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We Went Live

We Went Live


This is the final episode in the current season, and it is the audio recording of the livestream we did on Sunday 10th July.  If you were unable to watch along, you can enjoy this episode and hear everything from that livestream, complete with us pianists playing ballet exercises for you.  You can also watch the livestream on our website, we wrap up the new episodes and take our summer hiatus, we want to say a huge thank you to you, our followers, listeners, subscribers, and downloaders, for all your support, likes, comments, and interactions with us.  We could not do the podcast without you, and our amazing colleagues, dancers, and fellow pianists inspiring us daily, and giving us brilliant ideas to make podcasts.As always, let us know what you think, by emailing us, or by messaging the social media channels.Have a glorious summer, and watch out for new episodes later in the year, with lots more fantastic content.
This week’s episode is with dance accompanist, Gill Civil.  Her life and career is so off the wall and varied, and in this episode we get to learn all about her work in dance, as we put the spotlight on her.From New Zealand originally, she has worked and lived in Australia, the USA and Canada, starting off her career in a punk rock band, working with Crowded House and Limbs Dance company, and playing for ballet classes throughout Australia, the USA, and Canada.She is also a composer of her own music for ballet and contemporary, which is produced by her husband, Edwin.This episode will not fail to entertain you with fabulous story after fabulous story about her life and career, which it seems is completely in the hands of fate and coincidence.  So many glorious happenings, you won’t fail to love it.You can find more about Gill by visiting her website https://pianomusicforballet.comLet us know your thoughts on this episode and more, by emailing, or by visiting the social media platforms.
Today’s episode is the second instalment of the TEN COMMANDMENTS, and it’s the turn of the commandments for dancers and teachers as told by us pianists.Again, it’s a very light hearted episode, where wethree pianists corner David Yow, and read him the riot act, HAHA!  It’s filled with some useful do’s and don’ts for teachers and dancers from a ballet pianists perspective, that we think would make life easier for both, and make the ballet class run smoothly and harmoniously.We are not the oracle, nor have we ever claimed to be, but this episode can be helpful, or you can just enjoy the banter between the team members.We hope you enjoy it.  Let us know as always yourcomments about the podcast, by visiting the social media channels.
ポッドキャスト、史上初のライブ中継開催決定!2020年7月10日イギリス時間15:00(日本時間23:00)こちらのYouTubeリンクからサインアップできます。 メンバーのいつもの笑いの絶えない会話をライブで中継します。今回はライブという事で、リスナーからの質問に生で回答したり、今までを振り返ったり、ピアノ生演奏もあり!それに加えてメンバーそれぞれにサプライズ企画も用意していたり。。。ぜひぜひご参加下さい。メンバー一同、皆様にお会いできるのを楽しみにしています!
On 10th July 2020 at 15:00 BST, the podcast team will be doing our first ever live stream. Sign up to watch us do what we do and join in the laughs. We'll be answering some of your questions, reflecting on the podcast journey so far, playing the piano and there'll be surprises in store for each team member!See you there. 
This week’s new episode is a funny one with all the team members, and we’re talking about some do’s and don’ts of the ballet studio in an episode we’re calling THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.  It’s a very light hearted episode with some sincere sentiment, that we feel would make the studio more harmonious, if followed.This episode is the first of two commandment episodes, and in this episode, David Yow takes the floor and leads us in his ‘ready to go’ tips for ballet pianists from the teacher’s perspective.We’re not the oracle, nor have we ever claimed to be, but this episode offers some teacher’s advice for pianists, to help them in the studios.We laugh a lot, and keep it very light, and we hope you, our listeners don’t take umbrage, and can relate, and see the funny side!Kick back with a drink, and enjoy, and as always, we’d love to know what you think.
On 10th July 2020 at 15:00 BST, the podcast team will be doing our first ever live stream. Sign up to watch us do what we do and join in the laughs. We'll be answering some of your questions, reflecting on the podcast journey so far, playing the piano and there'll be surprises in store for each team member!See you there. 
Thursday can only mean one thing, and it’s a brand new Ballet Piano Podcast.  This week it comes in the form of an In Conversation with a current dancer of Sarasota Ballet, Andrea Marcelletti.Andrea we feel, is rather a special dancer with a more detailed appreciation for music than most, and in this episode, we talk about his life and career in ballet so far, and where his appreciation for music came from.Loving referred to as ‘ the assistant’, Andrea as a student was always one step ahead of the teacher and pianist, and was able to bridge the communication gap when things weren’t going smoothly.This episode is full of laughter and charm, as Andrea is beyond loveable and an adorable person.We hope you enjoy, and as always, let us know your thoughts by emailing the podcast and the social media platforms.
Happy Endings

