong ballet training provided the foundations on which to build a variety of performance techniques, taught by supportive and experienced staff.

My first job was at Le Moulin Rouge in Paris. At the audition we were asked to perform a variety of dance styles, and thanks to my training, I felt confident and prepared and ultimately achieved my dream.


Heidi Hope

NBS Graduate 2013

Northern Ballet School prepared me for my future career in the dance industry and I would not be where I am today if I had attended a different school. It had a great learning environment and the tutors were always supportive during the three years of training. I know I have the full support of the school when finding work and I feel part of the NBS family.


Sophia Hurdley

NBS Graduate 2003

Since graduating I have performed in West End Musicals and as Principal Artist in Matthew Bourne's New Adventures Company for 12 years, creating many of his roles. NBS without doubt gave me the skills, confidence and belief to succeed.


Aidan Kelly

NBS Graduate 2010

Coming from Dublin I started dancing at 23 and decided to audition for dance colleges in England. I'd heard of Northern Ballet School through friends and thought I would try and audition there. At that point I had only been dancing for 1 year but NBS gave me a chance and offered me a place.

I really enjoyed my time there, the teachers were all very supportive and understanding, and they know how to get the best out of you. At the end of my 3rd year I was offered a contract with Costa Cruise Lines and I currently work for Carnival Cruise Lines as Dance Captain. I'm thoroughly grateful for the training I received at NBS.


Airi Koike

NBS Graduate 2013

I am originally from Yokohama, Japan and I came to Manchester when I was 19 to train at Northern Ballet School. I was able to study many different styles in a welcoming environment and it really helped prepare me for the profession. Northern Ballet School opened the doors to many different lines of work and I accepted my first contract as a professional dancer shortly after graduating.


Sophie Knights

NBS Graduate 2011

I attended Northern Ballet School aged sixteen and during my time there I received the invaluable training I needed to fulfil my dream to become a professional dancer. The variety of genres of dance and the skills I learned there enabled me to graduate feeling confident about attending auditions.

Since graduating I have been in continuous employment, including contracts on cruise ships where I have been able to travel the world, and dance work in the UK. I have NBS to thank for this as I wouldn't be where I am today without the hard work and expert training from my fabulous teachers. I made friends for life at NBS and, although we are all dancing around the world, we will always remain close. My memories of NBS are fond and I would highly recommend it to any aspiring dancer.


Tim Knight

NBS Graduate 2006

Since I graduated from Northern Ballet School with a focus on Jazz Theatre I've danced and worked in a large variety of shows and traveled the world. I've worked at the Lido de Paris, Benidorm Palace - Spain, opened new shows in Thessaloniki - Greece, worked with Celebrity Cruises and other ships, as well as performing Panto at Lincoln Theatre Royal and commercial work at the Birmingham NEC arena. Dance is a competitive business and, although I have faced my fare share of rejections at auditions, the training that I received from NBS has been invaluable in helping me to find work.

The teachers at NBS push you hard and their attention to detail and willingness to share their knowledge will help you improve. The small number of students in each year means that there is a friendly and supportive atmosphere and you get a lot of individual attention to help you grow as a dancer.

NBS is blessed with it's own theatre which gave me invaluable performance experience for the professional work environment. I have often said, and heard it said by other students, that we would not be half the dancers and performers we are without having been to NBS.


Matthew Linecar-Boulton

NBS Graduate 2000

After NBS I appeared in nine West End musicals and worked with some of the greatest figures in the industry. I am now the director of my own studios and teach my students the important lessons of being a 'clean dancer' and not to limit yourself to specializing in one genre of dance, qualities that every NBS graduate can boast.


Caoimhe McCabe

NBS Graduate 2008

I remember being thrilled at gaining a place at NBS, little did I know where this part of my life was going to lead me. Thanks to the dedication, individual care and training I received at NBS, I soon realised just how well prepared I was for my new career as a dancer with Costa Cruises, both from the technical and artistic side of my job, to the sheer physical fitness and energy levels I need to be competitive in a demanding field.

I enjoyed every moment at NBS and look back on my time there with much gratitude and affection. The opportunities afforded to me have been way beyond my expectations. The dancing side of my job is the most rewarding and I've also had the good fortune to see many places in the world. Venice, Brazil, Barcelona, Canada, the US, Arabia, Northern Europe – the list is endless.

