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Anita Young MBE becomes Artistic Director of the British Ballet Organization

The British Ballet Organization (BBO), is absolutely thrilled to announce that Anita Young MBE has joined the team as Artistic Director. BBO is one of the world’s leading dance Awarding Organisations offering excellence in dance training and education across the UK and internationally. The organisation believes dance has the power to enrich lives and enhance communities and Anita will be invaluable in developing this mission further.

Anita trained at The Royal Ballet School and joined the Company in 1968 where she was promoted to Soloist in 1974. During her time in the Company, Anita performed in significant classical repertoires; she was in the original cast of Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon, Mayerling and Elite Syncopations and danced alongside Rudolf Nureyev in George Balanchine’s Agon. Anita also performed in works of Sir Frederick Ashton, including creating her role in the Tales of Beatrix Potter film. Upon leaving The Royal Ballet Company in 1981, Anita was offered and took the position of Ballet Mistress with Northern Ballet Theatre.

Following this, Anita worked with prestigious vocational schools and colleges. She worked closely with Nic Espinosa, current Chair of BBO, for over 16 years, producing pieces for London Studio Centre’s end of year performances. She also taught at West Street School alongside David Wall, Julia Farron and Maryon Lane, and spent two years teaching at Central School of Ballet. Anita found her way back to The Royal Ballet School and spent almost 20 years as Tutor and Senior Tutor, teaching at both White Lodge and the Upper School.

Anita remains in touch with many of her former students from these schools and is fortunate to still be able to meet up with them to this day.

Anita progressed into a career in freelance teaching, coaching, choreography and dance education. She is a regular guest teacher for the European School of Ballet in Amsterdam and adjudicates and teaches very regularly. In 2023 alone, Anita taught in 7 countries including New Zealand, South Korea and the United States. Anita acts as a talent scout throughout her work, always looking for potential in students and ways to guide the next generation of aspiring dancers. She even teaches ballet to football teams, spreading awareness of the benefits of the artform across various sectors.

Anita has extensive experience and is now one of the UK’s most respected and renowned dance teachers, continuing to teach across the world. In 2019, Anita was awarded an MBE for services to Classical Ballet and Dance Education.

Anita Young MBE with Brenda Last OBE, Wayne Sleep OBE, June Glennie and Anita's son, Michael.

BBO is proud that Anita has been connected to the organisation for many years. She has worked with BBO President Brenda Last OBE as well as John Field and Anne Heaton who took directorship of the BBO in the 1980s. Anita has been a key faculty member for BBO, teaching the Senior Ballet Scholars Scheme for many years, as well as leading masterclasses and attending events.

Anita would like to give special thanks to BBO Registered Teacher, Senior Examiner and Fellow, Jackie Shewell-Thomas. Anita taught for Jackie at the Gloucester Seminars, and it was Jackie who suggested to John Travis, former BBO CEO, that Anita become the Senior Ballet Scholars Tutor.

Anita continues to work with many colleagues across the dance industry and is incredibly grateful to many of her colleagues who support her and encourage students to study with her, including Emma Northmore and Georgina Pay.

Anita has said she “always enjoyed working with BBO teachers, they are very open and it’s lovely to be welcomed into this role. I am excited to collaborate with the entire BBO team on exciting projects and work towards the future together.”


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