New Sixth Form partnership with South East Dance launches in Sussex

A new sixth form course for student dancers across Sussex is being launched in partnership by the Sussex-based charity South East Dance and the Brighton and Portslade Aldridge Community Academies.

The Aldridge South East Dance Academy will be a unique collaboration between education and the dance industry, giving students the opportunity to study for a BTEC extended Diploma in Performing Arts – Dance, the equivalent of 3 A levels. The Academy will be the only centre in Brighton offering this qualification, with students combining academic studies with choreography and performance technique and the opportunity to work with respected members of the dance industry.

The new Academy will be officially launched by Sir Rod Aldridge and Cath James, Programme Director at South East Dance with guest Charlotte Vincent, Artistic Director of Vincent Dance Theatre in Brighton, who is recognised as one of the UK’s leading female choreographers and directors. The launch will take place at Brighton Dome Studio Theatre on the Monday 29 February.

Designed for students who are keen to explore careers in the performing arts South East Dance has worked closely with the Aldridge Academies to develop a dance curriculum which is truly unique, and which will be delivered by dance experts and specialists in their field.  “The Brighton Curriculum” has been designed and commissioned to allow for dance to be developed and showcased in venues, attractions and locations across the city.

The sixth formers will be able to choose from a wide range of disciplines to study, including contemporary, jazz, ballet, tap, musical theatre, urban and street dance, learning from and having access to a network of dance and performing arts industry experts. There will be opportunities to perform in Brighton and beyond, through the Academy’s network of industry partners.

The partnership between South East Dance and the Aldridge Academies has developed with the support of Sir Rod Aldridge, chair of the Academies’ sponsor the Aldridge Foundation. Although best known as a successful businessman and for the work of his educational charity, Sir Rod is also chair of the Lowry arts and entertainment venue in Manchester and was asked by the Government to chair a high-level Dance Working Group aimed at encouraging dance among people of all ages in the lead up to the 2012 Olympics.

Sir Rod Aldridge said: “I am very excited that through this partnership with South East Dance BACA and PACA will be able to offer career opportunities to young dancers that will be unique in state education in Sussex. Both Academies have already developed a model for sixth form students to study academic qualifications alongside professional skills and fitness coaching that has proved highly successful with the Aldridge Cricket Academy – a partnership with Sussex County Cricket Club. South East Dance’s backing for our Dance Academy will ensure these students get similar access to the best coaching, facilities and performance opportunities.”

Cath James, Programme Director, South East Dance said: “This partnership brings the truly exciting prospect of a unique and trail-blazing approach to dance education and training beginning right here in Brighton and we’re absolutely delighted to be involved. Developed from the forefront of dance industry expertise, the new curriculum will create dance opportunities of the highest quality so that more young people can not only fulfil their creative potential but also enjoy the exhilaration and health benefits of dance.”

The Aldridge South East Dance Academy will open for its first students in September (2016). Students and parents, dance teachers and performers interested in hearing more and meeting the team behind the Academy can join the launch event from 6pm – 8pm at the Dome Studio Theatre on the 29th by registering at