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Thursday July 28th 2022


On Thursday 28 July, 24 students from Elmhurst Ballet School danced in the opening ceremony to mark the beginning of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The ceremony, held at the redeveloped Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr happened in front of around 30,000 people in the stadium, and was broadcast to an estimated global audience of one billion. During the opening ceremony, the Birmingham-based ballet students performed alongside Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers, a cast of 2000 volunteers and a 1,000-strong choir. The ceremony introduced the nations’ athletes who participated in the Games, and also welcomed the Queen’s Baton.

The Creative Team was led by Artistic Director Iqbal Khan and Peaky Blinders' writer and creator, Steven Knight, and the Elmhurst Year 13 and Class of 2022 students worked with chief choreographer Corey Baker, known for his films featuring dance in striking and unusual places, including the award-winning Swan Lake Bath Ballet for BBC Arts. Jacob Wye, one of several dance captains who assisted Corey, is a former dancer with Ballet Black and kept team-Elmhurst on track during rehearsals.

Choreographer and Movement Director, Corey Baker, said: We are delighted that Elmhurst students joined the cast of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony. Seeing them shine alongside Birmingham Royal Ballet and our professional contemporary dance cast, in adjacent with our wonderful volunteer cast was a real treat and an absolute highlight of our show. These young artists from Elmhurst have a bright future ahead of them and I am so excited that they played a part in creating our spectacular showcase for Birmingham and the West Midlands broadcast live to around 1 billion people.”

Elmhurst’s Class of 2022 students who danced in the opening ceremony are Leah Allen, Olivia Chang-Clarke, Alice Higginbottom, Alyssa Holliday-Smith, Mackenzie Jacob, Shea Linley, Candela Nieto, Holly Slater, Lara Tessier, Isabel Falcus and Zack Pye. They were joined by Year 13 students Amelia Cook, William Davolls, Ella Dennehy, Caitlin Edgington, Jack Farren, Florence Fowler, Leo Morad, Kazusa Murayoshi, Benjamin Spiteri, Isabel Tornqvist, Sophie Walters, Heidi Whiting and Samantha Wong.


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