4DI dancing in the square 2023

We start the season with some classes on the stage outdoors Ballet , Modern and contemporary and everyone is welcome to join in or just watch, Yvonne , Erica , Greta and leigh will be there to answer all your questions about the upcoming year.

ANDALO Scuola Estiva 2023 Day 7

Day 7 

An exciting day ahead with open classes for the grades and performances on stage for Intermediate and Intermediate foundation,  

With all the bags all packed and left at the hotel ready for the pick up later we first watched a small part of the class taken by Gerald Charles the Artistic Director of the RAD full of energy and as usual during the whole summer school accompanied by one of the talented group of pianists. You can never take for granted live piano music for class.

I watched the grade 2 presentation which was wonderfully taught by Blanca Cortes a younger teacher form Spain who definitely had her work cut out for her teaching a short choreography to the class it was always the last class of the afternoon for them so a couple of drooping eyelids and yawning went on during the week, but they came through in front of the parents and teachers watching to really shine. 

Erica watched grade 4 of which I will put a clip in here of both their performances. Then it was everybody converging once more to Pala Congressi for The vocational groups. It was moving and inspirational to see a blind girl in one of the dances she has also completed her intermediate ?? I think exam. You would not think that these students have only been learning the dances for a week   Clarissa and Beatrice performed as well cheered on by our younger students in the audience. 

At the end was the presentation of the scholarships given by the faculty to reward the most promising or most improved students during the week. Unfortunately we did not receive any but we go away having spent a valuable week surrounded by great teachers and students from all over Italy.  And ………on a lighter note  Estelle’s wonderful English , Edoardo’s masterful card skills , Beatrice finally admitting her hair looks better behind her ears, Clarissa’s excellent job of meal planning , Erica’s hairdressing expertise, Francesca’s sleeping ability in the middle of two beds , Camilla gets a special mention for leaping, pirouetting and waltzing into a relatively new world for her having only started dancing recently 🥇.

And our 3 Grade 2’s for their first time experience at a Summer School hopefully with many more to come.

We left for our long trip home on the bus a bit of traffic but the snacks and card games kept us going. 

Until next year Andalo 

Che le chiappe siano con voi  

ANDALO Scuola Estiva 2023 Days 5+6

Day 5: 

After the rain last night, the morning began a bit grey and cloudy with threatening rain.

The plans for the morning went a bit haywire as I promised the girls from grade 4 that they could use their fast depleting budget (blame it on the dance shop) to go on the slides the type they use both in winter and summer in a big giant rubber donut. 

We did watch a morning class in studio 1 (named after Darcey Bussell. The president of the R.A.D) situated on the stage of the Pala congressi always extra motivation for the students to take their morning class on a stage.

Unfortunately the slides were closed due to the weather but he directed to us inside the ice rink , yes like I said there is everything in the Andalo family activity park , pool , ice rink , mini golf , tennis 

The students opted for the adventure park yes undercover using half the ice rink so for the next hour or so I tried my best to think about my posture and lengthen my cervical vertebrae while looking up. 

The afternoon was back to classes and observing the classes and actually seeing the pupils improve,  

The older intermediate girls had Michele Molfetta with a sunny and positive attitude . He gave a great tip for improving balance in retire passe therefore also pirouettes. 

From 5th position passé relevé devant and say your whole name while in passé first name and surname. 

Also he likes the word endehor much more than “turn out” just the way you say en…de…hor  suggests more of the opening and spiralling action needed for classical ballet more rounded over all. 

His favourite phrase though 

“Che le chiappe siano con voi” 

My favourite class of the day though was taught by Manfred Perego contemporary with the grade 4’s  he actually overheard my students before the class started playfully faking an injury for an excuse to not do the character class at the end of the day (not their favourite lesson).  

