Lantern’s founder and Artistic Director Helen Pettit is also Principal of Lantern Dance Theatre School, which she founded in 2005. The School offers a full timetable of classes in Ballet, Jazz and Balletone in Ely.
Ballet classes follow the Russian style Classical Ballet syllabus of the NATD, the National Association of Teachers of Dancing. It’s a lyrical style that creates strong expressive young dancers with a good technical foundation.
Children can start at around 3 years old with a fun and involving half hour of Nursery Playdance, and there’s a whole range of classes after that. If you’re thinking of dance classes, come in to take a look. There’s a free tryout for every class.
At the school, pupils take part in a wide range of performances - in the community at events such as Ely Eel Day and in specially-devised ballet shows. Since 2005 Helen has created eight original full length ballets for the school: The Fountain (2005), Ruslan & Lyudmila (2006), The Stone Flower (2008), The Little Humpbacked Horse (2009), Peer Gynt (2012), Coppélia (2014), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2015) and The Nutcracker (2016).
After training at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London Helen became a professional dancer and prize-winning choreographer. She taught contemporary dance in Finland for a year and was head dancer and choreographer of a touring Opera-Ballet company in Italy, where she lived for many years, founding and running two dance schools on the Riviera. She has an exceptional record of teaching all ages and abilities and of preparing pupils for success in performance and examination.
Helen runs eight dance classes a week at Highfield Ely Academy, Ely’s Special School, and produces an annual Musical Theatre show there. This year’s show is The Jungle Book. Recent shows have included Alice in WonderlandThe Snow Queen, Tiana’s Dream, Flying without Wings,Over the Rainbow, Wouldn’t it be Luvverly, Circle of Life and Where is Love?
Helen ran the after-school Dance Club at King’s Ely Acremont for 12 years and has taught GCSE and A Level Dance at King’s Ely Senior. She created and directed the choreography for seven King’s Ely Senior musicals: Grease!, Fiddler on the Roof, Return to the Forbidden Planet, The Wizard of Oz, Jesus Christ Superstar, Jekyll & Hyde and We Will Rock You.
Lantern Dance Theatre School meets all the requirements of the Council on Dance Education and Training for a Recognised School. Full Public Liability Insurance. DBS Enhanced Disclosure.