The Mark Elie Dance Foundation & Classically British & Co, in association with Portobello Dance School, to host Charity fundraising event

In celebration of an incredible 30 years of the Mark Elie Dance Foundation, & Classically British & Co, in association with Portobello Dance School will be hosting an evening charity fundraising event on Monday 10th April 2023

 In celebration of an incredible 30 years of the Mark Elie Dance Foundation, & Classically British & Co, in association with Portobello Dance School will be hosting an evening charity fundraising event on Monday 10th April 2023 at The J & M Gallery, 230 Portobello Rd, London W11 1LJ. This event is in aid of raising crucial funds in support of the continued long standing local community work from the Mark Elie Dance Foundation & Classically British & Co for(Black History Season) across the arts, reflecting the importance of diversity in education across classical & contemporary dance.


Artistic Director CEO, lifetime Achievement Award Winner & Author Mark Elie is founder of the Mark Elie Dance Foundation and one of the UK’s most successful classically trained professional Dancers, he also has been the brain power behind the wonderfully renowned Classically British & Co event, who in association with Black History season celebrates an amazing milestone 20 years in the industry.

Classically British & Co is personally orchestrated by Mark Elie showcasing the incredible talents & diversity across a dynamic range of classical & contemporary dance performances carefully chosen from around the UK, who in turn bring their own unique style of originality in Dance and Choreography.

This exciting evening event activities will include a special charity auction, signed exclusive photography artwork prints – various signed Albums from contemporary musicians/pop stars as well an exclusive performance from the renowned classical & contemporary dancer Salome Pressac, graduating from the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance performing works by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Ohad Naharin as well as going on to working with the English National Ballet and the Royal Ballet Associates.

Furthermore, we are also delighted to announce that the following VIP Celebrities have confirmed that they be attending in support of the charity fundraising event on Monday 10th April 2023, to include meet n greet and photo opportunities with such names as British actor, singer and dancer Danny John-Jules, Stage & Screen Actor Kelvin O’Mard. Author, broadcaster, and social commentator Dr Leroy Logan MBE. Gary Crowley, BBC Radio broadcaster, TV presenter, and DJ,  Ian Towing, antique seller extraordinaire and popular TV personality known from Dickinson’s Real Deal & Posh Pawn + more surprise names to be announced.

About Mark Elie:

Born and raised in a Westminster children’s home in London Mark Elie has enjoyed an incredible stellar career, working with some of the world’s leading ballet and contemporary dance companies from the Ballet Gulbenkian, Lisbon, and the legendary Dance Theatre of Harlem in NYC and with the acclaimed Arlene Phillips from Hot Gossip to a multitude of numerous West End Shows.

In 1995 he went on to set up the Mark Elie Dance Foundation, a registered charity to provide access to affordable education tuition in Dance to low income families which then led onto to establishing Classically British & Co.

To quote Mark Elie “the reason I set it up Classically British & Co was I still thought there was a lack of Diversity in Classical Ballet in the UK, and felt that there weren’t enough of black/mixed ethnic backgrounds present here in the British Classical dance world. We did have Americans/Cubans but we didn’t have many black/mixed raced Dancers especially ballerinas of English descent.”

The feedback from the voices of the young students at my school, were saying “I went to the ballet and I didn’t see any black ballerina dancers like me,” this made me start thinking. Perhaps we could get something going that could represent role models to aspire and look up too, I knew I had to do something so I took everything I learned from my career and that experience I gained and I brought it over to West London condensing it, so I kept everything small and tight.

Starting with the Mark Elie Dance Foundation (a registered charity) and the Portobello Dance School and from the school now produces three phenomenal shows each year, including Classically British& Co, which runs in association Black History Season. The aim, to create a spotlight on the multitude of talent we have here in the UK across this ethnically diverse kaleidoscope landscape we all live in, and to ensure all the students at the school have the opportunity to be inspired and to achieve their own individual goals and aspirations as well as to understand about the pioneering individuals that paved the way for people like me to be able to continue doing the work I am doing.

Looking back over the last 30 years I am very proud to say The Mark Elie Dance Foundation & Classically British & Co’s has continuously evolved to a point now where thousands of children, adults and university students have enjoyed and participating throughout the years in learning and understanding more about classical & contemporary dance now as well as into the future.

To book your Eventbrite Tickets for this charity fundraising event click here:

Fund raising sponsorship opportunities are also available and for further information on how you can help support this please contact:

Date: Monday 10th April 2023      Time: 6:30 – 10pm

Location: The J & M Gallery Address: 230 Portobello Rd, London W11 1LJ


Drinks & refreshments will be served throughout the evening