WHAT WE STAND FOR

ABOUT THE SCHOOL

Since 1989

Since opening in 1989 the Brigitte Gauci Borda School of Ballet

has stuck firmly to its original philosophy of stretching each individual’s potential to the very limits through the media of dance. The objective is to enhance aesthetic enjoyment for performer and audience alike. Since the spawning of a youth ballet company, Degas Ballet, which performed The Nutcracker to packed houses at the Manoel Theatre and at the Independence Arena in 1999, and with expanding international affiliations, these have been exciting years for the 300 students. There are often opportunities for students to perform in school shows, on TV, in festivals and charity concerts as well as in professional stage productions.

Cross-fertilization through travel, visiting artists and teachers have become intrinsic to the school ethos.

Senior students have always had the opportunity to attend international dance courses in the U.K. Italy, Spain and France. These include courses at the Arts Educational Cecchetti School in Tring, Urdang Academy in Covent Garden, Ballet West in Scotland, Dance College of Cornwall, U.K., Broadway A Tropea, Italy, Dance Movement Bari, Italy, Kledi Kadu Academy, Rome, Italy, Conservatoire de Danse in Paris, France, the latter seven having awarded a total of fifteen scholarships to Miss Brigitte’s students.

2000 was an especially active year in which Miss Brigitte gave two senior students the opportunity to perform at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London, and for the first time, a group of 22 students, ranging from 9 to 12 year olds attended Summer School at Ballet West. In the Summer of 2004 Miss Brigitte took nine of her students to another summer course in the UK, this time to the Dance College of Cornwall, in Cornwall. Since then students have travelled to Italy, Spain and France attending International dance courses under very distinguished teachers.

 

A total of fourteen International Summer Schools have been held annually at the school’s premises. Some of the International guest artistes include Lisa Aldrige, Gillian Hurst, Amanda Eyles, Inge Arro, Christina Hughes, Ian Mackenzie Stuart, Terence Etheridge, Irena Zbornic, Svetlana Sivak and Ivelina Dimitrova ballerina from the National Bulgarian Ballet Company, who has now joined the Faculty. And most recently soloist Mavin Khoo.

The Brigitte Gauci Borda School of Ballet continues to grow from strength to strength, an establishment firmly based on tradition, which continues to exude all the vibrancy of confident youth. But when it comes to standards, there is no question of compromise. The school has had consistently excellent Cecchetti results throughout its 30 year history.

Our Studios

During the academic year 2003-2004 the Brigitte Gauci Borda School of Ballet moved to its new premises in Old College Street, Sliema. This prestigious building which once was a Jesuit college has been refurbished providing excellent facilities for dancers, performers and audiences.

Fitted with three large state-of-the-art studios, one of which is also a theatre studio with a seating capacity of one hundred, all fully equipped with sprung floors, pianos, barres, mirrors and air conditioners, this prestigious building provides students with the finest dance facilities on the island. Each studio has its own changing area with full changing facilities including showers. Apart from the dance studios, students also have a common room with an audiovisual studio, a video library, a dance shop, wardrobe and dedicated practice room.

Eventually all studios will be linked to the audiovisual studio so that classes, rehearsals and performances may be recorded, enabling both students and teachers to enhance technique and performance quality. The faculty consists of a staff room with a viewing gallery overlooking the theatre studio and a living area for foreign guest teachers.

This exceptional dance center provides a forum for a wealth of activity, providing a stimulating and creative environment offering opportunities to students of all ages to get involved in dance. Emphasis is placed on performing, creating and learning about dance.

The Faculty

Our teaching faculty is an enormous source of pride. Above all we want you to have teachers with whom you can trust your children and who can be counted on to teach the right techniques. Our staff includes performers who are active on the stage, highly experienced former members of leading ballet schools and dance companies, prize-winning ballerinas, and renowned visiting tutors. Yet each member of the faculty is profoundly and passionately committed to teaching.

