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Focus on Ballet News with editor Cheryl Angear

Ballet News is a website covering classical ballet written by journalist Cheryl Angear. The website includes interviews, articles and reviews about classical ballet companies and vocational schools throughout the United Kingdom, as well as visiting ballet companies.

This week, FeaturesExec caught up with Cheryl to discuss the website in more detail, to find out how she works with PRs and what her day job is.

You and your website:

Tell us a bit about Ballet News:
Ballet News is all about inspiring people through knowledge. In a landscape dominated by traditional media aimed at avid ballet-goers, I’m aiming to broaden the appeal of classical ballet and to make it relevant and accessible for today’s audiences. So there is a mix of articles, ranging from reviews of performances, behind the scenes details, information about up-coming performances, individual dancers, educational events and details about ballet-related places to visit. One of the most popular features is my interview series. “Cupcakes & conversation with….” is a Q&A style interview with professional dancers from all the UK companies and through every level of the company, giving the corps de ballet dancers particular focus. From “Student to Star”, as the name suggests, follows graduate students as they begin their professional careers.

What was your motivation behind starting the website?
I wanted to inspire people to become involved in ballet, and to do that I think that you need to provide relevant and interesting information, which is up to date and most important of all, is easily accessible. And fun!

I had so many things to say and needed a platform upon which to do so. Since launching, we have helped one young dancer to win the British Airways Great Britons competition, and we are now following a second competitor. I’m hopeful that a ballerina will be given one of the slots on the Fourth Plinth and to follow her hour as a Plinther. It’s very rewarding work and feedback from my readers continues to inspire me.

Who reads it and how many of them are there?
My readers are a diverse bunch from around the world and their numbers are growing every day. Some are professional ballet dancers, vocational students, teachers and other dance professionals, and some are parents with children taking ballet classes and who attend performances. Others are learning about the art form or taking adult ballet classes.

What subjects do you cover?
Classical ballet.

What makes you different from other websites in your sector?
I’m the only one!

What inspires you to write?
When I started getting interested in classical ballet I could never find the information I was looking for and now that I know a bit myself, I want to make it easier for others. At the same time, if I can spark an interest in someone who doesn’t, at this moment, think that ballet is for them, that too will be a major achievement and part of the reason why I write.

About PRs:

Do you work closely with PRs?
Yes, every day.

Do you have any advice for PRs?
As soon as I hear of any relevant news I tend to publish it.

What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
Any content that will help to spark discussion and feedback. Access to interesting, opinionated people in the ballet world. Information on technology innovations in the ballet world – related to costumes, make-up, shoes, tickets to interesting events that might not be well publicised, like educational events, charity events, etc. News of competitions.

What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
Please get in touch via email or the website, with a succinct précis of your request.

When is the best time for PRs to contact you & what is your deadline for contributions?
Ballet News is very much about breaking news – so as soon as there is a relevant release I’d like to see it. I’m not interested in following the news! I also prefer it if PR’s can send me some high res images at the same time, so as not to delay publication of the information.

About you:

Do you have a day job?
I’m a professional journalist.

I’d like to have a go at…
Ballet – I’ve never tried it!

Where do you hope to be in five year’s time?
I’m delighted with the way that Ballet News has been received. My readers are enthusiastic, generous with their feedback and always keen to read more. The audience grows daily. I had quite ambitious aims when I started, launching in a new market, and now I still have big plans. Over the next few years I’d like to create a Ballet News Trust or Foundation to support students and choreographers. I’ve also got some other really big plans but those are still under wraps for now!

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