Two Local Dance Organisations Celebrate Anniversaries

Ukrainian mother and daughter honoured in landmark month

Ballet4Life has been running classes in Chiswick for 19 years
Ballet4Life has been running classes in Chiswick for 19 years

January 15, 2023

Chiswick-based Ballet4Life is celebrating its 19th Anniversary this month.

Since its inception, ithas continued to develop and expand its adult dance programme and own methodology, and now offers daytime and evening classes Monday-Sunday, all levels, taught by industry professionals held online and in large well-equipped studios.

The first class started at the ground Floor Studio of the Rambert Dance Company in January 2004. Many years later when the opportunity arose, Donna Schoenherr made sure she became of Founding Member of the Chiswick Cinema to honour and recall all the diverse dance history from 94 Chiswick High Road, to secure a link to Ballet4Life’s history, and to help support the cultural industry in Chiswick.

The Arts Educational School studios on Bath Road have been another venue it has taught out of since 2005. The group is now particularly enjoying presently holding many of its classes in the state-of the-art renovated dance studios.

One of the group's attending a Ballet4Lfe class
One of the group's attending a Ballet4Lfe class

During this landmark time for the group, mother and daughter Kseniia and Polina Kurinna from Ukraine have been named Ballet4lifers-of-the-month. After they were forced to flee their home in Kyiv due to the Russian invasion, they came to London. After only 10 days, they were introduced to Alina Luts, a teacher at Ballet4Life by an organisation which was helping Ukrainian refugees settle.

Initially Kseniia was reluctant to resume her dancing. She said, “I texted her (Alina) that I haven’t been doing ballet long time and yoga is enough for me now. After 5 minutes something inside told me that I was doing something wrong, and I realized that life gives me a second chance. I opened WhatsApp, saw that Alina had not yet read my refusal, and after deleting this message, wrote to her that I would like to join B4L. And of course, remembering Polina's dream, I also asked for her. Fortunately for us, we were invited by Donna, the Founder & Director, to practice together for free.”

Kseniia adds, “Dance is a life. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw in the B4L classes many women who enjoy dancing in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s!

“So don't be afraid and dive into this wonderful world of dancing, with Ballet4life, it's easy!”

Last May Kseniia and Polina performed at the annual fundraiser for Ballet4Life’s related charity Move into Wellbeing (MiW) at the Watermans Theatre.

MiW launched in January 2015 in a studio at Arts Ed and now holds over ten weekly classes including online classes and live streaming of another class. This is a partially seated, specialised dance and movement class designed for people living with Parkinson’s, other neurological issues, mobility problems, and various other challenges such as Arthritis, Long COVID, and ME. MiW has been invited to give taster sessions, presentations and talks at various places such as Parkinson’s UK Support groups at Chelsea & Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Hanwell, and STOLL- Chiswick Memorial Homes, Integrated Neurological Services in Twickenham, Local Churches, and Nationally for NHS, PD Frontline, Team Lewis Foundation, London and News UK, London.

Two current MiW classes held at the Chiswick Catholic Centre are supported by grants from London Borough of Hounslow via the Thriving Communities Fund and the Neighbourhood Grant, referred by Councillor Joanna Biddolph. The provision of inclusive movement classes for people who might normally not be able to exercise, or to socialise, is a core and vital element of their ethos.

A Move into Wellbeing class

Founder & Director Donna, Chiswick resident since 1996, says, “It is so thrilling to still be delivering top-quality Ballet, Dance, Movement, and Wellness tuition to adult learners from all walks of life. Every Anniversary we celebrate fills me, and my brilliant team, with such a sense of joy, accomplishment, and pride. Chiswick has been such a culturally rich and open-minded community headquarters and home. We simply love arriving at every one of our twenty different drop-in classes at every different studio, teaching, and being with our attendees.”

A New Year’s feel-good story to end with, is a tale of Ballet4Life’s sponsorship of a mother and daughter duo who are Ukrainian refugees, and who had trained professionally in their homeland. You can read their moving saga here:

For further details about what is on offer in Chiswick or online, visit their websites and social media on and

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