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Welcome to Ballet West Scotland

Auditioning for 2017 entry

   Higher Education courses including BA (Hons)
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Ballet West is a ballet school with an outstanding reputation, based in Taynuilt in Argyll. Since it was established in 1991, Ballet West has steadily developed an ambitious educational programme and now offers full-time Higher Education courses leading to BA (Hons) in Dance.  It also runs a variety of outreach classes for students from age 3 through to adults. These include classes for 300 young people throughout Argyll, four Summer Schools and two year-long Associate courses in Edinburgh and Glasgow. 

In addition, Ballet West has developed as a semi-professional touring company with an extensive audience base and extremely high reputation for delivering quality productions. The 2014 tour of Swan Lake took place at 12 venues around Scotland and was seen by over 5000 people. In recent years the company has also toured China twice.

At Ballet West we are committed to making the student experience the very best it can possibly be. From two-year-olds taking their first dance class, to under-graduate professionals, you will be treated as an individual and offered the very best in dance training.

Ballet West has produced medallists and finalists at the RAD Genée International  Ballet Competition and is regularly represented at the competition.

Solo Seal Award

Uyu Hiromoto awarded RAD Solo Seal


Uyu Hiromoto (19) has been awarded the Royal Academy of Dance’s (RAD) Solo Seal Award, the highest vocational graded examination of the RAD, focussing on solo performance.

“This is an extraordinary achievement for Uyu, and so well deserved. We are all immensely proud of her. Uyu is a dancer of exceptional talent and dedication, and an outstanding student”, says Ballet West’s Principal, Gillian Barton.

Uyu from Yokohama, Japan, was a finalist in the 2015 Genée International Ballet Competition. She joined Ballet West as a first year student in January 2016, and has danced starring roles in the Ballet West 2016 Scottish tour of The Nutcracker, and in the Showcase performances in Oban and Stirling this summer. Uyu was one of the top team from Ballet West who visited Penang in June to work with young Malaysian dancers in workshops and a showcase performance.

Uyu is following in the distinguished footsteps of Ballet West alumunus, Natasha Watson, who followed her success in the Genée awards with the Solo Seal Award last year.

Ballet West Malaysia Tour - June 2016

Ballet West Principal, Gillian Barton, together with Deputy Principal, Jonathan Barton, choreographer and teacher, Martin Fenton, and star students, Uyu Hiromoto and Oscar Ward, have just returned from a very successful tour to Malaysia, where the Taynuilt based Ballet School working with more than 150 young dancers staged a showcase performance in Penang. The team, presented workshops for more than 150 young dancers, culminating in a spectacular Showcase performance.
Gillian Barton describes the events in Malayasia, partnership with DAI (Direct Academia International).


Uyu Hiromoto and Oscar Ward leading the young Malaysian dancers in the showcase performance


The Ballet West team enjoying street food Penang style: Jonathan Barton, Deputy Principal; Gillian Barton, Principal; Martin Fenton, Oscar Ward and Uyu Hiromoto.

Watch the Malaysian Tour Video

Dancers are Jonathan, Martin, Uyu and Oscar from BW and Audrey, one of our DAI partners.



Congratulations to 2015 graduate Natasha Watson who has recently performed with English National Ballet in their production of Swan Lake in the Royal Albert Hall!!! Everyone at Ballet West is very proud!

Congratulations to 2014 graduate Andrew McFarlane who has also recently taken up his second contract with ENB. Andrew has been working professionally for the past year and has already danced with ENB, LBC and Cork City Ballet!

- Natasha Watson was awarded the Royal Academy of Dance Solo Seal award. Natasha was the only candidate from the UK chosen to participate in last year's prestigious Prix de Lausanne. In 2013, Natasha was awarded the bronze medal at the Genée International Ballet Competition. Following her success at this prestigious competition, Natasha  danced with Scottish Ballet on their tour of Hansel and Gretel on a student contract. Natasha has now returned to continue her studies at Ballet West.

- Isabella Swietlicki won a Bronze medal at the Genee International Ballet Competition in September 2014. In 2012, Isabella won the prestigious Molly Lake Award for the 'Best British Young Dance of the Year'

- In the summer of 2014, current student Isaac Bowry was chosen to be part of the Matthew Bourne production, Lord of the Flies. He played Michael in the Glasgow shows and danced alongside the company dancers.

Swan Lake - 2017 Tour Dates

  • Stirling, Macrobert 20th & 21st January 2017
  • Helensburgh, Tower Digital Arts Centre 27th January 2017
  • Paisley, Paisley Town Hall 28th January 2017
  • ObanCorran Halls 9th February 2017
  • Glasgow, SECC 11th February 2017 
  • Greenock, Beacon Arts Centre 12th February 2017
  • LivingstonHowden Park Centre 16th February 2017
  • Edinburgh, EICC, 18th February 2017 - Click here for tickets

The Nutcracker - 2016 Trailer

The Nutcracker 2016 Review
"...I think on Saturday I saw some stars in the making.   Uyu Hiromoto who danced in the snow scene and as Columbine in Act I and was the dew drop fairy in Act II, Owen Morris who was Rat King, accompanied Andrew Cook in the Russian divertiseement and also danced the Arabian and Alice Flinton who was an adorable Clara.  She is only a first year HND student yet she already knows how to hold an audience. We were enchanted by her mime scene where she recounts the battle with the mice and how she clobbered King Rat. She was Gita's man (or in this case) woman of the match..."
Terpsichore Blog,  Read the full review here.

Thinking Out Loud

Romeo & Juliet 2015


"...Ballet West has been my family for the past three years and your school has helped me grow so much as a dancer and also given me the gift of true and honest lifelong friendships. Grateful for all the opportunities you have given and for the love you have shown..."

"...I feel extremely fortunate to have studied at Ballet West and want to thank you for the opportunities it has brought to me. My memories from here will be treasured – hard work with lots of fun, laughter and the greatest of friends..."

- 2016 Full-Time Graduate Students

"I cannot speak highly enough of your school.
It seems that each pupil's individual talents are nurtured and their strengths encouraged. The homely relaxed environment you provide made us feel secure leaving our daughter behind instead of being sad driving away from her.  I felt a huge sense of pride and immense gratitude that she was part of something so exciting".
- Parent of current student



Ever since it began, Ballet West has proved to be an enormous success, firstly bringing the best of ballet teaching to the Highlands, and now reaching out worldwide, through its degree course and its tours.  I applaud the astonishing achievements of Gillian Barton, her staff and her students.'

Billy Connolly, Ballet West Patron

Contact Us

Ballet West
Ichrachan House - Taynuilt - Argyll - PA35 1HP - Scotland - UK
t. 01866 822641 - e.
Ballet West is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status
Company Number 175325 - Scottish Charity Number SCO22105

Make a secure payment

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Contact Us

Ballet West
Ichrachan House - Taynuilt - Argyll - PA35 1HP - Scotland - UK
t. 01866 822641 - e.
Ballet West is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status
Company Number 175325 - Scottish Charity Number SCO22105

Make a secure payment