He took that on board and did an exercise at the begging of the lesson where they all had to incorporate an injury and improvise falling to the floor, faking an injury to maybe an elbow, knee hips or even the ears ,nose ???? Then travelling down the room with the same concept, 

He really built up the lesson each day with various tasks exercises so by the end of the week they were choreographing their own routine,  

Very entertaining

P.s  Their character lesson was without injury and even enjoyable. 

Estelle making use of her endehorrrrrrrrrr

Day 6:

Big day for the Advanced students today as later on in the evening will be their time to shine on stage having all learnt excerpts during their repertoire lessons from the ballet Don Quixote music by Ludwig Minkus. 

Friday is also the day the students get their certificates and photos even signatures of their favourite teachers. 

In the morning the registered teachers that were present at the summer school and quite a few online were given the opportunity to listen to a talk by Tim Arthur who is the current CEO of the Royal Academy of Dance and if that was not special enough we got to listen to the talk at Refuge Dosson a short cable car ride to a stunning location. 

I enjoyed hearing about his story of how he became the CEO and some of his past positions including the turning around of the failing company Time Out  

As Global CEO of Time Out, he transformed a beloved heritage print title into one of the world’s most innovative media brands, expanding its reach exponentially around the globe.

It was very interesting to hear his ideas and he made the point that a company even if it is a charitable one like the RAD need the money to put back into the company to continue to survive and thrive.  

One of the future plans for the RAD is the pre school program Rainbows Adventures in dance which I believe we need to compete with many other pre school commercial programs out there. 

Me, Erica  and Sonia sadly left the little piece of mountain paradise but knew it would be a busy afternoon evening. 

So lets cut straight to the evening and the Gala performance with everybody putting in a bit of extra effort we had dinner early thanks to the staff at the hotel and we walked to the Pala Congressi luckily it was a nice evening. The show stared off with Don Quixote and our very own Edoardo performing he did a great job , he did have a slight advantage as he had performed it earlier in April as part of the project DEFT(Dance Exchange Friendship Theatre)  in Rimini at the beautiful  Teatro Amintore Galli. 

Next was the professional performers and everybody had their favourites, Mine had to be the last pas de deux which was Spartacus performed by Lauretta Summerscales and Yonah Acosta and were great but especially the music which memory for me who remembers seeing the whole ballet by the Australian Ballet as a student. 

And a big shout out to the Bridge and their contemporary work choreography by Stefania Pigato who is also one of the faculty teachers of the summer school  https://stefaniapigato.com/

The dances we saw that night


Yonah Acosta was born in Havana, Cuba, and started dancing at the age of 10 at the National Ballet School Cuba. After his diploma he got engaged at the National Ballet in Havana. In 2011 he joined the English National Ballet where he was promoted to principal dancer in 2014. He won several international dance competitions and was partner of Tamara Rojo and Alina Cojocaru amongst others. In the season 2017/18 he joined the Bayerisches Staatsballett as a principal

Lauretta Summerscales and Yonah Acosta principals with the Bayerisches Staatsballet 

Ksenia Ovsiyanick and Alejandro Virelles principals with the Staats Ballett Berlin 

Rebecca Bianchi e Claudio Cocino principals of Teatro dell’opera di Roma 

It was a mixed program of contemporary and classic excerpts form famous ballet for example le corsaire  and the black swan pas de deux.

We walked back to the hotel and to bed and who knows if someone dreamt that night of one day being on a stage with a theatre full of people a beautiful tutu covered in crystals and embroidery a sparkling tiara sitting on a perfectly styled French roll…. but did a phone full of tik toks trample and obscure these images before they turned off the light. 🤔🩰

Rifugio Dondena
Grade 2 final day performance
Intermediate students with the contemporary teacher Mirko

ANDALO 2023 Scuola Estiva R.A.D Days 3+4

Day 3: 

Let me start by saying it was also my birthday on day 2 so I forget to mention the all important candle in the dessert and singalong at the end of dinner and thank you for my wonderful presents, necklace and my favourite pink fluffy ballerina pen which I loved using to take notes observing classes during the week. 

