Beyond the Barre Newsletter. Edition 3 - June 2013


As you might guess, we are very busy with this year’s Summer School, which starts on 20 July, and with the Autumn Gala of Dance and Song at Sadler’s Wells on 29 September.

This year, the 40th Summer School, has seen more students apply than ever before.  The Director’s Update explains how we’ve coped.  Of course, we are delighted at this level of interest in YBSS.

You’ll find your invitation to this year’s Friends Reception and how to benefit from your priority booking to come and watch class during the Summer School at the end of this Newsletter.

The Director’s Update

Photo Sophie Harris-Taylor

Dear Friends,

This year has seen an increase of applications for the Summer School, to double the amount in previous years.  It was astonishing, wonderful in one respect but hard to have to turn so many away.  We have had to reject over 100, usually it is in the region of around 30.  Also I would say 75% of the applicants were new to us which means that word of mouth is spreading.  There are a wide variety of nationalities from as far as Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and many from Europe.  However, what always pleases me is that we still have many local and regional students applying.

The Scholarship Audition was very well attended too, over 80 students came and again from all over the country.  There were many very talented applicants; happily for us we were able to give out 58 weeks’ worth of Scholarships and Bursaries, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of our devoted supporters. The panel of judges was Wayne Sleep, Elizabeth McGorian (The Royal Ballet), Laura Connor, Heather McCubbin and myself.

We have a very exciting teaching faculty this year.  Laurent Novis, Paris Opera Ballet, Paul Lewis and David Pickering are all returning and are all superb teachers.  Patricia Linton has been with us for the past few years and is much admired by the students and staff alike.  Yosvani Ramos, a Cuban dancer, who was a Principal dancer with English National Ballet and is still at the height of his career, is joining us.  He has had experience of teaching and enjoys it, so we are looking forward to his arrival very much.  It is always exciting for the students to be taught by a working dancer who can demonstrate well.

We are fortunate to have been permitted to nominate Anya Sainsbury, Sir Anthony Dowell, Michael Nunn OBE, William Trevitt OBE, Kevin O’Hare and David Pickering as Patrons of YBSS.  I was very touched when they all agreed so readily and with such warmth for the charity.  Thrilling to have such luminaries.

I very much look forward to seeing you in the summer and at the Gala in September.

Warmest wishes

Marguerite Porter

An Autumn Gala of Dance and Song

Sadler's Wells 29 September at 7pm

Gala plans are coming along.  We have some wonderful names who we are finalising details with and the enthusiasm they have all shown to come and give us their valuable time is truly heartening. 

In addition to the names we have already announced, Samantha Bond and Wayne Sleep will reprise their rendition of Irving Berlin’s We’re A Couple of Swells.  Steven McRae, Principal of The Royal Ballet, will be performing and Elizabeth Harrod, Soloist in The Royal Ballet, will dance a solo choreographed by Marguerite Porter to a song by Keaton Henson.

In due course, we will send you a Stop Press with the final line up.

How to apply to come and see this year’s Summer School

One of three classes in the 2013 Scholarships and Bursaries Auditions. Photo: Sophie Harris-Taylor.

Priority tickets are available to watch class in Temple Hall at York St John’s University during the 2013 Summer School (between 21 July and 1 August, excluding Friday afternoon 26 July and Saturday 27 July).  Please apply between 1 and 14 July by email to  Applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis and please remember that seats are limited, so be ready to apply on 1 July!

Remember, if you don’t get priority seats, a limited number of seats are available on each day (except Friday afternoon 26 July and Saturday 27 July) – just come to Temple Hall on the day.

All tickets are £12 for the day and £9 for half a day, payable in cash at the door.

Patrons and 100 Club Members may also apply to watch the evening Master Classes in Temple Hall, starting at 6 pm.  The Master Class on 24 July will be given by Sir Anthony Dowell, former Principal and Director of The Royal Ballet, and on 31 July by Donald MacLeary, former Principal of The Royal Ballet.  Please apply between 1 and 14 July to

Friends Reception

A Reception open to Friends, 100 Club Members and Patrons will be held in Temple Hall on Monday 29 July at 5.30 pm after class, when you may enjoy a glass of wine and the chance to mingle informally with teachers and students.  The Reception will end at 7.00 pm.

Please reply to by 14 July if you would like to come.

For directions to Temple Hall, go to

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