Happy Endings


We have a fantastically funny episode for you today, with a rather tongue-in-cheek title.  In previous episodes, we have talked about introductions and what we need to get the exercise going, but what about our needs for the exercise coming to an end?In this episode, we talk a bit about the structure of exercises so that pianists can identify when the end is coming, and we talk in depth about the things to look out for from the dancers and teachers, so you can finish playing when the exercise has finished.There are various non-verbal cues that teachers use to signify if the exercise is about to come to an end, or if it’s repeating on the second side or in reverse.  As with most of these episodes, there is laughter in abundance, where as you can imagine, things haven’t always gone right.Let us know what you think about this episode by emailing the podcast on, or messaging our social media platforms!  We hope you enjoy it.
It’s In Conversation week again, and we have a special guest who we think is very important within the dance world.  it’s physiotherapist, Lorien Slaughter.Lori was a former dancer having trained at The Royal Ballet School, and in this episode we talk to him about his journey form stage, to dancers’ clinic, and how he uses his dance science knowledge and experience to help him in his other job as a ballet teaching.Lori also talks in depth about the various aspects of dance science and physiology, that can impact a dancer’s career, either in a helpful way, or not.  We discuss, sociology, psychology, weight training, and many other outside influences.Lori’s knowledge is vast, and we guarantee this episode is relatable for many people working in the dance industry, and well worth a listen.  We have a feeling this won’t be the last appearance for Lori on the podcast.Let us know what you think, by emailing us,, or by messaging us on social media.
Studio Etiquette

Studio Etiquette


This week’s new episode is a funny one, but with serious undertones.  And it’s all about studio etiquette, the do’s and don’ts of the ballet studio.Traditionally speaking, ballet is a physical art form, and a discipline, and over the centuries, how dancers, teachers, and pianists behave in the studio has evolved.We discuss in this episode what we think are the most important aspects of studio etiquette that enhance the art form, both at training and professional level.It’s quite a funny episode with lots of tongue in cheek stories with no offence intended whatsoever, but ultimately, it’s a look at how everyone can behave in the studio to make the experience of training and work, more fun and productive.We’d love to know what you think about this topic, and to hear your stories of studio etiquette.  Please do message us and we can share them on the podcast.
We have a fantastic new episode for you this week, another ‘In Conversation’.  We were lucky enough to get together with dance pianist and silent film composer, living legend John Sweeney.John has the most amazing career in dance accompaniment and silent movies, and we well and truly put the spotlight on him to find out about his life and career, from a person, who on the surface is rather understated.John is also famed for his extremely varied and sophisticated improvising and that is the life blood of his work as an accompanist, and we ask him in-depth about his training and education in music that has shaped him and the way he accompanies dance.We hope you enjoy this episode.  Please let us know what you think, by emailing us at, and if there was anything you wanted to ask John, you can email your question and comment to us for a future episode.
The whole team are back this week with the addition of baby Hazel, to talk about preparing for, and playing for ballet assessments.  It’s quite a niche topic within our industry, but it’s quite important and this episode is particularly insightful.How does David choose the steps?  How does he structure the class?  How does he best exhibit the dancers in their best light?  How do the pianists decide what music they are going to play?  How is the assessment finalised and rehearsed?  What happens on assessment day?The team talk openly and candidly about the process from initial thoughts, the collaboration stage of marrying music and choreography, the definitive assessment, to the finessing of the work leading to the assessment day.We hope you enjoy this episode, and as always there are some laughs!  Let us know your thoughts on this episode and any others you’ve listened to by emailing or messaging us on our social media platforms.We’ll see you on the next episode!
We have another fantastic episode for you this week, an ‘In Conversation’ with enigmatic, charismatic, and all round creative human, Rose Alice, the Artistic Director of International Arts Collective.With an extreme physical ability and technique, she has captivated audiences all over the world from Europe, to China, and the USA.We hope you enjoy this episode with the spotlight firmly on Rose, who always keeps it real, and who talks candidly about her serious highs and lows as an artist, and what fuels her every day.  Listener discretion is advised, but nonetheless, you will love getting to know this very special “OG”!Get in touch via our social media channels, or by emailing us at
First Date Nerves

