Former Birmingham Royal Ballet Principal and current Artistic Director of Elmhurst Ballet School, Robert Parker has today become Patron of bbodance, formerly known as the British Ballet Organization. His patronage strengthens the already close collaboration between the three organisations to promote dance and dance education in the Midlands. Other bbodance Patrons include Strictly Come Dancing judge, Craig Revel Horwood, and leading figures in the world of ballet, Dame Beryl Grey DBE (who is also bbodance President) and Wayne Sleep OBE.
“It is my great honour and pleasure to have been appointed Patron of bbodance. It is very exciting to support an organisation who are fostering excellence in dance education and inspiring future generations to pursue a career in dance. I look forward to supporting bbodance in their continued efforts in promoting our wonderful artform in the Midlands and beyond,” Mr Parker stated.
“Without a doubt, Robert Parker has been one of the greatest promoters of bbodance events and programmes in the Birmingham area ever since we focused our efforts on it many years ago. We look forward to working with him on many issues, especially on the development of our teaching qualifications programme, and are delighted to welcome him as our Patron today,” declared bbodance CEO, Robin Bloor.
This announcement comes shortly before the organisation’s yearly flagship event, Dance Days, which will take place at Elmhurst Ballet School during the Easter school break. The event consists of intensive classes in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, and Creative dance for students and CPD training for teachers, and closes with a performance and awards ceremony that has often been presided over by Mr Parker himself.
Trained at the Royal Ballet School, Robert Parker joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1994 and became Principal dancer five years later. He has danced a varied repertoire from classics to contemporary works, collaborating on many lead roles with director and choreographer David Bintley. During his latter years as Principal, Mr Parker began teaching at Elmhurst, one of the UK’s top ballet schools, on a regular basis, and completed a Master’s degree in Philosophy in Education. Following his retirement as Principal dancer, he became Elmhurst’s Artistic Director in 2012.
Founded in 1930 by Edouard Espinosa and Eve Kelland, bbodance is one of the UK’s leading dance Awarding Organisations, providing its own Ofqual-recognised syllabi in Classical Ballet, Modern Dance, Jazz, Tap, and Musical Theatre, as well as a Level 3 Extended Diploma in partnership with South Thames College and dance teacher training for Levels 4 to 6. bbodance is also present internationally, with a large membership in Australia and New Zealand.