In the classes today the students were slightly more awake hopefully taking it all in from the first pile to last grand allegro, a big shout out today to our advanced foundation student Edoardo Benvenuto who had a double objective, to get through the 4 classes and take his Advanced Foundation exam he actually had to only get through the 3 as they brought forward the time of exam to 6pm he took it in his usual serious, conscientious and positive manner

He had Elaine holland as the examiner who is also teaching at the summer school and I must say one of my favourite to watch.  

Edoardo was happy but the (you can tell he is dancer ) came out in him saying afterwards it could have gone better especially the second half. 

Earlier the day I did watch the grade 2 ballet class and took a few notes on The best Christina Zatti sayings or phrases. 

  • The foot from 3rd coming off the floor: imagine like its a big tongue licking the floor or even like taking a big lick of ice cream then of course the “what is your favourite flavour of ice cream” ?? Which just made my mouth water, but did wake me up from the afternoon post lunch eyelid sag. 
  • “Tira la super punta” ….. stretch that super point must be her favourite which even made me want to suddenly extend and stretch my legs out in front of me while sitting on my chair. 
  • Working in couples, also very good for the younger students to observe and learn at the same time  eg clapping when your partner lowers their arm in second.

Dinner was quiz time with the game of naming things beginning with a pre determined letter became ballet themed 

“Name a famous ballerina starting with letter M. Or name an allegro step starting with letter J “ 

Have I got you thinking ??? 

Andalo lake almost no water but is seasonal

Day 4:

started with a wonderful trip to Lake Molveno only a 10 minute bus trip away and absolutely free transport for people staying in the hotels. 

We did not have much time to go on the electric boats pedal boats or walk around the lake – (11 km taking about 3 hours ) Instead with a wonderful grass area to practice the dance learnt the day before a paddle in the lake and a ball game here called “Schiaccia Sette” the morning passed by very quickly. 

Back to the hotel for Spaghetti Carbonara.   La vita è Bella ” life is truly beautiful.” 

My Afternoon was partly spent watching a repertorio class taught by Elaine Holland 

And she was teaching an extract from The Dream by Frederick Ashton in preparation for the performance on Saturday 

I love the music by Mendelssohn  and it is based on Shakespeares Midsummer nights dream, a story all about fairies and sprites who manipulate the humans.  You never know what will jump out at you in the Italian alps !!! 

The curse of the 4th day did set in if only briefly for a couple of students with muscle contractions and ankle pain luckily Erica with her much needed arnica cream came to the rescue. 

Elaine Holland phrases:

“Pizza….for you “  Arms in first (pizza) then extending into 1st arabesque (for you) 

Not forgetting to keep the elbows up for the Italian pizza! And  not like the English pizza with the elbows dropping !!! 

The second consecutive Storm arrived that night the rain came down as they say in England raining cats and dogs ??? 

I Convinced the students to play some card games etc the last two evenings we even ended up playing charades albeit the movies being mostly Disney one. 

ANDALO 2023 Scuola Estiva R.A.D Day 1 +2

Day 1 : This year we set off from Ivrea on a bus, 4 dance institute and 3 other dance schools 

Studio Danza Ieva, La Fenice Ballet A.S.D also a school from Cuneo.

No-one minded getting up early with bags already packed the day before (some bigger than  others ) .

Teachers nervously waiting and ticking off names as they appear and a big sigh of relief when everybody is on the bus chatting wildly about coming week 

About 5 hours later we arrived in Andalo a mountain village located at 1040m above sea level between the peaks of the Dolomites and the pine forests of Mount Paganella. The first time that we came to Andalo as the Summer school was previously held in Fondo (Also a mountain village in Trentino). The last half hour was the climb up the mountain with some unnerving close your eyes and breath type of hairpin bends with the driver trying to warn the cars coming down to slow down !!!!! Good luck with that in Italy. 

