Guest teachers

Guest Teacher
Diane van Schoor


Diane van Schoor
Diane van Schoor
Diane van Schoor
Born in South Africa, Diane van Schoor was trained by Jennifer Louw and later at the University of Cape Town Ballet School. She danced for CAPAB Ballet performing an international repertoire culminating with principal roles. She founded her School of Classical Ballet teaching all levels through to Teacher Training and held a lectureship in Movement Studies in the Dramatic Arts Faculty at the University of Stellenbosch. Past Artistic Director of The Cecchetti Society of Southern Africa, she holds The Enrico Cecchetti Mabel Ryan Medal, Enrico Cecchetti Final Diploma and Fellowships of the ISTD and of the Royal Society for the Arts. Diane has contributed articles to various dance publications, acted as consultant for the Rhonda Ryman Technical Dictionary published in 1998 and edited a South African dance magazine. She frequently presents papers at international conferences and is an Honorary Committee Member of the Wayne State University for Fine and Performing Arts, an Advisory Panel Member for the Margaret Saul Scholarship [a professional development award in Canada], Honorary Member of The Cecchetti Council of America and a Founding Member of Cecchetti International. She is the recipient of an Arts Dedication Award 2000, for services to Ballet in South Africa and in 2011 was awarded The Enrico Cecchetti Gold Medal by the ISTD in London, a lifetime achievement award, in recognition of her promotion of classical ballet around the world.

Diane is an International Master Teacher and Examiner and has taught at many of the world’s leading schools and companies including The Royal Ballet Upper and Lower Schools, The Paris Opera Ballet School, The Vaganova Academy, The National Ballet School of Canada, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Shanghai Dance Academy and The Bartholin Seminars in Copenhagen. She has been guest teacher at the Royal Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Cleveland Ballet and Cleveland San Jose Ballet USA.

Since 2000 Diane has been on the staff of The Royal Ballet School, London, under the Directorship of Gailene Stock CBE AM. On faculty she taught the 2nd Year Diploma Course, Graduate Class at White Lodge and has choreographed for the Royal Opera House Main Stage for the school’s annual performances. She is the former Ballet Principal of The Royal Ballet Lower School, White Lodge, a post she held from 2004-2014.
Guest Teacher
Jonathan Payn

First Soloist of The Birmingham
Royal Ballet

Jonathan Payn
Jonathan Payn
Born in Ipswich, Jonathan Payn was trained by his mother, Janet Kinson, before joining the Royal Ballet School. He won Kerrison Cooke Bursary at the Paul Clarke Award in 1991, and Ursula Moreton Choreographic Competition (3rd prize) in 1993.

He joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1993; Soloist, 2000; First Soloist 2006. He leads workshops for Birmingham Royal Ballet's Department for Learning, is an Associate of the ISTD (Cecchetti Society Faculty), has an MA in Applied Dance in Education and the Community and teaches for the Cecchetti Society, Ace Dance and Music, Kate Simmons Dance Ltd and Elmhurst School for Dance as well as regularly coaching young dancers. In 2012/13 Jonathan was mentored by Nelson Fernandez OBE as part of Dance UK's 'Dancers Mentoring Scheme'. He acted as Company Manager for the North-East leg of the Company's 2007 and 2008 split tours, and represented Chi Cao prior to the filming of Mao's Last Dancer. In the summer of 2011 Jonathan taught on the Cecchetti Classical Summer School and coached for the Cecchetti International Classical Ballet Competition. He is currently working with St Francis Church, Bournville, to present a performance of Journey Of The Magi by Springs Dance Company on 11 December 2014.

His repertory includes Drosselmeyer (The Nutcracker), Von Rothbart (Swan Lake), Dr Coppélius (Coppélia), Henry Hobson and Albert Prosser (Hobson’s Choice), Major Domo (Cinderella), Edward Elgar and A.J. Jaeger (Enigma Variations), Red King (Checkmate), King Florestan XXIV (The Sleeping Beauty), the Sultan (Aladdin), Monsieur Cochon (Beauty and the Beast) and The Emperor (The Prince of the Pagodas).