I've also met people from all over the world, many I now consider good friends and we keep in touch and often work together on different contracts. Thank you NBS for everything you have enabled me to do.


Ghislaine McKenzie

NBS Graduate 2009

NBS paved the way to cultivate my skills as a dancer and to fine tune and improve not just my technique but above all my performance on stage. Ultimately the goal is to get a job, and I was able to do so. We were able to get great practice performing for the public, in full shows at a professional level. Housing its own stage and auditorium is an amazing advantage, and practising daily on the stage geared us up for what it would be like in a professional company. My career has taken me to places I could only have dreamed of, and I've been able to travel the world dancing in all kinds of shows.


Ryan Milner

NBS Graduate 2004

NBS set me up for a fantastic career as a professional dancer, one that is still going strong 11 years later. I was taught a wide variety of styles which helped me to get work in a wide variety of dance jobs (including ballet, the basis of all dance technique). I made some amazing friends, many of which are still close friends. I've travelled all around the world and been to places I could only imagine. I continue to use the techniques and skills I learnt and I owe the career I've had to all the teachers and staff at NBS. I loved every second I spent there.


Sahya Ohshima

NBS Graduate 2014

The years I spent at NBS were just amazing, I met the greatest teachers and friends. As I am from Japan it was hard for me to understand English but they always spoke to me so kindly. For me, we are like a family. My experience at NBS improved my technique to a high level and that's why I could be attached to my current company; Ajkun Ballet Theatre, New York.


Poppy Salenius

NBS Graduate 2012

Northern Ballet School was a great stepping stone into my professional career as a dancer at the Moulin Rouge. The training I received was well rounded, catering for all techniques required to further myself in the dance industry. NBS instilled a great work ethic in me, standing me in good stead for my future. My whole experience there was supported by encouraging teachers and fellow students giving me tools for not only work, but also for life.


Liam Michael Scullion

NBS Graduate 2012

I attended Northern Ballet School between 2009 - 2012 after only two years dance experience behind me. I am now in my third year dancing eight shows a week as a soloist in the Ballet ensemble of the Friedrichstadt-Palast, Europe's show palace with the largest theatre stage in the world. Without the high calibre of teaching, guidance and support I received during my time at NBS, I would never have become the dancer I am today. NBS gave me the tools I needed to get a job and the confidence and mental attitude to keep striving and growing, I will forever be grateful for the years I trained there.


Ellie Senior

NBS Graduate 2008

NBS accept students not only on their ability but also on their potential, I was definitely offered my place based on the latter. I chose NBS because they believe Ballet is the backbone of any dancer's training. I loved ballet, I studied it growing up and it was where I felt most confident. However it isn't until you are surrounded by people with high standards that you really learn your strengths and find ways to push yourself further.

It took maybe a term before my eyes were opened to other disciplines and with excellent guidance from the experienced, knowledgeable and most importantly, passionate teachers I threw myself into the Jazz Theatre course and never regretted a second of it.

Students are taught how to look after themselves, from fitness and nutrition classes to anatomy classes where you learn how the dancers body works, to pilates classes – where students get the chance to put what you have learnt into action – preventing common injuries and hopefully helping to sustain a long career, these are all things I still carry with me and have become a part of my every day life.

NBS prepares you to go out into the industry confident, eager and with so much knowledge and the skills I took away from NBS have kept me in constant employment for the last 7 years. I've travelled the world with Carnival Cruise Lines and Celebrity Cruises as a dancer, and now work for Carnival Cruise Line as a Dance Captain and Playlist Cast Manager.


Sophie Tighe

NBS Graduate 2004

The dance training delivered by all the dedicated and caring teachers is fantastic. NBS offers students everything required for a successful career in dance as well as how to handle auditions and help with getting an agent. NBS has stunning facilities and an in house theatre – an amazing place to train for your chosen career.

I went on to dance professionally and now have a very successful dance school where I enjoy passing on all my knowledge and passion for dance to budding little dancers. I got all my teaching qualifications at NBS – the teacher training was amazing and the teachers were inspirational.

I made life long friends at NBS, we had so much fun and I would recommend it to anyone considering a career in dance.


Neil Towers

NBS Graduate 2008

I started my dance training at NBS in 2005 and graduated straight into the Slovak National Ballet in 2008. I had also been offered work with the European Ballet and Carnival Cruise Lines. I now have a teaching career and I've enjoyed success working freelance for numerous dance schools and was also involved in the initial start up of a company that has become one of the main providers of Adult Dance Classes across the North West (KNT Danceworks) . I'm currently teaching at a school in Northern Ireland under the leadership of Sarah Durrant (Academy of Professional Physical Arts).

