Adam teaches a physically demanding ballet class, which requires the dancer to think outside the parameters of the usual British style of training. The enchaînements (combinations) themselves are challenging, yet logical and flowing, and have a choreographic, “dancey” quality, with a strong emphasis on performance and artistry. The level of his advanced class is suited to dancers who are auditioning for, or actually working within professional ballet companies, teachers and ex-professionals, or those at an elementary/intermediate standard who wish to work at a more demanding degree of difficulty.
Because there is such a large gulf between beginner’s and elementary level ballet, it is important that there is an intermediary step between these two stages, hence the term “improver”. My main aim in these classes, apart from continuing to improve and refine the dancer’s technique, is to increase their vocabulary of ballet movements, especially the incidental or “joining” steps which one is expected to know at an elementary level. That way the dancer will be able to combine steps in simple enchaînements, allowing them to experience a greater range of movement in class, and to progress from repetitive, stationary exercises which they’ve learnt at beginner’s level.
This class is not recommended for absolute beginners, but is ideal for those who have limited ballet training and reasonable understanding of basic technique and class structure.
Minimum age: 13
Born in Perth, Western Australia, Adam trained at the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne, graduating in 1988 and relocating to London the following year. He joined the now defunct London City Ballet in 1990, touring the UK and internationally until the company’s untimely closure in 1996. While in LCB, in addition to dancing in the corps de ballet and as a soloist, Adam established himself as a strong character artist, performing roles such as “Dr Coppelius” in Coppelia, “Baron Von Rothbart” in Swan Lake and “Hilarion” in Giselle.
Turning his attention to working as a freelance dancer, Adam began working extensively in productions by English National Opera, the Royal Opera House, Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Raymond Gubbay’s popular “in-the-round” operas at the Royal Albert Hall. In 2001 he joined English National Ballet for the in-the-round production of Derek Deane’s Romeo & Juliet, appeared as an acrobat in Deane’s Swan Lake in 2004, and has worked with the company every year since, returning every Christmas to reprise his role as the acrobatic “Grandfather” in Christopher Hampson’s production of The Nutcracker. Branching out from classical ballet and drawing on skills he learned in his youth, especially acrobatics and break-dancing, Adam had success on the commercial dance circuit appearing in trade shows, promotional videos, on television and in feature films including Human Traffic, Phantom of The Opera, Pride and Prejudice and worked closely with the director on choreographed scenes in Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. Adam was one of Kylie Minogue’s backing dancers for her Fever (2002) and Showgirl (2005) world tours, working with choreographer Rafael Bonachela. In 2007, Adam gained the Royal Academy of Dance Professional Dancers’ Teaching Diploma and immediately began teaching ballet at Cambridge Performing Arts (Bodywork), where he also introduced the gymnastics/tumbling programme. Adam is currently a member of the full-time teaching staff at Ballet Black, has coached and taught summer school participants and cast-members of the critically acclaimed west end show, Billy Elliot, and has taught an advanced/professional level ballet class at Danceworks since 2008.
“I have enjoyed a long and rewarding career as a dancer, working not only with classical ballet companies, but also as a freelance artist. On many occasions I attended dance auditions, particularly in the fields of musical theatre and commercial entertainment, where participants were asked to demonstrate additional skills. More often than not, I found that my acrobatic/gymnastic ability was the deciding factor in securing me a job.”
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