Jonathan has created Into the Ferment for Birmingham Royal Ballet and also contributed to Birmingham Royal Ballet's choreographic projects: Mozart in C Minor, Pictures at an Exhibition, Carnival of the Animals and Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived (telling the story of Henry VIII in less than five minutes). Other commissions include Five Enrico Variations (Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House), Phoebus Arise, Concertino and Blue Rondo and Iken (National Youth Ballet), Vivo Vivaldi (Royal Ballet School Summer School), Cestus, Hummel Variations, Strathspey and Reel (Elmhurst School for Dance).
Guest Teacher
Raul Raimondo Rebeck
Raul Raimondo RebecRaul Raimondo Rebec
Raimondo studied under Martin Puttke at the Staatliche Ballettschule Berlin. He has won at many International Ballet Competitions including Prix de Lausanne, Varna International Ballet Competition, and others. He has danced as a Principal Dancer with the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin and also worked at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. He was awarded the "Berlin Critic Prize", and "German Dance Critic Award 2002" as best dancer, as well as the "Aalto Prize of the City of Essen".

He has dances as a guest artist at many prominent venues including: the Staatsballett Berlin, the Aalto Ballet Theater Essen, the Ballet National de Marseille, La Scala di Milano, Teatro di San Carlo-Neapel, Ballet Frankfurt, Ballet de Monte-Carlo, and Ballet Leipzig.

The renown choreographer Maurice Bejart has created various leading roles for Raimondo as they worked together in many pieces. Raimondo has also worked with the renown dancer and director Rudolf Nureyev, and he danced a leading role in Nureyev's production of Sleeping Beauty.

Raimondo took over the position as a Ballet Master and Associate Artistic Director at the Aalto Ballett Theater Essen, Germany. He then has been working as an International Guest Ballet Master to coach many international companies including Hong Kong, Washington, Munich, Stuttgart, Zurich, Basel, Berlin, Tokyo, Monte Carlo, Vienna, Montreal, Saarbrücken, Ljubljana, and Cullberg.

Raimondo has done the choreography for the Staatsballett Berlin and the ABT 2 in New York. Since then he has been choreographed for various Soloists and Companies all over the world.
Guest Teacher
Kate Simmons

Fellow and Senior Examiner ISTD (CB)
Enrico Cecchetti Final Diploma

Kate Simmons
Kate Simmons
Kate Simmons was trained at The Royal Ballet School and graduated into English National Ballet (formally London Festival Ballet), where she was a dancer and a choreographer. She performed all the extensive repertoire in the company and was fortunate to dance and work with such greats as Rudolf Nureyev, Gelsy Kirkland, and Eva Evdokimova.

On retirement from the company Kate returned to The Royal Ballet School to gain her teaching qualifications. Since then she has taught and examined internationally, including Canada, U.S.A., South Africa and Japan. Presently she is Vice Chair of the Cecchetti Faculty of the ISTD and Director of her own professional College in the Northwest of England as well as directing the Allegrodance Touring Company.
Guest Teacher
Olivia Pickford

AISTD (Cecchetti, Modern), RAD Dip

Olivia Pickford
Olivia Pickford AISTD RAD Dip trained with The Royal Ballet Associates and The Arts Educational School Tring and then gained her teaching qualifications at The Royal Academy of Dance with Distinction. She is a fully qualified teacher of RAD Ballet , Cecchetti Ballet and ISTD Modern.

Olivia then moved to Australia where she went onto dance in the professional contemporary company Dikosmos in Melbourne.

She has been teaching faculty for the professional vocational schools The Arts Educational School Tring, Bird College, Bodyworks and is Former Head of Ballet for Tiffany Theatre College .

In 2003 Olivia was invited to be Ballet Mistress for Irek Mukhamedov OBE, star of the Bolshoi Ballet and The Royal Ballet for his production of Prince and the Pauper at The Peacock Theatre.

In 2004 Olivia moved to Tokyo, Japan and was employed by for Former Principal of The Royal Ballet Tetsuya Kumakawa for his prestigious K Ballet. She taught in the school and Kumakawa invited her to choreograph for the Company. She was also guest company teacher for Matthew Bourne’s all male Swan Lake Japan tour.

In 2009 Olivia was invited to be choreographer for London Childrens Ballet production of Snow White and assisted in writing a new musical score which was performed in the West End.

Olivia teaches for The Birmingham Royal Ballet, DanceXchange and is a cover teacher for The Royal Ballet Associates. She is currently a lecturer for “BOA” which is affiliated with the London BRIT School that found the talents of Leona Lewis, Amy Winehouse, Adele and Jessie J and is also a teacher of Contemproary at Elmhurst School of Dance.

