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Sander Blommaert

Founder of Blommaert Ballet School

Sander Blommaert founded Blommaert Ballet School in 2016.

Sander Trained at the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp until the age of 15 before joining the Royal Ballet School in London for their final three years of training at the upper school.

Upon graduating from the school Sander was offered a contract with the Royal Ballet Company where he danced for 7 years and received promotion to First Artist.

Sander's repertory with the Company included Paris (Romeo and Juliet), Footman/Fish (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) and roles in Obsidian Tear, Scènes de Ballet, Connectome, Voluntaries, Rhapsody, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Sylvia, The Rite of Spring, The Firebird and The Nutcracker. He created a role in Woolf Works.

In 2016 Sander decided to pursue his passion for ballet teaching.

Sander's Teaching Qualifications:

- Education Course at the Royal Opera House / Royal Ballet School in 2013

- "Barreworks" Barre Workout Instructor Qualification in 2016

- Royal Ballet School's Vocational Ballet Teachers Diploma (RBS, PDTD) in 2018

- Dance Development, Teaching and Learning Diploma from Trinity Laban (DDTAL) 2018

- Progressing Ballet Technique Teaching Qualification in 2020

Sander joined Elmhurst Ballet School in September 2018 where he taught the male students in their final two years at the school.

All 18 male graduates during Sander's 3 school years at the school secured employment in the dance industry. Sander decided to leave Elmhurst to focus on Blommaert Ballet School full-time in 2021.

 
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Denise Horsley

Head of School Development and Administration and Dance Science Advisor.

Denise trained at London College of Dance, graduating with First Class Honours and recipiency of the Madge Atkinson Cup for Dance Composition, awarded for the encouragement of outstanding talent in choreography. She studied Cecchetti ballet under the direction of Victoria Chappell, Graham Technique with Anne Went and Linda Gibbs, and choreography with Kate Flatt whom she went on to complete an internship with, facilitated through Dance UK. She continued her postgraduate training, MA Creative Practice, on a programme hosted jointly between Trinity Laban/Siobhan Davies Dance/Independent Dance, studying intensively with Gill Clarke MBE. She continued further postgraduate training at Trinity Laban, completing the MSc Dance Science programme, graduating with Distinction and recipiency of the Dance Masters Highest Achievement Prize. Having completed teaching diplomas in both Imperial Ballet and National Dance with the ISTD, Denise went on to complete the two-year Teacher Training Programme at the Royal Ballet School and was awarded their Teaching Diploma and invited to teach for the school.


Denise has taught for the Royal Ballet School as Workshop Leader on the Primary Steps Programme for several years. She has also worked on the Royal Opera House’s Chance to Dance Programme as a Local Artist, mentoring teachers in delivering ballet creatively through workshops in educational settings. She was a lecturer at Coventry University on the undergraduate dance programme for almost ten years before the department closed in 2019; here she was awarded Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy – international recognition of a commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning in higher education, evidencing a practice that is aligned with the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). 


Denise is a certified Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) teacher, and delivers tailored PBT  sessions to students within Blommaert Ballet School, supplementing and supporting the refinement of their ballet practice. She is also responsible for School Development and Administration within BBS and acts as the school’s Dance Science Advisor.

 
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Silvia Jimenez

Ballet Teacher PDTD RAD

Silvia was born in Spain. She trained with Victor Ullate in Madrid, at the Ecole de Danse Classique Princese Grace in Monte-Carlo and finished her studies at the John Cranko School in Stuttgart. She competed in Prix de Laussanne in 1990 and got offered a scholarship to Maurice Bejart Mudra School.


After graduating from John Cranko School she was offered to join Stuttgart Ballet under the direction of Marcia Haydee where she stayed for 5 years. Silvia danced in many ballets by internationally acclaimed choreographers like John Cranko, Hans van Manen, William Forsythe, Uwe Scholtz, Nacho Duato, Renato Zanella, Stephan Toss, Roberto de Oliveira amongst others. She performed principal roles in Marcia Haydee’s Sleeping Beauty and “Isabella” in Sir David Bintley’s creation of Edward II for the company.


In 1996 Silvia was offered a Soloist contract with Birmingham Royal Ballet under David Bintley’s leadership. She was soon after promoted to Senior Soloist and danced many of the company’s extensive repertoire including the leading roles in many Balanchine ballets like Prodigal Son, Apollo, Four Temperaments and Agon to name a few. She also performed main roles in Sir Kenneth MacMillan (Elite Syncopations) and ‘Lady Elgar’ in Enigma Variations by Sir Frederick Ashton as well as the “Black Queen” in Dame Ninette de Valois Checkmate.  Silvia also danced solo and principal roles in most of Sir Peter Wright’s productions including Odette/Odile in Swan Lake and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. She has also worked with choreographers like Stanton Welch or Twyla Tharp. Under Bintley’s directorship Silvia danced and created many roles of his choreographic repertoire like Carmina Burana, Edward II, Arthur, The Seasons, Hobson’s Choice, Shakespeare Suite, Nutcracker Sweeties, Beauty and the Beast amongst others.


