Polmont dancer Sarah set for Festival masterclass with ballet star

Sarah Leslie with teacher Amanda Clark
Sarah Leslie with teacher Amanda Clark

A gifted young Falkirk ballet school dancer has won an intensive two day training course with top international star Peter Schaufuss.

He is the founder of The English National Ballet School, and in a stellar career has performed and directed all over the world.

Sarah Leslie, (16), trains part-time at Brightons Community Centre with Falkirk’s Central Scotland Ballet School, and had a chance to be accepted for the course at a special Edinburgh Festival Ballet School.

This initiative will be followed by the launch of a full time ballet school in Edinburgh in September.

Sarah said: “I started dancing when I was just two years old as my sister went to classes and so I wanted to go, too.

“I’ve danced ever since and have made so many new friends through it - I love getting to perform and would really like to work as a professional ballet dancer or as a choreographer when I complete my training.”

She added: “I feel very privileged to have gained a place on Peter Schaufuss’ masterclass in Edinburgh.

“I’m really looking forward to being taught by so many experienced professionals from all over the world and learning about how they managed to get to where they are today.”

Amanda Clark, a director at Central Scotland Ballet School, said: “Sarah is one of our advanced students who is really keen to pursue a career as a professional dancer.

“I think that she will really benefit from the world-class ballet training on offer at the masterclass.

“It’s incredible that Scottish dancers are being offered the opportunity to attend a masterclass with Peter Schaufuss as it will give them a taste of what professional training is like”.

She added: “I think it’s wonderful that he’s opening a full-time ballet school in Scotland.”

In addition to receiving training from Peter Schaufuss, Sarah will also benefit from specialised tuition from a number of internationally-renowned industry figures, including Dinna Bjørn, Matz Skoog, Eric Viudes, and Jeffrey Taylor.

Peter Schaufuss said: “The masterclasses are a weekend of classes taught by people who have been at the highest level of the dance profession.

“It’s an opportunity for students to be taught by some of the leading figures from the dance world and to learn what it takes to be a professional dancer.

“We would welcome applications from dancers across Scotland with similar aspirations to Sarah.

“Students may be on the way to making a career as a dancer or may not have danced before.

“This is their chance to test their own talent, to be taught at a high level, and receive lectures in ballet history and its different dance styles.

“It’s a complete introduction to what will eventually be a permanent school”.