ENCORE Dance Company

Encore Dance Company is the graduate dance company for Tring Park School

Designed to give you a true representation of being a young pre professional dancer and an exciting year working as a junior company. During the year you will work with industry professionals who will create choreography on you. As well as continuing rigorous day-to-day training in all of the core and supplementary subjects.

The Tour

The Encore Dance tour brings together all of the skill and knowledge you have acquired on the course and display it to the public. Every graduating dancer has the opportunity to have work created on them by industry professionals which culminate in a showcase performance in a London venue for the public and an invited audience of choreographers, artistic directors, agents, and other industry professionals.

The Year

Encore operates as a junior company so that your experience is as true to reality as possible. With this in mind you will be expected to work in a professional manner and learn to deal with situations yourself and learn and mature from those experiences. Our professional practice is to deal directly with you about all matters or concerns.  As a pre-professional you are responsible for your own training, development and maturity. This Third Year is about creativity, collaboration and working as part of an artistic team. You can expect the staff to support you but also challenge you to match your aspirations with the real world. We have designed this course and run it thinking of the cast as the young professionals that you are becoming and learning to look after yourself as you live off site will be a big part of that. During this year you will be taught by, and have work created on you, by industry professionals as well as continuing rigorous day-to-day training in all of the core and supplementary subjects.


Encore Dance review in Dancing Times 2019


Antony Dowson - Artistic Director

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 and is now joint interim Director of Dance alongside Lorraine Jones.


Sarah McIlroy - Ballet Mistress

Sarah will be working alongside Artistic Director of Encore Dance Company. 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.  




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