Here is the link to previous blog I wrote in the 2015 and 2016 


The first thing that I noticed in Andalo was the wonderful curated buildings with beautiful painted details on the exterior walls and how very clean it was every day after it sort of remind me of a mini Disney land activities galore. 

We were warmly greeted by the staff at Hotel Andalo where we were staying  6 students and two teachers dividng 3 rooms there were also 2 families staying in a adjacent hotel and another family camping at Lake Molveno.  I was slightly jealous of the 3 students which had the room next to Erica (teacher) and I as it had a balcony and bigger beds !!

We quickly put our bags in our rooms and walked to the Pala Congressi about 10 mins away to watch the Finals of  the first RAD Italy competition lots of great opportunities for young dancers from day one. 

A lovely Dancer from Fabbrica Danza in Chieri 

“Clelia Prezzavento recieves the PRIMO PREMIO e borsa di studio (scolarship to the value of) valore di 1300 euro”  

Some much needed inspiration for the week. 

But the all important first meal was waiting for us at the hotel and the daily dinner entertainment provided by our effervescent sunny student Estelle, 

Hotel Andalo

Day 2 : 

Breakfast was enjoyed even though we were all wondering who was making a bit too much noise in the corridors last night !! ? 

I met a lovely family that have the table next to us all the way from Puglia with a daughter also participating in the summer school the son taking full advantage of not having to eat what his mum made and ordered pasta with tomato every day !!!!! Like EVERYDAY he was living his dream.

We had the full tour this morning of Andalo Studios Etc with Sonia and Filomena having had the experience of last year, it was like one of those quick tours – to your left is studio 9 then go down here to the pool, ice rink , here we have the ……. Dance shop yes here is where the pause comes as the students eyes opened up as well as the parents wallets. Maybe we will just look today.  

Back for lunch, Andalo is great for your step count (13,000 completed in the first day ) much better of course than having to wait for the Navetta (small buses ) like in Fondo. 

There were some highlights and low lights with the food in the hotel and our gourmet taste tester, Clarissa would give her honest opinion all all the dishes. More of that later 

Everybody in our group had lessons in the afternoon here are some of the most popular comments by the students 

“Oh no I have no afternoon tea !!”

“I don’t understand” 

“I did like the Contemporary” 

“Live piano music is great”  …….. (Actually that was me)

“My pirouettes were good today “ 

“Love it here ……..what’s for dinner ?”

Of course the best one was when Estelle came running over to me saying she did not have her character shoes which she needed for the whole week !!! and very lucky to have Beatrice who actually brought her shoes all the way to Andalo even though she didn’t need them they were a bit small but she would just have to suffer for her passion this week, it turned out not to be entirely her fault that she did not have shoes but someone else had taken her shoes by mistake when we did a performance in the square just before leaving.

It was bed early today especially the smaller ones where even the teacher Christina Zatti said they were a bit sleepy and need to go to bed at 9:30pm

The jury is still out on favourite teachers etc as its only the first day.  

The lasagne at dinner was definitely a hit though. 


For Dance Institute is putting on a show !!!

It has been a little while since the last show that we put on, it was the wonderful show about dreams in 2019 called “Dream on” at the Giacosa theatre in Aosta. This year we back at the Palais in Saint-Vincent with a big stage to fill and we cannot wait to perform again in 2023.

25th of March is the date and with only a month to go I really want to write down some things that go on with all the preparation, rehearsals, costumes and organisation.

Where to start ?? with an idea and this year we have decided to take on the theme of Artificial Intelligence A.I and asked the questions.

  • Is it taking over ?
  • Is it everywhere ?
  • Are we controlled by robots ?
  • Do we need robots ?
  • Can A.I have emotions ?
  • Can we still keep our identity ?

