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20.12.04
Dance college's worldwide reputation grows

A full time dance college that has received Objective One investment has become famous across the world.

The Dance College of Cornwall is based in modest surroundings in Falmouth, above the main post office, on The Moor. But, with the help of Objective One investment, the two floors have been turned into purpose-made dance studios and its ambitions are far from modest.

It is the only college in the south west to offer quality, professional training for students who are aspiring to go into dancing as a full time career and have the ability and training.

Linda West, Dance College of Cornwall marketing and business development director, said: "Cornwall is very fortunate to have a large number of part time dance schools providing an exceptional source of potential future students. The original objective was to provide Cornish students with the opportunity to train closer to home rather than have the huge upheaval of moving to London, together with the excessive living costs associated with this. The college has been amazed at the response to date from every corner of the UK and overseas."

This year the College has 24 students from Ireland, Italy, Norway and across the UK. Enquiries for 2005 have come from France, Japan and Spain. There have been two graduates so far, one from Cornwall, and both have immediately found work.

Adam Ling, from St Austell is currently on tour with the Vienna Festival ballet and Kerry Ashford, from South Wales, is dancing in musical theatre in Gran Canaria.

Objective One investment has come from two gateway funds, a loan from SWIG (South-West Investment Group), and small marketing assistance from Cornwall Arts Marketing (CAM).

The SWIG loan has paid for many of the facilities, including the mirrors in the second floor studio, made and supplied by Pilkington Glass. The wooden dance barres were made by Duchy Timber and the stainless steel brackets for the barres by specialist company Zoftig, in Bude. The reception area has been enlarged and a fully functional reception desk built, and it now provides a welcoming professional entrance.

Investment from CAM has helped to pay for a proportion of marketing as well as costumes and lighting for three end-of-year shows in Truro.

John Peters, Fund Manager at SWIG said: "I am delighted that SWIG has been able to help this extremely worthwhile venture. The college is drawing students from all over Europe as well as nurturing local talent, which is very good news for Falmouth and the Cornish economy."

The college is now planning to expand into a much larger third studio/rehearsal space/ fourth studio/music room and additional changing facilities. This will enable the college to take on greater numbers of students for the intake of September 2005.

"That will be as huge step for us," said Linda. "It will ensure the college has firm foundations to expand, plus provide us with the unrivalled state of the art additional studios, ensuring we can compete with other major colleges and academies across the country, providing Cornwall with the first true International Centre of Excellence in Dance and Performing arts."

The college, which is in its third year, has a major asset in the form of Terence Etheridge, former head of the Ballet Rambert whose portfolio also includes working with the English National Ballet Head of Dance at the Urdang Academy in Covent Garden. Terence is still in demand by many ballet companies around the world. He has recently been working on assignments in Malta, South Africa and with the Vienna Festival Ballet.

"Terence has such an amazing reputation within the industry," said Linda. "He has recently won a prestigious award in Sweden for choreographing Coppelia. Whilst away he acts as an ambassador for the college and Cornwall."

The college, a registered charity, supports several students by bursaries and scholarships. It is also now working with Combined Universities Cornwall, the Objective One flagship project, and Falmouth College of Art. A recent joint project has provided the Dance College with an exciting 30-minute documentary style film that will be used in attracting international students.

"I think the whole CUC project has provided Falmouth with a wonderful student environment this has certainly assisted the dance college in attracting new students to the area," said Linda.

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: "This demonstrates how Objective One is filtering into a variety of aspects of working life and having a positive effect in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly."

As well as classical ballet the college also provides training in jazz, contemporary, singing, drama, tap and the Pilates teacher is a dance qualified physiotherapist providing students with valuable treatment. Easter and summer schools are available and first year students are now taking A levels in a variety of subjects. English language courses are being investigated for the foreign students.

The college Principal has plans to develop a touring company with future third year students.

For further information please contact Clare Morgan, Objective One, Tel 01872 243439 or email clare.morgan@cornwall.gov.uk.
 
The Dance College of Cornwall also has strong links to the Duchy Ballet, a non profit making organisation that was formed to celebrate the opening of The Hall for Cornwall in 1997. The aim was to establish a youth ballet company for Cornwall providing the opportunity to train, rehearse and perform within a professional setting alongside artists from the national stage.

The company is a springboard for Cornwall's young dancers in the early stages of their dancing careers. Success to date has seen members of the company secure places at London Studio Centre, Laine Theatre Arts, London Contemporary Dance, The Urdang Academy, the Royal Ballet School and the Dance College of Cornwall.

It receives no grant assistance, relying solely on its audience and sponsorship to meet the costs of its productions. For further information please see www.duchyballet.co.uk.

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Editor's notes:

SWIG (South West Investment Group) was set up in 1989 and offers interest free loans to businesses. It managed an Objective One umbrella scheme, Cornwall Business development Funds, which offers three levels of start ups. In the first part of the scheme, out of a project budget of £1,847,079 – with £1,450,000 of that coming from the Objective One European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – 99% was invested (£1,847,079). It supported 180 Cornish SMEs.

Cornwall Arts Marketing is a dedicated arts marketing agency. It is seeking to significantly improve the marketing of Cornish arts generally and of individual members in particular. It is doing this by co-ordinating and delivering common marketing services and tools, joint research and the provision of high quality support and advice. The £6 million project cost includes Objective One European Regional Development investment of just over £2.9 million, with additional partner support from Cornwall County Council, South West Arts and Cornwall Enterprise.

For further information please contact:

The Objective One Communications Team
Tel: 01872 223439
Email: cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

Linda West
Dance College of Cornwall
0870 720 1144
www.dancecollegeofcornwall.com

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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