London Ballet Circle Bursary recipient Harvey Littlefield’s experience at Wales Summer Dance 2017

Harvey Littlefield, a student at the English National Ballet School, was awarded the LBC Stanley Hawkins Bursary, which commemorates the founder of the London Ballet Circle who was a proud Welshman. Here is Harvey’s report:

070_Sian Trenberth Photography_DA17-33_BCSummerSchoolPhoto from Sian Trenberth

“Normally the very first day of a summer school is very nerve wracking but I immediately felt welcomed into this friendly course as all the pupils and teachers were very accepting and supportive.

A day at this summer course consists of a morning ballet class, pas de deux and contemporary. I enjoyed the daily ballet classes the most! They were packed with interesting exercises and the teachers’ enthusiasm really made you invest in what you were doing. I love having a mixed class (boys and girls) as at the English National Ballet School we have our classes separately, but during this course it was nice to be in a class with the girls.

In the contemporary classes I felt that I picked up the combinations a lot quicker than I usually would and the choreography also really challenged my body movement and how I worked with my partners. The contemporary pas de deux is something that I thoroughly enjoyed and hope to revisit in the future; I will continue to push myself this coming year in this style of dance I worked on in Wales.

Like the English National Ballet School there were people of many different nationalities also attending the summer school and it was lovely to meet people from Spain and America.

During the course, I learnt a lot about confidence from our teacher Tim. Tim managed to bring out a confidence in me that I didn’t know I had, he helped me to strive in aspects of dancing whether it was an arabesque or a pirouette and to see the positives in my ability, which gave me an insight of what I may be able to achieve in the future. Going back to school in September I will be able to apply this to my training to help me to improve further.

In pas de deux I had three lovely partners, Beth Meadway, Natalie Debono and Emma Black. Each of these girls gave me a great experience in every pas de deux class and taught me very important skills that I will take away with me. I thoroughly enjoyed learning the grand pas de deux from Corsaire, as it was a lot of fun to learn. I had never learnt a full pas de deux from a ballet before so it was very exciting to do so and I’m extremely happy to add this to my repertoire.

I enjoyed every class very much and have learnt a lot from the members of staff and all others enrolled in the summer programme. It was wonderful to come and visit Wales and dance every day on the beautiful stage, you do not get that opportunity very often so it was amazing to be offered the chance to take part in something on such a large scale. I’ve loved working with students from different schools and countries and even members of Ballet Cymru, I felt I could learn from them and all the different training methods they have endured in their ballet schools. From this course, I’ve gained confidence in aspects of ballet that I lacked before and I am very happy that I’m taking this away with me.

Thank you for sending and having me here it has been a lovely experience that I will hold with me. I would especially like to thank Susan Dalgetty Ezra and Samira Saidi for giving me this opportunity to experience dance in a different light and Amy Doughty and Patricia Vallis from Ballet Cymru who looked after me so well. Harvey Littlefield”


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