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Mark Elie is the Artistic Director of the Portobello Dance School. A community initiative on the international stage, the school offers dance classes in classical ballet as well as tap, street dance and salsa to budding dancers.
Founded on the belief that young dancers should be able to learn and enjoy the language of classical dance and have access to affordable lessons, regardless of class or racial background, the pioneering dance company has been developing exceptional talent in Notting Hill and across London for 25 years.
Mark’s personal dance journey has proved invaluable in working with the young and ethnic community. The Foundation is, in part, the realisation of his dreams to offer opportunities to talented young people from all walks of life. Mark Elie spent his early years in a children’s home, where at the age of ten, an opportunity to dance led to sponsored ballet training, which was to later take him across the world …
From the renowned London’s Rambert School of Ballet, he went onto the Ballet Gulbenkian Dance Company (Lisbon) and the Dance Theatre of Harlem (New York) before returning home to the work of the Carol Straker Dance Company. His dance involvement in musicals has included ‘The Wiz’, ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’, ‘Joseph’ and ‘Y’, whilst his choreography has spanned television, motion pictures, pop promos and fashion shows. With a wealth of experience behind him, he pursued a vision for a new type of dance school in West London – a vision that became reality in 1994.