New Zealand’s first ballet academy

New Zealand’s first ever ballet academy will open in Lower Hutt next year. Chilton Saint James School is located about 16km from Wellington, and will take on 15 dancers in its first academic term.

Students at the school will study dance alongside regular academic subjects. Budding ballet dancers from ages 14 and up will be accepted into the school, with two 50 per cent scholarships also available. Potential students will have to audition through a dance assessment.

Chilton Saint James School is currently a single-sex girls’ school that has a well-regarded dance academy. However, the new ballet school will be open to both boys and girls.

‘They can have more focus on the classical ballet technique and the artistry in general,’ said Chilton Dance Centre director Bronwyn Bennett in an interview with The Wellingtonian.