Silvia has been invited as a guest dancer to Japan, Spain, Taiwan and Italy and has danced in most of the main theatres in the world. She has also had the opportunity to train with a vast number of teachers and experience many teaching styles.


After more than 18 years as a professional dancer Silvia retired in 2008 and has been teaching students and professional dancers since.



Her teaching qualifications include:

  • RAD Professional Dancers Teaching Diploma (PDTD) Rad

  • Level 3 Mat Pilates Instructor

  • Progressing Ballet Technique Instructor (PBT)


Teaching in an educational setting:


  •  Master Classes at the Conservatorio Profesional de Danza de Puerto Llano, Ciudad Real and Fortea Madrid, Spain.

  • Experience in education workshops with the Education Department at Birmingham Royal Ballet, teaching ballet classes and BRB’s repertoire.

  • Years of experience teaching adult ballet classes as well as the CADT Programme for young people aged 11-18 years at DanceXchange.

  • The Hammond School, Chester.

  • Elmhurst Ballet School 2017-2021. Teaching Upper School men and women. Gaining a promotion to Head of Elmhurst Ballet Company in 2019. In charge of ballet classes, repertoire, rehearsals, mentoring, fittings and mock auditions.


Teaching in a professional setting:


  • Guest with Company Wayne MacGregor.

  • Graz Oper Ballet, Austria.

  • Weekly classes with Stuttgart Ballet, Germany.

  • Guest teacher on several occasions with Birmingham Royal Ballet under David Bintley and Carlos Acosta’s directorship.

  • Private coaching to male and female soloist and principal dancers in preparation for a performance.

 
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Laëtitia Lo Sardo

Ballet Teacher M.A. PDPTC (RAD)

 Trained in Marseille, France, Laëtitia won the Prix de Lausanne in 1996 and received a scholarship for the Royal Ballet School. She joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1997 where she spent her whole dancing career, going through the ranks to First Soloist.

She danced many soloist and principal roles including ‘The Sugar Plum Fairy’ and ‘Clara’ in the “Nutcracker”,  ‘Swanhilda’ in “Coppélia”, ‘Aurora’ and ‘Bluebird’ in the ‘Sleeping Beauty’, the ‘Young Girl’ in “Two Pigeons”, ‘Waltz ’ in “Serenade”, and ‘Calliope’ in Balanchine’s ‘Apollo”.

Laëtitia has been teaching ballet for over 20 years. Whilst dancing, she completed an M.A. in Applied Studies in Dance with Birmingham University and taught ballet for Elmhurst Ballet School, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Department of Learning and the Centre for Advanced Training. In 2013, she assisted Ballet Mistress Marion Tait to rehearse Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of “Giselle”.

Laëtitia became a freelance ballet teacher in August 2014 and taught for BRB’s Department of Learning, the Centre for Advanced Training, DanceXchange, and private ballet schools. In 2019, she graduated from the RAD’s Professional Dancers’ Post Graduate Certificate with Distinction. In 2020, she also became a certified teacher for Progression Ballet Technique.

From September 2018, she taught ballet at Elmhurst Ballet School for 3 years, teaching both Upper and Lower School and on their associate program.

Laetitia is now freelance again. She has a program of online classes and teaches regularly for Birmingham Royal Ballet, Denada Dance Company, Kings International Ballet Academy and British Ballet Organisation (BBO).

 
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Luke Abnett

Ballet Physio

Luke Abnett, The Ballet Physio, worked at the Royal Ballet School in Covent Garden, London for six years. It was during this time that Luke developed his passion for helping ballet dancers achieve their true physical potential.
In addition to managing student injuries, Luke also drove the development of elite-level healthcare at the Royal Ballet School through:
Injury prevention prehabilitation classes
Co-founding the Royal Ballet Science & Medicine Advisory Group
Overseeing healthcare provision at the upper school
An integrated Physical Conditioning curriculum
Launched the upper school's first start-of-year physical profiling programme
Regular accredited academic classes in injury prevention and anatomy for dancers

Now working exclusively in private practice, Luke truly enjoys the challenge of bringing world-class healthcare to young dancers outside of major institutions. As well as treating injuries, he also enjoys identifying issues that are limiting a dancer’s potential. In fact, Luke often receives reports from teachers praising how quickly their dancers turnout, posture, extensions and allegro have improved after attending a Ballet Physio programme.
Luke’s areas of expertise include ballet injuries, ballet facility enhancement and accelerating physical progress, hypermobility, scoliosis, bone stress rehabilitation, joint impingements.


For more information, please visit www.balletphysio.com/about