Letter: Ballet schools fail to face their problem

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Sir: As an objective observer currently writing a book about the life of the children at The Royal Ballet School, I find Joan Brady's article unjust. It bears no relation to what I see there day by day as I watch the pupils at work and chat to them between classes and rehearsals.

It is a tough training, and constant intensive effort is needed to succeed as a professional dancer. It can be painful to accept that the best roles will go to the hardest-working and most talented children. However, most of the children are highly motivated and there is great satisfaction in performances and creative choreographic work, art and music. The atmosphere is much more relaxed than it was when I wrote my first book about the school in 1978. The laughter, chatter and high spirits in free time is as infectious as anywhere else.

CAMILLA JESSEL

(Lady Panufnik)

Twickenham, Middlesex

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