It was not an easy theme but one that must be addressed for every decision that we make in the future and what better way to make people think and be aware of change than through dance.

the ideas soon arrived and the choreography process was underway, just a little preview of the music…. we are using both classic and modern , for ex. Kraftwerk , Depeche Mode and Supertramp.

We are also doing some pieces from the classic Giselle, next up a small video clip of the first rehearsal together still a long way to go but so exciting when the smaller students get to watch the older advanced students perform. also the professional trailer.

Music and Rhythm lesson with Jimmy

This year at For Dance Institute we have a special class once a month on Thursday afternoons it is with our longtime pianist Jimmy but this time swapping the piano for his Djembe. Jimmy teaches music in primary and secondary schools and the Suzuki method privately. He is great to watch with the students as he is able to maintain that hard sought after balance when teaching between discipline and fun.

The students react very well and improve their listening skills through the volume and rhythms of the djembe. Distractions are quelled instantly and the hour passes by very quickly, with a mixed group from age 8 to 11 Jimmy starts with easy beats and rhythms to more complex sequences culminating in moving and dancing with the whole body at the end.

Enjoy this video of the lesson

and don’t forget For Dance Institute is open to join all year round



Dancing in the Square

Per 3 giorni a fine Agosto la nostra scuola di danza For Dance Institute si è trasferita in Piazza Cavalieri di Vittorio Veneto, per noi seconda sede per lezioni di danza.

Sotto il sole splendente della riviera degli alpi, le alunne del grado 1 fino a quelle del grado Advanced 2 di danza classica e moderna sono salite sul palco, alcune non ballavano dall’inizio delle vacanze estive. Durante le lezioni abbiamo eseguito degli esercizi essenziali e divertenti. dopo le lezioni tenute al mattino abbiamo anche pranzato insieme e fatto delle foto meravigliose sul Viale.

Neanche la pioggia del secondo giorno è riuscita a fermarci, siamo rimaste insieme e abbiamo avuto il tempo di parlare del nostro prossimo progetto, lo spettacolo che si terrà a dicembre al Palais di Saint.Vincent

Le lezioni regolari della nostra scuola inizieranno mercoledì 7 settembre con i gradi pre primary / primary /grado 1 / Advanced 2. Tutte le lezioni, come ogni anno saranno tenute rigorosamente da insegnanti qualificate e motivate. Erica Del Maschio, una nostra alunna ora insegnante, sta per concludere il percorso CBTS e presto anche lei diventerà certificata dalla RAD recentemente ha anche superato l’esame del grado Advanced 1.

Durante l’anno 2022/23 vorremo trasmettere non solo semplici esercizi di danza ma messaggi importanti ai nostri allievi, cominciando con l’approccio al mondo dello spettacolo ed insegnando ai nostri allievi l’importanza del lavoro di gruppo. Voremmo anche far nascere nei nostri allievi un senso di curiosità verso la danza ed i suoi movimenti ad esempio chiedendoci perché eseguiamo certi movimenti e come nascono.

Greta Trussardi, nuovo membro della nostra scuola, con la sua energia esponenziale insegnerà un laboratorio coreografico,. Ogni sabato pomeriggio Valentina De Rosa insegnerà danza contemporanea e una volta al mese l’insegnante Elena Pisu con la sua lezione ci farà immergere nel mondo della Contemporanea.

La nostra scuola si può iniziare a frequentare dai tre anni in su, attraverso le lezioni del programma RAD, Royal Academy of Dance, un metodo che l’anno scorso ha compiuto 100 anni di storia ,100 anni di carriere per ballerini e insegnanti con tutte le emozioni, la disciplina, le amicizie e tantissime opportunità nel mondo globale della RAD.

Vi invitiamo a ritornare su questa pagina per leggere Tuttle le novità e gli aggiornamenti della nostra scuola e della RAD. Per qualsiasi altra informazione potete anche contattarci direttamente con questi numeri:

Yvonne Jane Henshaw 328 6635120

Leigh Metcalfe 347 5953673

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