Young People Step into the Spotlight - Kibble: Specialist services & support for young people facing adversity
Posted: January 17, 2024

Once again this year, talented young people at Kibble were immersed in the world of classical dance as part of The Close, run by Scottish Ballet.

The Close is an educational programme which gives young people, who may not have had the opportunity to engage with classical dance, an enriching cultural experience. For young people at Kibble, many of whom have faced adversity, it provides an outlet for self-expression, a chance to explore their creativity, develop team work skills and improve confidence.

This was a collaborative project involving five young people from Kibble, alongside teachers, child and youth workers and Scottish Ballet staff. During the four-week programme, the group attended Tramway Theatre, home of Scottish Ballet, and the Beacon Arts Centre at Inverclyde, where they learned a series of repertoire from Scottish Ballet productions. This included Scottish Ballet’s upcoming festive production ‘Cinders’, as well as dances from Twice Borne and Schachanat (Checkmate) – a work that is performed on a giant chess board.  They also explored various themes through contemporary dance and devised routines in small groups. Between rehearsals, the group also were given a tour around the facilities including studios, theatre and costume department, bursting at the seams with sequins, elegantly layered tutus and satin ballet shoes.

Young people also got to meet Scottish Ballet principle dancers and engage in a Q&A session to learn all about what led them into the profession, their favourite performances and other insights into the life of a professional dancer. The last four days of the programme were based at the studio, and accumulated in a Sharing where young people showcased all that they had learned throughout the duration of the programme. It was a really special day, where nerves and excitement merged and were conveyed through the dances.  All who came to watch the Sharing commented on the professional dynamic of the group – there was synergy and synchronicity from all who shared the floor.

Young people learned a lot from the experience and will be able to apply the new skills they have learned to their drama studies. The initial nerves they felt when they joined the ballet warm up soon faded into the background as their confidence and abilities grew with every workshop. This was in part to the incredible support and encouragement shown by the team at Scottish Ballet. 

“Different movements brought different emotions to the surface and showed us the power that movement has in line with our emotions.”

Young Person at Kibble

With Scottish Ballet’s festive favourite performance ‘Cinders’ taking to the stage last month, young people involved in the programme were invited along as special guests to enjoy the enchanted fairy tale.

Miki Lee Dale, Special Programmes Manager at Scottish Ballet said: “Scottish Ballet and Kibble have cultivated an enduring collaboration known as The Close, delving into bespoke projects that harness the transformative power of dance and the arts for the personal development of young individuals at Kibble. Our joint efforts focus on expanding their movement vocabulary, providing exploratory tools, and guiding them through creative processes.

“In our most recent venture, we delved into the core themes of our productions, including Cinders, Twice Born, and Schachmatt. The students at Kibble utilised these themes as inspiration to craft and perform their unique perspectives on these themes during a dance showcase. The success of this project is a testament to the relationships fostered between staff and pupils, and between Scottish Ballet and Kibble.”

Jim Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer of Kibble said: “Kibble and Scottish Ballet have been collaborating on The Close for a several years, opening up exciting opportunities and immersive experiences for young people.

“The impact the project has had on young people has been profound – through dance, movement and music, The Close enabled young people to explore and convey their emotion, whilst developing confidence and self-belief. This, combined with visiting the studios, meeting the dancers and receiving a VIP invitation to the upcoming performance of Cinders made for a truly unforgettable experience. I’d like to say a huge thank you to all at Scottish Ballet for helping to create these unique opportunities for young people each year.”

A huge well done to all young people involved and to education staff for making this happen. We’d like to give a special thanks to Scottish Ballet for all of their support, and for creating such a special opportunity for all of the young people. We thoroughly enjoyed coming along to the Theatre Royal and seeing the performance brought to life on stage.

We look forward to working with Scottish Ballet in the future to open up incredible life opportunities for the pupils. The partnership is invaluable for Kibble, and we would like to thank them for their ongoing support and commitment.

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