ROTHESAY BALLET SCHOOL

Sylvia Logan   Artistic Director

Sylvia Logan, Artistic Director

Photo of Sylvia Logan

Sylvia Logan began her dance career at an early age in the Edith Leblique School of Ballet in Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. She progressed through the Royal Academy of Dance grades syllabus with simultaneous training in the Cecchetti and Vaganova styles. In due course she continued through the Major Syllabi of the Royal Academy of Dance, finishing her training at the Nellie Potts School of Ballet. Many facets of theatre were included in this training, including an appearance in the summer season with the Festival of Spanish Dance, a group of dancers based in Madrid. During these formative years Sylvia danced leading roles in many of the popular classical ballets at concerts, recitals and charity performances in the region.

In 1966, Sylvia moved to Canada, first to Alberta and then to New Brunswick in 1967. In the late 1960's, she gave classes at the YWCA in Saint John, but as demand increased she sought space in local schools to continue her classes. It was always her intention to keep fees at a minimum, and renting low cost school space was one solution to this problem. Thus the Rothesay Ballet School, under her direction, was officially established in 1975 but without permanent quarters. During these years, she became a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and guided many students through the taxing annual R.A.D. examinations. She also directed the popular annual recitals in which all her students participated. Gradually her reputation spread throughout the southern New Brunswick region as she directed summer schools in Saint John and St Andrews and choreographed many theatrical productions for the Saint John Arts Council and local high schools. In 1983, the Rothesay Ballet School performance of the Maypole Dance before the Prince and Princess of Wales at Rothesay Collegiate School was broadcast on national television in Britain. Thus Gala Ballet Company was formed, becoming the performing ensemble of Rothesay Ballet School.

In 1993, she was offered more permanent space in the Brookville United Church hall on the Rothesay Road and the new site of Rothesay Ballet School was officially opened by Mavis Staines, Director of the National Ballet School of Canada. Sylvia remained at this location until 2004 when she obtained larger and more modern premises in Rothesay. However, it remains a priority for her that fees be kept low and talented and enthusiastic students are often offered scholarships, teaching assistantships, or fees are waived where financial exigency exists in the family. For this reason she established some years ago the "Arts-in-Concert Scholarship" which she funds annually from the proceeds of her company's performances.

Presently, Sylvia is Artistic Director of Rothesay Ballet School, which in the last 40 years has grown to be a most successful training ground for aspiring dance students, sending many of its dancers to such prestigious institutions as Canada's National Ballet Company, the National Ballet School of Canada, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Quinte Ballet School, and the Ryerson Professional Dance Program, George Brown University Dance Program, York University, Toronto Dance Theatre School, and Oklahoma City University Dance Program, as well as several senior students to the teacher training program at the National Ballet School. Over the years, Summer Schools in various locations, including Imperial Theatre have invited many icons of dance to work with local students. Notably, former National Ballet of Canada Principal Ballerinas Nadia Potts, Vanessa Harwood, Mary Jago and Principal Dancer Frank Augustyn to be guest teachers. More recently, Stacey Shiori Minagawa, first soloist with the National Ballet of Canada, and Vanessa Lawson-Leonard, former Principal Dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet have guested during summer programs.

Along with her duties as Directress of Rothesay Ballet School, Mrs. Logan is Artistic Director of Gala Ballet Company, a vibrant young company of dancers devoted to promoting the art of dance within the community. They have been invited to perform on many occasions, and have worked with many prestigious guest teachers and choreographers, including the celebrated Canadian dancer Frank Augustyn, who coached the performance of "Sleeping Beauty" for the School's 25th Anniversary in 2000, and Vanessa Leonard who coached Paquita for the recent 40th Anniversary Performance. Rothesay Ballet School is privileged to have Ms. Leonard as Performance Mentor to the school.

Mrs. Logan has been guest teacher and choreographer with Ballet Espanol, a professional performing company based in San Miguel, Alicante Province, Spain, and was an invited guest of the National Ballet of Cuba, Havana, to exchange professional ideas on teaching and choreography. She was also invited by the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England, to be a member of an international team to China, to aid professional dancers make the transition from performing to teaching, but was unable to travel.

Finally, Mrs. Logan has also been involved in numerous community projects related to dance, including directing six annual "Dance Showcase" concerts at the Imperial Theatre, and as director of the much-acclaimed productions of " Nutcracker" and "Peter and the Wolf" with Symphony New Brunswick in Saint John and Moncton. Currently, an annual production of The Nutcracker is performed at Imperial Theatre, with soloists from Royal Winnipeg Ballet performing Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier with Rothesay Ballet School and Gala Ballet Company providing demi soloists and corps de ballet.

Sylvia has also served as a juror on the New Brunswick Arts Board. In 2002, she was awarded a New Brunswick Merit Award for services to dance in the province. She was also the subject of a "Profile in Leadership" article by the Saint John Telegraph-Journal on April, 26th, 2004. In 2010, Mrs. Logan was the first recipient of the Saint John Originals award for Dance for her contribution to dance in Saint John and Southern New Brunswick. Mrs. Logan is currently a Mentor with the Royal Academy of Dance, assisting in the training of student teachers. To date, four Rothesay Ballet School students have become Registered Teachers with the Academy, all of whom are actively continuing to teach and perform, and to promote dance in the Province.