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Black British Ballet

Denzil Bailey

Denzil Bailey sitting with hands clasped.

Ethnic heritage: Black British (Jamaican parents)

Year of birth: 1965

Training: London School of Classical Dance, West Street School.

Ballet career: Denzil Bailey trained at the London School of Classical Dance from 1982–1985. Bailey would often perform corps de ballet roles in Harold King’s London City Ballet while training at the school. He auditioned and worked for the London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet) in 1988–1996.

Bailey was the original ballet master and choreographer for Ballet Black in 2001. He has taught classical ballet classes around the world and currently teaches at the Royal Ballet School, Middlesex University, Dance Works, Pineapple Dance Studios, as well as in Singapore, New Zealand, various Summer intensives in and around Italy, among others. He has taught company classes for Ballet Black, Neo Ballet, Rambert, Random, Skanes Danse and Tavaziva.

Never give up on your dream! When I discovered the joy of ballet as a young dancer, there were lots of my peers in ballet classes with me every day. But they did it to strengthen their technique. I actually ONLY wanted to be a ballet dancer. So, when they all got jobs in West End shows, and I struggled to get into a ballet company, they all advised me to stop wasting my time, but with perseverance (and, a little luck, of course!) I managed to join the fantastic London Festival Ballet (now, English National Ballet!) and had 10 wonderful years there. NEVER give up on your dream!
- Denzil Bailey