Brigitte Gauci Borda

Founding Director and Principal

Brigitte Gauci Borda Licentiate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, London, Director and Founder of the Brigitte Gauci Borda School of Dance, Degas Ballet and International Ballet Malta has had extensive training in Malta, Rome and London. She trained at the Tanya Bayona Poutiatine Academy, studying Classical Ballet, Modern Jazz, Contemporary and Spanish Dance.

Whilst a student at the Academy she was awarded a medal of Distinction by Cecchetti examiner Laura Wilson. She performed in numerous productions including the first Maltafest at Hagar Qim Temples in 1979, with dancers directed by Denis Stall and also danced in the first International Summer School performance in 1983, at San Anton Gardens with Durek Purnell and Anya Evans from the Royal Ballet. During her dance career she continued to attend several international dance courses in London, Italy, France and Malta under the direction of very distinguished dance teachers. In 1982 she won a scholarship to the National Rome Academy where she furthered her studies in Classical Ballet and in 2007 she was awarded another scholarship to the Hungarian Dance Academy in Budapest.

Brigitte has been teaching ballet for over 30 years and has organised a total of 30 international workshops, with teachers from London, Scotland, Wales, Russia, Bulgaria, Germany, Finland, Ukraine, Malaysia, Japan, South Africa, Hungary, Holland, France, Brazil and New York.

In recent years she has collaborated with principal artistes from The Royal Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Ballet West, Ballet Russe, Stuttgart Ballet, National Ballet Company of Bulgaria, Rimsky Korsakov Ballet St Petersburg and K Ballet Company Tokyo, producing full-length ballets at the Manoel Theatre and Mediterranean Conference Centre.

Her engagements as a choreographer have taken her to England, Italy, Germany, Spain and Latvia. Among her crowning achievements in this area are; choreographies for the EU accession celebrations at the opera in Riga and also achieving first place in international competitions with three of her choreographies in Malta, Sicily and Barcelona.

Brigitte was a member of the dance committee at St. James Cavalier, from 2000 to 2002 and has now been serving on the Board of Pjazza Teatru Rjal, since 2011, inviting artists from top companies such as The Royal Ballet, Ballet Black, Ballet Rambert, Random Dance, Royal Swedish Ballet and New York City dancer Antonio Franceschi to perform in Malta. Other companies include Notic Dance Company from Germany, Ballet D’Europe from France and most recently a dance show with a group of principal dancers from Armenia.

In 2017, Brigitte was invited to be one of the founding members of International Ballet Malta collaborating with dancers from The Royal Ballet and Bolshoi Theatre*. In recent years Brigitte has been invited by overseas directors to judge and teach at international dance festivals in Sicily, London and Germany.

*The International Ballet Malta Programme offers a select opportunity to boys and girls aged 9 upwards giving them periodical training sessions conducted by professionals from renounced ballet companies, whilst continuing to study with their regular dance school.

Tatiana Lebideva

Classical Ballet & Repertoire Teacher

Claudia Preca

Classical Ballet Teacher

Claudia Preca started classical ballet training under the tuition of Ms Daphne Lungaro. In 1991, she was awarded the Daphne Lungaro Cup Esteem Award for effort and hard work. In 1996 she joined the Lillian Attard Ballet School, obtaining her Advanced and Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance. In 1998, Claudia joined the Brigitte Gauci Borda School of Dance, passing all the major Cecchetti examinations, as a dancer, with distinction. She performed in numerous shows with the school, including The Nutcracker Suite, Dance Power 1 and 2, Scrooge, Coppelia, Fame and Paquita, as well as in the Millennium Celebrations, and for the opening of the St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity in 2000.

Claudia was the first student from the Brigitte Gauci Borda School of Dance to qualify as a ballet teacher, obtaining her Associate in 2001 and her Associate Diploma in 2004. She has been teaching at the Brigitte Gauci Borda School of Dance for 20 years. She currently teaches classical ballet to both junior and senior students.