She is also Ballet Mistress and choreographer for Midlands Theatre Ballet which is a new company set up for young talent in the Midlands.

She is a regular guest teacher for York scholars, the IDTA, and has taught for RAD, Cecchetti and LCB Summer schools. She is also dance Coordinator for the Outreach Company “Reach4Dance” and she has worked with dancers from The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, ENB, River Dance and the West End. She has just choreographed a full length production of “Beauty and the Beast” in Athens.

Olivia’s latest success to date is a choreographer for a new major Hollywood film “47 Ronin”. She was employed for by the producers of Pirates of the Carribean and the film stars Keanu Reeves. She worked closely with Hiroyuki Sanada the renowned Japanese actor who starred alongside Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai and Rush Hour 3 with Jackie Chan. The film is set for release in November 2012.
Guest Teacher
Vincent Hantam
Vincent Hantam
Vincent Hantam
Vincent Hantam received his initial training in Cape Town and moved to England after winning a scholarship to the Royal Ballet School. In 1975, aged only 19, he joined Scottish Ballet. He is probably best but remembered for his definitive interpretation on Mercutio in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet and his subsequent portrayal of Romeo. He was also chosen by John Gilpin to be the Spirit of The Rose in Le Spectre de la Rose.

During his time at Scottish Ballet Vincent made guest appearances with companies all over the world, including the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, London City Ballet, Northern Ballet, South Africa Ballet, Napac Dance Company and Cape Town City Ballet.

Vincent has now become a well sought after teacher. He has taught the Royal New Zealand Ballet, the Royal New Zealand School of Dance, and on Cecchetti Summer Schools in The U.K. and Canada. He spent a year at Anniesland College and then finally on to English National Ballet School. He now teaches both nationally and internationally.
Guest Teacher
Takeshi Watanabe

Polish National Ballet

Takeshi WatanabeTakeshi Watanabe

Takeshi Watanabe became a member of the Polish National Ballet Company after graduating from Elmhurst School of Dance in Great Britain. His wide repertory (classical and comtemporary) includes pieces from Frederick Ashton, David Bintley, John Cranko, George Balanchine, Vaslav Nijinsky, John Neumeier, William Forsythe, Maurice Béjart, Jiri Kylian, Natalia Makarova, Lian Scarlett, and Wayne McGregor. He studied the Cecchetti Method under Jonathan Payn (our guest teacher) at Elmhurst School of Dance in Great Britain.

【Other achievements】
Completed BASI Pilates Comprehensive Teacher Training Course.
Awarded the Barbara Geoghegan Award.
Awarded the Fewster Cecchetti Scholarship.
Awarded A (distinction) in Advanced 1, vocational examination of Cecchetti Method.
Awarded A (distinction) in Advanced 1 and Intermediate vocational examinations of RAD Method.
Finalist of Cecchetti International Competition in 2011.
Guest Teacher
Kenichi Soki
Kenichi SokiKenichi Soki

【Stage Experience】
Kenichi Soki was accepted as a member of the Universal Ballet Company (Korea) as the youngest dancer at age 16. He toured across Japan, Korea and Taiwan with renown Evelyn Hart, Patrick Bissel, Jean-Charles Gil. He joined the Hong Kong Ballet as a soloist and the Salzburger Landestheater (Austria) Ballet as a soloist. He also danced as a soloist at the New National Ballet in Tokyo, Japan.

【Teaching Experience】
Kenichi established the Soki Kenichi & Kumi Ballet School in Sendai. He has been teaching and choreographing since then. He has formative experience as a judge at national and international competitions. He coached and choreographed enchai^nement for Junior and senior boys at All Japan Competition (hosted by Japan Ballet Society). He has been a Vice Chairman of the Japan Ballet Society, Tohoku Region.

【Judge Experience】
Varna International Competition in Bulgaria
Asian Grand Prix in Hong Kong
Tokyo City Ballet Company Competition
All Japan Ballet Union
Japan Ballet Competition

【Other Achievements】
Awarded the Organising Committee Award at the 16th Varna International Ballet Competition (Senior Division)
Awarded a prize at the 6th Paris Dance International Competition (Senior division)
Awarded a teaching prize at the 60th Tokyo News Paper Ballet Competition
Awarded a teaching prize at the 2nd and 4th Japan Grand Prix Competition
Awarded a teaching prize at the 1st Yokosuka International Ballet Competition
Awarded a teaching prize at the 10th, 11th and 12th All Ballet Japan Union Competition