The Charlesworth Ballet Institute (CBI) was created in 2012 under the direction of Sonya Shepherd; the Institute is the union two significant establishments of ballet training in Western Australia: The ‘Terri Charlesworth Ballet School’ founded in 1960 by WA’s first prima ballerina Terri Charlesworth OAM Cit WA, and the ‘Ballet Centre of WA/Youth Ballet WA’ founded in 2004 by Sonya Shepherd (Terri’s eldest daughter); whose passion for the development of quality, elite and nurturing education for young WA dancers led to the implementation of the renowned Junior Professional course.
CBI offers two programmes: the Charlesworth Ballet School and the Charlesworth Ballet College.
The Charlesworth Ballet School (CBS) – formerly TCBC – with studios at 1 Mabel Street North Perth, and many centres throughout the metropolitan area, conducts classes for children from 4 years of age. The school’s philosophy is to provide a nurturing and gentle introduction to classical ballet. Ballet lessons are carefully planned to give children an inspirational introduction to the world of dance first and foremost, and a love for dance and beautiful music. Approximately 500 boys and girls, ranging in age from 4 to eighteen, attend classes through the CBS; students (depending on age & level) attend classes once or twice weekly.
The Charlesworth Ballet College (CBC) – located at 1 Mabel Street North Perth is professional dance training programme designed to nurture and develop the young dancer to enable him or her to achieve a career in dance. The programme uses the Russian Vaganova method of training considered the finest syllabus for classical ballet. Approximately 160 students from 9 years of age attend the College. Enrolment to the College Programme is by audition.
Performing is an integral part of the program, giving the students the valuable experience of rehearsing and performing in a large company environment. Students perform regularly with ‘Youth Ballet WA’.