The first Yorkshire Ballet Seminars, founded by David Gayle MBE, a former dancer with The Royal Ballet, was held at Ilkley College in 1973, and opened by Dame Ninette de Valois, founder of The Royal Ballet. YBSS moved to York St John University in York in 1999 and is now held in the beautiful surroundings of Askham Bryan College 5 miles from the historic town of York. Marguerite Porter MBE, during her 12 years as director, transformed Yorkshire Ballet Summer School into the wonderful charity it is today, giving the best tuition to the best and most deserving students, with it's place firmly embedded in the pantheon of British ballet - "A chance to dance". Marguerite's unfaltering passion and dedication to YBSS is what made the students' time at the Summer School so enriching, allowing so many young dancers the opportunity to reach their full potential and go on to achieve wonderful success in the world of dance.
Some of the most iconic names in ballet have taught at the summer school during its 44 years including Sir Anthony Dowell CBE, Lynn Seymour, Dame Beryl Grey, Marguerite Porter MBE, Wayne Sleep and Edward Watson MBE, amongst many more.
YBS offers a two week residential summer school for dance students aged 9 to 19 and their teachers, giving them the opportunity to extend their knowledge and learning from top professionals and industry experts. It gives students a unique chance to take class with world class teachers who are working with the world’s greatest dancers.
YBS takes great pride in being able to provide Scholarships to our most talented students and Bursaries for those who are unable to pay the fees. YBS receives no government funding and the ability to offer Scholarships and Bursaries is entirely due to the generosity of our loyal supporters and members of our Patrons Circle, without whom it would not be possible. We thank every one of you for your continued support.
Over the years YBS has awarded Scholarships to many of the most recognisable names in the dance world including: Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet; David Bintley CBE, Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet; Matthew Ball, First Soloist Royal Ballet; Laurretta Summerscales, Principal English National Ballet; Xander Parish, Principal Mariinsky Ballet; Samara Downs, Principal, and Brandon Lawrence, Soloist, both with The Birmingham Royal Ballet; Elizabeth Harrod, Soloist Royal Ballet and many more successful dancers within all the major Ballet Companies.