Established in 2015, CWB II is comprised of the top levels of the Academy and focuses on bringing real stage experience to its members.
Performances may include dedicated events or appearances with the main Central West Ballet company. Under the direction of Leslie Ann Larson, CWB II members are meticulously mentored in advanced pointe work, coaching, partnering skills and corps de ballet ethics. CWB II also has its own training class on Saturdays and in addition, may get to take main company classes when applicable.
The experience gained by CWB II members is crucial to the growth of each trainee and is constantly evaluated through each individual's rate of growth, both technically and artistically. CWB II is open to advanced students from other schools who wish to transfer to Central West Ballet.
Real world applications.
CWB II members learn the importance of time commitment, corps de ballet basics and the stamina needed to become a candidate for apprenticeship with Central West Ballet. Those promoted to apprenticeship to the main company are evaluated by Central West Ballet's Artistic Director.
Since 2015, CWB II trainees have appeared in numerous Central West Ballet productions including Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Coppelia, Cinderella, Dracula, Creations, The Secret Garden and the yearly productions of The Nutcracker and Nutcracker in Jazz.
Each CWB II trainee’s physical endurance is monitored before being considered as a full time apprentice with the main company. Although not every member is guaranteed a place with the main company, the experience of having been on stage and fully mentored by the system established with Central West Ballet prepares each student and trainee for their future.
LESLIE ANN LARSON, Director
Leslie Ann Larson as Princess Florine in the Blue Bird Pas de Deux from the Sleeping Beauty (with Ballet West, Salt Lake City).
Leslie Ann Larson’s long career as a professional dancer with the Oakland Ballet and Ballet West in Salt Lake City has enabled her to mentor many young dancers in all facets of the art of dance. Larson’s experience in all aspects of ballet company responsibilities has given her a wealth of knowledge from corps de ballet to lead roles both in classical and contemporary dance forms. CWB II young members, both male and female, are cared for and taught in the best of classical technique and modern approach. Larson’s thorough experience gives each member a solid foundation that carries them through not only in dance, but in their future careers, enabling them to learn a universal method of carrying themselves as young professionals.
Born and raised in Southern Oregon, Ms. Larson was fortunate to train on a full scholarship at The Dance Laboratory, a small prestigious school in Seattle, Washington. There, she trained with distinguished teachers Charles Bennett of the American Ballet Theatre and Flemming Halby of the Royal Danish Ballet. With Bennett, Ms. Larson developed a conscientious work ethic and dedicated professional attitude. With Halby, she acquired a full danish technique and style. Ms. Larson was also mentored by the great flamenco artist Sara De Luis over a period of two years. She then earned a full scholarship to The Joffrey Ballet School in New York, where she trained under Joffrey Alumni Francesca Corkle and Trinette Singleton.
In her 20 year dance career, Leslie Ann Larson was a member of Oakland Ballet under the direction of Ronn Guidi, where she was instilled with a tradition of the famed Ballets Russes repertory. She then joined Ballet West in Salt Lake City under the direction of John Hart CBE and Jonas Kåge. Under John Hart, Ms. Larson received a complete artistic formation directly from the Royal Ballet tradition. She also learned from great Ballet Masters Elaine Thomas and Denise Schultz.
Ms. Larson has mentored numerous ballet students in technique and proper pointe training. Her expertise in all facets of training is backed up by a long teaching experience. Known for her positive implementation of dance ethics, Leslie Ann Larson produces students with an accent on clean technique and safe training.