Rediscover your inner ballerina

Guest Blog by Emma Silverthorn

Rediscover your inner ballerina 30 October 2017

Before founding the unique Ballet4Life dance organisation 14 years ago in Chiswick, founder Donna Schoenherr’s dance and choreography career had taken her on an international journey. First treading the boards as a child in her native city of New York with the Festival Ballet of New York, Donna went on to train, dance, choreograph and teach across the globe.

Donna’s formative training took place at the prestigious Botsford School in Rochester, New York, where she trained in classical ballet technique, pointe, ballet mime, folk dance, advanced ballroom dance and more.

She went on to dance with the Cleveland Ballet and many other companies and was a Director of Rehearsals at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Michael Mao Dance Co where she was proud to be an integral part of two dance works that were made in collaboration with sight impaired dance artists; groundbreaking works which toured the country.

She continued to tour as a dancer, teacher and choreographer throughout the U.S. and Mexico, as well as across Europe before settling in her chosen home of West London where she has lived for the past twenty years. Alongside her dance career Donna finds creative release as an avid and established painter and photographer. Her works hang in private collections across the world.

Living with her husband and child in Chiswick, Donna’s love of dance and of her chosen local community prompted her to found Ballet4Life in 2004, as one of the first organisations to provide adult learners in London with comprehensive programmes of high-quality ballet and dance classes/courses.

The B4L class line up includes pointe, masterclasses, contemporary dance, beginner courses, barre and 50+ ballet classes; which have proven especially popular, making many a childhood ballet dream come true for Chiswick locals! Refusing to rest on her laurels, Donna, along and other volunteers launched umbrella charity initiative Move into Wellbeing in 2015 as a dance programme for people living with Parkinson’s and other mobility restrictions.

Move into Wellbeing was inspired by Donna’s father who lived with Parkinson’s for thirty years and who she saw benefit hugely from music and movement based therapy. Move into Wellbeing was pleased to receive funding from One You Hounslow last year and thrilled to receive full registered charity status earlier this year.

Ballet4Life prides itself on being an independently run and trusted part of the West London community and is the only place to offer adults Beginner Ballet Courses, Pointe classes, Contemporary dance and 50+ dance classes in the local area. Ballet4Life also offers concession rates for unwaged, students, pensioners, and theatre arts professional. Check out their Freedom Dancers Passes here.

Ballet4Life is proud to have a host of expert, professional and welcoming dance-teachers lead its classes. As Founder Donna notes Ballet4Life’s ‘first class was held at the Rambert Dance School and now Mark Kelly from the Rambert has joined the Ballet4Life team to complete the circle and teaches our lovely clients ballet and contemporary dance in Chiswick’.

ballet4life.com
www.moveintowellbeing.org.uk
Follow Donna’s art Instagram here: @donna_schoenherr