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Headshot of a male dancer in a grey shirt

Sean Bates


First Soloist

Sean is from Milton Keynes. He trained at the Royal Ballet School and joined Northern Ballet in 2012. Sean left in 2023 for Zurich Ballet.

Learn more about Sean

Where were you born and raised?

Milton Keynes.

At what age did you start dancing?

Age 3.

Where did you train?

The Royal Ballet Lower and Upper Schools.

Two dancers touch hands whilst stood back-to-back
Sean Bates rehearsing as The Prince in Cinderella. Photo Riku Ito.
Northern Ballet dancer Sean Bates as the Prince in Cinderella.
PRincess Beatrice clasps the memory of Liko holding her in his arms
King Louis greets his wife with an ambivalence to which she is all too accustomed
Sean Bates in Mamela... Photo Emma Kauldhar


  • Young British Dancer of the Year 2009 – 2nd place
  • RAD Adeline Genée Award 2010 – Silver Medal
  • Phyllis Bedells RAD Award – Joint 1st place
  • Ursula Moreton Choregraphic Competition at the Royal Ballet School – 1st place

What are your favourite Northern Ballet roles?

I'd always wanted to play Romeo and I was honoured to be cast as him in Jean-Christophe Maillot's version of Romeo and Juliet. I was totally absorbed in the role and it was an amazing emotional rollercoaster that gave me an incredible high. I also loved Puck (A Midsummer Night's Dream) as it was my first leading role and seemed to play well to my strengths.

Career highlights

Performing to friends and family in my hometown and around the UK.

What do you like most about being a dancer?

I love being a dancer with Northern Ballet because the Company has such a strong vision and a unique mixed repertoire that really makes it stand out in the ballet world. Our audiences get immense satisfaction from following the narratives of our dramatic story ballets and can get lost in the creative and imaginative productions. It's so rewarding to be part of a company that delivers in entertaining audiences throughout the UK and also challenging what people think of as ballet, showing that any story can be worthy of being told through dance.

What is your favourite post-show meal?

It would be a big buffet with a big group of friends and some RnB music to dance to afterwards.

Production photos by Emma Kauldhar and Emily Nuttall. Rehearsal photo by Riku Ito.