ENCORE Dance Company
ENCORE Dance is the graduate dance company for Tring Park.
An exciting opportunity developed to maximise performance opportunities and to build experience of the skills that the professional dance world demands. In ENCORE Dance the continuing rigorous day-to-day training in all of the core and supplementary subjects is expanded to give opportunities to work with a broad range of choreographers to develop work for ENCORE Dance Tour.
The Encore Dance tour brings together all of the skills and talents that have been nurtured throughout the course to the public. It gives every graduating dancer the opportunity to experience working at the highest level in professional theatres, culminating in a showcase performance at a London venue for the public and an invited audience of choreographers, artistic directors, agents, and other industry professionals.
Throughout the Tour graduating students offer workshops to young dancers from age 10 - 15.
Antony Dowson ARAD PDTC Dip
Artistic Director of Encore Dance
Antony Dowson trained at The Royal Ballet School and graduated into The Royal Ballet in 1976. He was promoted to Principal in 1984 and created roles in works by Ashton, MacMillan, Tetley and Kylian, as well as dancing lead roles in all the classical repertory. In 1992 he retired from the stage and graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance Professional Dancers Teaching Course with distinction. For the next 14 years he was a member of faculty at English National Ballet School. He was made Head of Dance at English National Ballet School in 2005.
In 2007 he was invited by Wayne Eagling the then Director to become Ballet Master for the English National Ballet Company and remained in this position until December 2012.
Recently he has become a freelance teacher working internationally but particularly in Japan. Where he has helped stage the work of Sir Kenneth MacMillan amongst others. He choreographed several short Ballets, Adagio for Strings, Alleged Dances and Capriccio for English National Ballet School’s end of year performances. He has created several works for the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain.
He was asked by the Royal Academy of Dance to choreograph two solos for the Genée competition in Athens in 2004 Tread Lightly for the female candidates and Formal Allusion for the males. These 2 solos now make up part of the Royal Academy’s Solo Seal Exam.
In June of 2005 his choreography Memento was performed at the Royal Ballet Company’s Inspired by Ashton performances. In 2012 he was commissioned by the English National Ballet to choreograph a short Ballet Of a Rose for the Festival of London performance at St Pauls Cathedral.
He joined the Dance Department of Tring Park School in January 2014.
Sarah McIlroy - Ballet Mistress
Sarah will be working alongside Artistic Director of Encore Dance Company, Antony Dowson from September 2017. Sarah and Antony worked together during their shared time at English National Ballet Company. It is a happy reunion. Antony said he is ‘thrilled to be working together again because as an artist Sarah was the most versatile dancer, able to produce exemplary work in a manner of different styles. I believe that she can share this knowledge with the young cast members of Encore.’
Sarah McIlroy trained at the Royal Ballet School and graduated in to the English National Ballet in 1992. She worked her way through the ranks and was promoted to Principal in 2002. As well as performing a wide variety of roles in the classical repertoire from corps de ballet through to principal, she has also created roles for Christopher Hampson, Cathy Marston and Mauro Bigonzetti.
After her 18 year career with English National Ballet, Sarah retired and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Dance, gaining the Professional Dancers Teaching Diploma. She has been teaching at English National Ballet School for the past 6 years and recently become a freelance teacher working with Ballet Black and Rambert School of Dance.