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Call for witnesses: Abuse allegations against elite ballet schools

Former dancers who attended elite schools Elmhurst Ballet School and Royal Ballet School are calling for information from witnesses following experiences of body shaming by school staff causing years of trauma.

Posted on 24 May 2024

A former dancer, who we will call Sophie, has instructed law firm Leigh Day to investigate the potential of bringing a civil claim against Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham, saying that she was body shamed by dance teachers while she attended the school between 2007 and 2013.

Former dancers from Royal Ballet School in London have also described abusive behaviour including body shaming and sexual abuse by dance teachers while they attended the school between 2009 and 2017. 

In December 2023, four dancers told the BBC about the “damaging” culture of abuse and body shaming in ballet, with dozens of other dancers coming forward with similar stories following the BBC’s investigation into schools such as Elmhurst Ballet School and Royal Ballet School. 

Leigh Day abuse claims partner Dino Nocivelli, who has represented other former ballet dancers who suffered abuse is appealing for information, asking that anyone who witnessed or experienced abuse taking place at the schools to get in touch. 

Dino Nocivelli, abuse claims partner at Leigh Day, is representing Sophie and other ballet dancers. Dino said:

“Issues such as body shaming, especially within institutions such as schools should be taken extremely seriously and those who have inflicted harm against those such as Sophie should be held accountable. 

“Following the BBC’s investigation last year, dozens of dancers at Elmhurst, Royal Ballet School and other ballet schools across the UK have brought to light the concerning lack of safeguarding for young people at dance schools, as well as the lasting impact that body shaming can have on an individual’s mental health.

”I strongly encourage anyone who can help to get in touch as this will support my clients’ claim.”

If you are able to provide any relevant information, please contact Dino at DNocivelli@leighday.co.uk  or direct dial 020 7650 1397

Dino Nocivelli 480X499
Abuse claims Human rights

Dino Nocivelli

Dino is an experienced child sexual abuse claims lawyer

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