Who is she?
Heidi Hall was appointed director of the Central School of Ballet in September 2016, at a time when the organisation required new leadership and renewed focus. She graduated from Central herself in 1995 and has enjoyed an extensive performance career, notably playing the role of Meg Giry in the West End production of The Phantom of the Opera for four years. Hall’s experience provides particular insight into delivering training that supports not only student ambitions, but also the needs of the increasingly high-profile dance industry.
What has she done for the charity?
Hall’s determined fundraising efforts mean that the school will realise its long-held goal of moving to a new building on the South Bank during the academic year 2019/20, a £9m project. The new venue will become a hub for a dynamic dance community, offering training for those aiming for professional careers, alongside general dance classes and local London outreach projects.
Central wants more people to experience dance in the future and plans to offer the local community the opportunity to see and take part in dance performances. The Silver Swans initiative, for example, will offer classes to older people in Southwark.
What else has she achieved?
Ambitious for her staff and students, Hall is committed to a broad and diverse student intake, offering opportunities to young people from a wide socio-economic profile in an industry that is often viewed as elitist. More than a third of Central's students come from low-income families and receive bursary support, influencing the future of the dance industry as Central's graduates join the top international ballet companies and musical theatre productions.
Victoria Pedicini, Threshold DAS
Mark Norbury, UnLtd