Thursday, 24 November 2016
Yesterday I mentioned Ballet West and its touring company (see Congratulations to Ballet West - here's to the next 25 Years 23 Nov 2016). One of my favourite dancers, Sarah Mortimer, is a graduate of Ballet West. I first noticed her as the mermaid in Christopher Moore's version of The Little Mermaid for Ballet Theatre UK (see Pure Delight - BTUK's Little Mermaid in Southport 27 April 2014). I looked out for her in that company's other shows. She was one of the reasons why I followed BTUK.
Sarah has now left BTUK and has become a freelance teacher and performer. She has put together an impressive associates programme with some excellent guest teachers, some of whom such as David Brewer and Inês Ferriera, danced with her in BTUK. She also gives private coaching at various levels and workshops on popular ballets such as The Nutcracker.
Having seen a large part of the world including a lot of Scotland with Ballet West and every nook and cranny of the UK with BTUK whom I once described as the Bedouin of Ballet, Sarah has based herself in Maidstone where she was born and brought up. Apart from the associates, coaching and workshops which she offers through her website, Sarah teaches at Masters Performing Arts College in Rayleigh, 360 Dance in Tunbridge Wells and Tenterden Ballet Studios and as a guest teacher on various associate programmes and courses including Ballet West Edinburgh Associates and South East Ballet Scholars.
As ballet is intended for the stage, the best type of teacher is one who has enthralled an audience. Sarah has done that in countless repertory theatres, arts centres and other auditoriums the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. Without doubt, she will already have inspired hundreds of little boys and girls (not to mention many adults including, perhaps, a few pensioners) across the land to study ballet. Now she has an opportunity to guide many of those students to the next level. Very few of them (if any) of those studemts will emulate Carlos Acosta or Lauren Cuthbertson, but they should all develop a love for the art as theatregoers as well as dancers that will never leave them. I am sure that all my readers will join me in wishing Sarah well in this latest phase of her career.