Honourary Guest Teacher

Late Mr. Errol Pickford
Former Principal at The Royal Ballet
Former Head Graduate Teacher at Elmhurst Ballet School

Errol was born in Perth, Australia, and trained as a gymnast. After moving to England, he trained at the Hammond School of Ballet, winning the Paul Clarke Memorial Scholarship and the Phyllis Bedells Award, and at the Royal Ballet School where he gained his Solo Seal and won the Adeline Genée Competition.

He danced with The Royal Ballet, becoming a renowned Principal dancer, working with and creating roles in ballets by Kenneth MacMillan, Frederick Ashton and David Bintley, amongst others. Whilst there, he danced alongside Rudolph Nureyev at the Margot Fonteyn Gala, in a new version of the Mandolin Dance from Romeo and Juliet, specially created for him by Kenneth MacMillan. He also won the first ever Eric Bruhn Competition in Canada, and was the first Western male dancer in history to partner with a Russian ballerina (Nina Ananashvili) at The Royal Opera House, live on national television. From 1997 he was a Principal dancer with Western Australian Ballet.

After retiring, he passed his RAD Professional Dancers' Teaching Diploma with distinction. He has taught at the London Studio Centre, the Arts Educational School in Tring and Bird College, and on RAD Summer Schools and Yorkshire Ballet Seminars, as well as classes for the RAD Phyllis Bedells Competition and the Cecchetti Society’s Barbara Georgan Award. He was Ballet Master and School Director for K Ballet in Japan for 4 years and has been a guest teacher with Birmingham Royal Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, Adventures in Motion Pictures and English National Ballet. He was the head graduate teacher and international links coordinator and outreach director for the Elmhurst School for Dance in association with The Birmingham Royal Ballet Company.

A tribute to our Honourary Guest Teacher, Late Mr. Errol Pickford.

I first met Errol when I was a student at The Royal Ballet School. He was a Principal dancer at The Royal Ballet, and I never dreamed of working with him after my graduation. About a decade later, I was grateful to have had the privilege of working with him. I was a dancer at K Ballet then, and he joined us as a Ballet Master. We also started working together at their Teachers Training Course. He taught us once or twice a week, and one day he talked about the importance of obtaining a ballet teachers qualification.

I was touched by his knowledge, and also by his warm personality. He was a celebrated dancer and teacher who always maintained his sense of humour.
He was from Australia and one day, in class, he kept making exercises based on the specific number (3-1). As that number kept appearing, we started to wonder why that number kept appearing. He had a big grin on his face, and we soon discovered that that number was the result of the Japan vs Australia football match!

He kept encouraging me since I left K Ballet, and I can say that I would not be where I am today without his help.

In 2015, he generously provided bursaries for two of my students to attend his ''OPES Summer School'' in the U.K.
Sadly, I was never able to pay back what he has done for us. However, his legacy has been passed on to my students, and it will continue to be passed on forever. Thank you Mr Errol Pickford!

In loving memory of the Late Mr. Errol Pickford who passed away suddenly in June 2018.

Miho Tsurutani
The Ballet Garden, Founder and Principal
FISTD Cecchetti, Enrico Cecchetti Diploma