First Date Nerves


Have you ever been on a first date and experienced the sort of nerves you get when you meet someone for the first time?  Well as a ballet pianist, and ballet teacher, working with someone you’ve never met before can feel just like that.  And that’s what this episode is all about.We discuss what it’s like to work with someone new for the first time.  The sorts of things you might anticipate in a new colleague, the sorts of things you bring to a new partnership, and the little idiosyncrasies you try to read in each other that make your class go as smooth as possible.  Of course there are funny stories, as you might expect from a ‘first date’, but we discuss the sorts of things you might want to look out for when working with a new colleague.Why not get in touch if you are a ballet teacher, or pianist, and let us know your thoughts on working with somebody new for the first time.  Message our social media platforms, or email us.
Playing For Men

Playing For Men


Another week, and another brilliant episode for you!  This episode is in response to a message that came in from a follower on the Instagram account, and she wanted to know about how we play for men specifically, and how David chooses music for his classes, and what he likes to hear from music in his men’s classes.We discuss as a general consensus that we would play a bit stronger, bigger with more space in the music to allow for the men to jump a bit higher, and execute more pirouettes, and to generally dancer bigger, as in general, men are known for that.We share our stories of times in the schools and companies were playing for men has been a challenge, because of the advancement in technique, and the real need for your “grandest” waltz, and then when choosing tunes for men’s class can really lift the mood to  juxtapose that heavy playing throughout.We really pull on our personal experiences in this episode to highlight what we mean, and we hope we’ve been clear enough
We bring you another gem of an episode this week, an “In Conversation” with the Artistic Director and CEO of Scottish Ballet, Christopher Hampson.  Recorded in November 2020 during the pandemic, and on Zoom, this interview is pertinent to that time and climate, but we hope you enjoy it nonetheless.We celebrate the life and career of Christopher Hampson, from fairly routine training at the Royal Ballet School, to landing a dancing job at English National Ballet, to freelance choreography and teaching, and finally being offered the top job at Scotland.We ask him about his process of creating a new ballet, from choosing music, creating movement vocabulary, to telling the story, and then onto his programming of works at Scottish Ballet, and how that goes hand in hand with the other side of his job where he leads many departments as CEO, such as Outreach and Education. Chris is a wonderfully eloquent person with a measured manner, and you’ll love this episode.  We hope you enjoy it.
Q and A

Q and A


We asked you to provide some questions of ballet and music topics that you wanted answering, and we did!  We also ask questions of each other, things about ballet and music we wanted to know from each other’s perspective, and it is very revealing and insightful.As is often the case on the Ballet Piano Podcast, you can expect lots of laughter, and bickering from the Hobsons, but it’s all in good fun and light humour.  We answer your questions as honestly as possible, to the best of our knowledge and experience.
Have we a got a fantastic episode for you this week?!  A brilliant ‘In Conversation’ with James Barton, originally recorded in October 2020. James has had, (and is still having) the most wonderful career having started as a Junior Associate of the Royal Ballet School, trained at Elmhurst school, and graduated into Birmingham Royal Ballet, performing on the west end stage, and then becoming ballet master at Scottish Ballet, he has done it all.James has worked some of the best people in the business from Gillian Lynne to Christopher Wheeldon, and the stories he can tell will leave you warm hearted.  He has an effervescent personality and that really comes through in this episode with the many hilarious tales he has to tell, and the many one liners that roll off his tongue.
Thursday can only mean one thing…a brand new episode!  And this week, it’s all about when tunes go wrong.  Call this a horror stories episode if you will!We have quite an in depth discussion about choosing music you think is going to work for your exercise, but turns out when you play it, it is way off and you have to think on your feet about how you’re going to get out of it.As pianists, sometimes we choose something we think is right, but the teacher wants something much quicker or slower, and that can dramatically change the music you have chosen to play.  Then what do you do?We talk about examples of tunes that only work in specific settings, and of course when it’s fallen apart, and David enlightens us from a teacher’s perspective how it feels when he’s presented with music he wasn’t expecting, and how he deals with such situations.
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