Although my focus as a dancer has always been on Ballet, I'm glad I chose NBS for the all-round training it provides. Jazz/Modern technique is fundamental to developing a dynamicism that can't be achieved through Classical technique alone. The same can be said for Contemporary technique with the way it develops fluidity and ease of movement, Tap and its development of rhythm and musical understanding, and Musical Theatre and its development of performance. The variety of dance styles I am now competent in has also been a massive boost to my versatility as a teacher.

Throughout my training at NBS I felt well looked after with plenty of attention and guidance from all of the teachers. The camaraderie amongst the student body is also second to none, the chance to produce three performances per year in the school's own Theatre is no doubt a factor in this. I would gladly advise any of my own students to audition for the school.


Keeva Treanor

NBS Graduate 2005

I'm incredibly grateful for the wonderful professional training and guidance I received at Northern Ballet School. I was able to enjoy a wonderful dance career travelling the world with the Jean Ann Ryan Company. I now live in Berlin and have had the pleasure of dancing as a member of the FriedrichstadtPalast and as a Freelance Dancer and Aerial Artist working with major Artists and Brands in Germany. I'm proud to say that almost 10 years after I graduated I'm still celebrating a wonderful career and will headline at the Benidorm Palace as the resident Aerial Artist next year.

I didn't graduate the best or strongest in my class but I continued to work hard and was always hungry for more. What makes NBS different from many other schools is the emphasis on Classical Ballet as well as the opportunity to perform in their very own theatre. The standard of the NBS graduate is very high year after year and their successful careers begin when they are offered a place at NBS.


Julie Williamson

NBS Graduate 1987

My years at Northern Ballet School were some of the best of my life, and the diversity, depth and quality of the training have been of the utmost importance to me. There have been many occasions in the past 27 years were I have delved into the recesses of my brain and discovered a national step or piece of repertoire that I can still recall with frightening detail.

After graduating from NBS I went to Europe were I performed and taught. On returning to the UK I took up a teaching post at Arts Ed Tring were I stayed for 13 years, continuing my teaching qualifications through to the Fellow in Modern Theatre dance. Due to a family relocation I found myself back in the North West and immediately sent my CV to NBS where I taught for 3 years. Following NBS I became Deputy Head of Dance at The Hammond, Chester until moving to Sydney, Australia.

I was General Manager of Australian Dance Vision, a dance syllabus organisation, before working at Urban Dance Centre where I became the Director of the company. Whilst in Australia I also taught the Top 20 dancers on Series 2 of So You Think You Can Dance - Australia and staged productions at several venues throughout Sydney.

The love with which I was trained has stayed with me and continues to inspire me to develop and nurture the students I teach today.


Paul Winney

NBS Graduate 2005

They say dance is a journey and for me NBS is where it started. I hadn't taken ballet, jazz or contemporary classes before and I knew It wasn't going to be easy. I'd been in local productions of various musicals and danced some ballroom but I couldn't touch my toes, I couldn't pirouette and I had limited coordination. However I had potential, drive and a willingness to learn.

My time at Northern Ballet School really shaped me as a dancer and prepared me in the field with the skillset needed for a sustainable and injury free career. Having graduated 10 years ago and been in constant employment since, thanks to NBS I've travelled the world and had a wonderful career in dance which is still continuing to this day.


Elena Zammit

NBS Graduate 2013

Coming from Malta, opportunities to train as a full time dancer were limited. I always knew I wanted to be a dancer and dreamed of having the opportunity to train and learn from some of the best teachers and choreographers in the industry. Northern Ballet School made all of this possible. I auditioned and was offered a place and a DaDa award to attend the prestigious school as a full-time dance student.

Besides striving to always improve and develop my technique, my training at NBS has given me so much more. I got to perform frequently in the gorgeous in-house theatre which gave me confidence and, when I was ready to work as a dancer, it was that confidence, gained through proper, versatile training, that allowed me to be able to get my first professional contract with Poet Theatricals and travel around the world.

I'm currently working as a contemporary dancer and have been offered an amazing opportunity to join Moveo Dance Company. This is a dream come true, made possible through the excellent training I received at NBS.