Monique Pellegrini Petite

Classical Ballet Teacher

Brigitte Gauci Borda Licentiate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, London, Director and Founder of the Brigitte Gauci Borda School of Dance, Degas Ballet and International Ballet Malta has had extensive training in Malta, Rome and London. She trained at the Tanya Bayona Poutiatine Academy, studying Classical Ballet, Modern Jazz, Contemporary and Spanish Dance.

Whilst a student at the Academy she was awarded a medal of Distinction by Cecchetti examiner Laura Wilson. She performed in numerous productions including the first Maltafest at Hagar Qim Temples in 1979, with dancers directed by Denis Stall and also danced in the first International Summer School performance in 1983, at San Anton Gardens with Durek Purnell and Anya Evans from the Royal Ballet. During her dance career she continued to attend several international dance courses in London, Italy, France and Malta under the direction of very distinguished dance teachers. In 1982 she won a scholarship to the National Rome Academy where she furthered her studies in Classical Ballet and in 2007 she was awarded another scholarship to the Hungarian Dance Academy in Budapest.

Brigitte has been teaching ballet for over 30 years and has organised a total of 30 international workshops, with teachers from London, Scotland, Wales, Russia, Bulgaria, Germany, Finland, Ukraine, Malaysia, Japan, South Africa, Hungary, Holland, France, Brazil and New York.

In recent years she has collaborated with principal artistes from The Royal Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Ballet West, Ballet Russe, Stuttgart Ballet, National Ballet Company of Bulgaria, Rimsky Korsakov Ballet St Petersburg and K Ballet Company Tokyo, producing full-length ballets at the Manoel Theatre and Mediterranean Conference Centre.

Her engagements as a choreographer have taken her to England, Italy, Germany, Spain and Latvia. Among her crowning achievements in this area are; choreographies for the EU accession celebrations at the opera in Riga and also achieving first place in international competitions with three of her choreographies in Malta, Sicily and Barcelona.

Brigitte was a member of the dance committee at St. James Cavalier, from 2000 to 2002 and has now been serving on the Board of Pjazza Teatru Rjal, since 2011, inviting artists from top companies such as The Royal Ballet, Ballet Black, Ballet Rambert, Random Dance, Royal Swedish Ballet and New York City dancer Antonio Franceschi to perform in Malta. Other companies include Notic Dance Company from Germany, Ballet D’Europe from France and most recently a dance show with a group of principal dancers from Armenia.

In 2017, Brigitte was invited to be one of the founding members of International Ballet Malta collaborating with dancers from The Royal Ballet and Bolshoi Theatre*. In recent years Brigitte has been invited by overseas directors to judge and teach at international dance festivals in Sicily, London and Germany.

*The International Ballet Malta Programme offers a select opportunity to boys and girls aged 9 upwards giving them periodical training sessions conducted by professionals from renounced ballet companies, whilst continuing to study with their regular dance school.

Erika Gatt Coleiro

Classical Ballet Teacher

Erika started her classical training at Tanya Bayona Poutiatine Academy of Ballet at the tender age of 4. In 1999 she joined The Dance Workshop, taking part in annual productions and was awarded the Margot Fonteyn Scholarship in 2000. Erika has attended a number of courses in the UK, namely The Arts Educational School and The London Studio Centre. At the age of 12, she took up contemporary dance and in 2004, joined Contact Dance Company for a year, performing locally and abroad. After passing her Advanced I and Advanced II Cecchetti ballet examinations with Distincation, she showed a special interest in teaching classical dance and obtained her Diploma in Dance Instruction (DDI) and soon after, a higher Diploma in Dance Education (DDE).
In 2008 Erika started teaching classical ballet at Brigitte Gauci Borda School of Dance and performed in the school`s 20th Anniversary ballet, Swan Lake, in a leading role, with guest Principal dancers from Russia and Japan. In 2013 she was invited to dance with Yada Dance Company, performing in San Francisco, USA.
Erika graduated in Communication Therapy BSc. (Hons.) in 2008. She currently works as a speech and language pathologist and has been teaches Classical Ballet at Brigitte Gauci Borda school of Dance.

