Tributes flooded in to the director of the Royal Ballet School, who has died after a battle with cancer.
Gailene Stock, who for 15 years led the prestigious school, which has sites in Covent Garden and Richmond Park, died on Tuesday, April 29, aged 68.
The ballerina found a role as director of the National Theatre Ballet School in Victoria, Australia, where she was born, after a 16-year professional dancing career.
Her ballet career saw her dance with the Australian Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and she performed leading roles in major classics and many dramatic works.
She then headed the Australian Ballet School for nine years before she took on her latest role at the Royal Ballet School where she led the school’s artistic development for 15 years.
Kevin O’Hare, director of the Royal Ballet, said: “Gailene Stock has made an extraordinary contribution to dance.
“Her talent, drive and determination, first as a ballerina and subsequently as a much admired teacher, led her finally to her post as director of our own Royal Ballet School, a position she has held since 1999.
“Under her direction the school has gone from strength to strength and on behalf of the Royal Ballet, and in particular all of its dancers who were former students of hers, I salute all that she has achieved for them and for the dance world as a whole.”
She received numerous accolades including the Order of Australia for her services to ballet and the governors of the Royal Ballet Gold Medal.
The Marchioness of Douro, chairman of the board of governors at the Royal Ballet School, said: “Gailene’s strong leadership and drive in the past 15 years has impacted hugely on the school’s international success and reputation.
“She will be greatly missed by everyone connected with the ballet world.”