The Paul Watson Bursary
In Memory of Paul Watson 1964 – 2005
Born in Hemsworth, Yorkshire Paul Watson began his dance training at the age of five subsequently winning a scholarship to train in York and London under the guidance of Louise Browne. From the age of 16 he danced with various companies including Vienna Festival Ballet and Ballet de Nancy. He was nominated for the Best Dancer in a Minor Role in Dance and Dancers and guested with Ballet de Nancy in a Nureyev Festival at the London Coliseum.
In April 1995 Paul joined London City Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet and within a year was promoted to Senior Soloist. During his career with London City Ballet he danced soloist roles in many productions including La Sylphide, Les Patineurs, Graduation Ball, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella.
Paul Watson joined the staff of Tring Park (formerly Arts Educational School, Tring Park) in January 2001 as a full-time Senior Classical Ballet Teacher and Junior Associate Department coordinator. He was a talented teacher who taught with great attention to detail whilst developing the passion and artistry in his students. In later years he returned to worked alongside his former company English National Ballet with the Junior Dance pupils of Tring Park who performed in productions of Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet. His expert teaching and coaching guided the pupils well in these opportunities to perform with a major Ballet company and prepared them well for the rigors of a professional life.
In 2005 Paul was diagnosed with Bone Marrow Cancer and sadly passed away on the 28th September.
It was Paul Watson's wish that a Bursary should be set up in his name to allow boys to have access to funding to enable them to pursue their dance training. In addition he requested that a Dance Festival could be run annually in his home town of Hull to encourage all young dancers to pursue their passion for dance. The Paul Watson Bursary has already enabled many young male dancers to pursue their dance training by funding them to attend Junior Associates classes, Outreach training programme and Associated Courses. As a result many have gone on to join Tring Park as full time students and are on the pathway to pursuing their professional dance careers.
The Paul Watson Memorial Festival
The Paul Watson Memorial Festival was launched in 2006 by Margaret Watson, Paul’s former Ballet teacher (no relation), her husband Roland and a board of trustees. The Festival aims not only to inspire young dancers but in addition to generate the necessary funds to allow the Paul Watson Bursary to make the annual awards. The following year they had over 1,000 young dancers compete in an extensive programme spanning a full week and the Festival was awarded affiliation to the British and International Festival Federation. The PWMF continues to generously support the Bursary and Margaret Watson is invited annually to attend the auditions as our lead panelist and she is integral in the final decisions regarding awards.
Please contact Margaret Watson for further information please Tel. 01482 562854.
The Easter School Scholarship
This year Tring Park introduced a new annual Easter School Scholarship award to the Paul Watson Memorial Festival. The competitors, girls and boys, participate in Ballet and Modern master classes taught by Shannon Parker (formerly of Northern Ballet Theatre) and Ruth K Armstrong (Dance faculty Tring Park and former colleague of Paul). The classes are observed by the official Festival Judge and the award is made on class merit, potential and performance. Over 60 young dancers entered with great enthusiasm and Tring Park is delighted to support the Festival in its constant evolution.