There were three dance-related citations in the December 2014 New Year Honours list, of a total of 1,164 honours. Jeanetta Laurence, Associate Director of the Royal Ballet has been awarded an OBE for services to dance, Marguerite Porter, Director of the Yorkshire Ballet Summer School has been awarded an MBE for services to ballet and Janet Smith, Principal of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance has also been awarded an MBE for services to dance.
Jeanetta Laurence works closely with the Director of the Royal Ballet Kevin O’Hare, and was formerly a dancer with the company. During her time there she has worked alongside former directors Anthony Dowell, Ross Stretton and Monica Mason. Laurence is also a Trustee of the Frederick Ashton Foundation, which exists to perpetuate the legacy of the Founder Choreographer of the Royal Ballet, and of the Royal Ballet Benevolent Fund and the Benesh Institute Endowment Fund. Laurence has worked for the Royal Ballet for over 46 years and will retire in June 2015.
Marguerite Porter, Director of the Yorkshire Ballet Summer School, is a British ballet inspiration. She joined the Royal Ballet aged 17 and has even partnered ballet legend Rudolf Nureyev during her career. Porter’s ballet life has been full of iconic and memorable moments, and it now finds her at the helm of the Yorkshire Ballet Summer School. She took over as Director in 2005 having danced with the Royal Ballet company for 20 years. Following this period she remained with company for three further years as a guest artist.
Janet Smith left her position as Artistic Director of Scottish Dance Theatre in 2012 to become the current principal of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Northern School of Contemporary Dance is a unique dance training institution offering a select group of students the opportunity to develop and excel as dance artists in a conservatoire environment.