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Dame Ninette de Valois OM CH DBE (1898-2001)
Dame Ninette de Valois OM CH DBE (1898-2001)

Dame Ninette de Valois, the founder and first director of The Royal Ballet Company, was also the first Patron of London Studio Centre. As a young dancer, Dame Ninette studied with Leonide Massine, Edouard Espinosa and Enrico Cecchetti - the leading ballet masters of the day - before joining Diaghilev's Ballets Russes.

Passionately committed to dance education, Dame Ninette was pleased to support Bridget Espinosa's vision of a broadly based, professional training that embraced the best in classical and contemporary dance and the commercial theatre. She knew that a healthy profession depended on a focused and challenging education. On her appointment as London Studio Centre's Patron, she wrote:

"I am confident that Bridget Espinosa's dream of a theatre school dedicated to the pursuit of excellence will flourish and become a living testimony of her work".

This material is published in Dame Ninette's memory and is a celebration of all that she achieved in the founding and development of a national tradition of international standing.