Sue Vassallo

Hip Hop Teacher

Sue started her Jazz training at the Brigitte Gauci Borda School of Dance, at the age of eight, performing in several shows, cultural events and television programmes along the way. She holds her DDI teachers’ qualification in Modern Jazz, and has been teaching Jazz Dance and Hip Hop at the Brigitte Gauci Borda School of Dance for 15 years. She has also been on several international dance courses with teachers from America, England, Italy, Germany, France, Holland and Brazil.

Sue has performed in and choreographed for many shows including, The Goldwell Hair Awards, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Dance Power Four, the Malta Fashion Awards, Pantomime, The Beer Festival and The Bay Music Awards as well as two commercial videos. Throughout her career, she has also been invited to choreograph and perform for American Hip Hop icons Ja Rule and Flo Rida, when they performed here in Malta.

Sue’s choreographies have always done well in dance competitions, usually placing in the top three. Internationally, she presented a choreography at the Barcelona Costa Brava International Dance Festival (Spain), attended intensive courses in Italy (namely Broadway a Tropea and World Dance Movement) where she received a Hip Hop award and preformed one of her choreographies.

In 2015, Sue was granted a scholarship from world famous choreographer Shane Sparks and attended a two-week intensive course in Los Angeles at the famous commercial studios, Millennium Dance Studios and Debbie Reynolds Dance Studios. Her recent engagements as choreographer were for the hit musical Rock of Ages in 2016, Alice in Wonderland Pantomine 2018 and Comedy Knights in 2019.

Patsy Chetcuti

Contemporary Teacher

Patsy Chetcuti – Contemporary Teacher
Born with a passion for dance but only able to pursue it from the age of 15, Patsy studied Contemporary, Ballet and Jazz dance at Tanya Bayona Poutatine Academy of Ballet.

Stamina, determination, perseverance and hard work lead Patsy to a degree in B. (Hons) Dance Studies and later on to a PAR Masters focusing on ways to create choreographies that not only engage the audience but also enable them to relate with the content presented to them.

Having acquired skills and techniques from established choreographers such as Kerry Nichols, Oded Ronen, Alleyne Dance and Idan Porges just to name a few, enabled her to explore different horizons and thus create successful contemporary dance pieces as well as enrich her dance technique.
Since 2015, Patsy has danced and choreographed for Zugraga Dance, an organization she co founded, as well as created works for a Maltese Company – Moveo Dance.

Luisa Fenech Conti

Classical Ballet & Jazz Teacher

Luisa Fenech Conti started her ballet training at Brigitte Gauci Borda School of Dance at the tender age of 3, studying Classical Ballet in the famous Cecchetti Method. Luisa`s interest in all dance styles led her to increase her dance classes at the school, exploring other genres such as Jazz, Contemporary and Repertoire.

At the age of 16 she successfully auditioned to attend the Northern Ballet School in Manchester, UK. There, Luisa focused on Classical Ballet and Jazz dance. Other styles she also studied during her three year vocational training were Contemporary, Tap Dance, Partner Work, Modern dance, Commercial Jazz, Singing and Acting. Throughout the three year course, Luisa received various leading roles within the Jazzgalore Company productions. Luisa also obtained her DDI teaching qualification from the ISTD at the age of 19.

After completing three years of vocational training, Luisa started her professional career as a dancer at Disneyland Paris. She then moved onto a career as a production dancer in various theatres on board cruise ships, with companies such as Afro Arimba Productions and Paris C Show Productions. Luisa now looks forward to focusing on passing on what she has learnt from the professional world to the younger dancers of today. She is very excited to be back teaching at her first dance school, this time as a teacher not a not as a student!

Rachel Angus

Classical Ballet, Jazz & Contemporary Teacher

Andrea Izzo

Pilates Teacher

Lara Galea

Piantist

Henrietta Tabone

Piantist

Secretary

Suzie Formosa

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