Saturday, 2 June 2018

Class Review - Ballet North Halifax

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Ballet North, Charlotte Ingleson, The Dance Mil, Halifax, Thursday 31 May 2018 19:00 - 20:00 £8.00

As several of the dancers who turned up to the first class of Powerhouse Ballet last week train at Ballet North with Charlotte Ingleson every Thursday, Amelia Sierevogel and I paid them a visit last week.

Charlotte teaches at The Dance Mill in Whiterose Mill on Holdsworth Road in Halifax which is nearly 4 miles from the town centre.  That is no problem for those who come by car because there is a large visitors' car park just across the road from the mill but I am told that it is not so easy to reach by public transport.   Having said that, Google maps states that the 526 bus leaves Halifax bus station at 18:30 and arrives at the mill at 18:44 on Thursdays.

From what I could see, the Dance Mill is palatial.  There are several studios all with barres and well spring floors.  It has spacious changing facilities with showers as well as lavatories. A long corridor is lined with comfortable chairs and I spotted at least one common area at the entrance.

Charlotte's credentials are impressive.  She trained at English National Ballet School winning all sorts of awards and accolades and has performed important roles with major companies.  She has a very pleasant manner and sense of humour in class but she is also very thorough.  We packed a lot of exercises into 60 minutes.

After warming up we progressed through pliés, tendus and glissés fairly briskly.  She combined tendus with glissés with piqués and plenty of rises, retirés and turns at the barre.  We then proceeded through ronds de jambe, grands battements, fondus and développés before finishing with stretches  The centre exercises built on what we had practised at the barre with a delightful adagio followed by an allegro ending with turns.

Charlotte has her own way of preparing for pirouettes which seemed to work for me better than most despite my problems of coordination and remaining on demi long enough to complete a turn. We practised pirouettes from first to fourth.  Charlotte has a very similar exercise to Jane Tucker's chassé and three sets of pirouettes which worked better than in Huddersfield where I lost my balance and landed unceremoniously on the floor. We spent the last few minutes with warm up jumps - simple sautés in 1st and 2nd, changements and échappés and finished with some joyous grands jetés and pas de chat.

The class ended with a very thorough cool down.

The other members of the class were pleasant and welcoming. In addition to those I had met at Huddersfield there was a regular from Jane Tucker's class in Leeds who has expressed interest in Powerhouse Ballet.

Amelia and I compared notes on the drive back to Huddersfield. We were both impressed with Charlotte and we thoroughly enjoyed the class. I for one will certainly be back though perhaps not every week as I hope to resume regular Thursday classes in Leeds now that rehearsals for Move It! are over and visit Hype in Sheffield as often as possible. The 19:00  start suits me very well as I have had to miss more than a few classes in Leeds and Manchester owing to late running cons and pressing deadlines.  Halifax is slightly closer to Holmfirth than Leeds and the roads less congested.

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