Educational engagement at the Royal Opera House

Above and front page slide: Level 4 participants performing in the Clore Studio at the Royal Opera House, June 2017. Photo: Brian Slater

The Mohn Westlake Foundation supports a number of educational programmes at the Royal Opera House with a particular focus on national reach and impact across the UK.

Projects include its long-running Chance to Dance programme, Month of Sundays FestivalsCreate and Sing Carmen, as well as the Open Up Workshops and Design Challenge.


“I’m thrilled about how [the Royal Opera House] has given everybody a chance to come inside.”


At a glance…

  • 1,900 children have engaged with the Chance to Dance programme since September 2017 (including 161 existing participants).
  • Already this year over 5,000 children from 120 schools nationwide have been engaged in Create and Sing Carmen.
  • By the end of the Summer 2019, 188 daytime workshops and events will have taken place with over 23,000 visitors attending this year).
  • 1,500 children will sing their version of Carmen at the Copperbox, Olympic Stadium in June having engaged with Create and Sing.
  • 15,417 pupils from 358 schools are involved in national programmes – Create and Sing, Create and Dance, and Design and Make.
  • 358 teachers trained to lead singing, dance and creative lessons in the classroom, creating a legacy of engagement.

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Level 2 and 3 participants performing at The Royal Ballet School, May 2017. Photo: Brian Slater

Chance to Dance gives primary school children from across the country, who do not have access to ballet/live in areas facing numerous disadvantages, their first opportunity to engage creatively with ballet, connecting closely with the inspirational repertory, choreographers and dancers of The Royal Ballet.

Hair, Wigs and Make-Up Winner

With its 27-year track record for excellence, Chance to Dance is now building a national presence and being the catalyst for systemic change in who has access to ballet and the opportunity to train professionally.. Chance to Dance aims to broaden and diversify the pool of young people with potential in ballet, to provide pathways to nurture and develop talent, with the aim of diversifying the range of dancers who have the opportunity to enter vocational ballet training and graduate to become professionals in the sector.

Over the past six months, the children on this season’s programme will have witnessed the history of ballet performed by dancers from The Royal Ballet, been inspired by the dance in workshops at their schools and have developed their own creativity and ballet techniques through weekly classes.


“When I dance it makes me feel like I’m really alive and being really lost in a completely different world…”Chance to Dance student



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