Carlos Acosta announces joining & departing company members as Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers begin to return to the studio

Ryan Felix

This week marks the return of dancers to Birmingham Royal Ballet’s studios. As the Company begins its preparations for a return to performance, its Director Carlos Acosta announces the full list of joining and departing company members at Birmingham Royal Ballet.


Delia Mathews (Principal)
Maureya Lebowitz (First Soloist)
Aitor Galende (First Artist)


Start with the Company on 1st September 2020
Lucy Waine (Royal Ballet School) – Artist
Sofia Liñares Vazquez  (Royal Ballet School) – Artist
Matilde Rodrigues – Artist
Shuailun Wu (Royal Ballet School) – Artist

Start 1st November 2020
Darel José Pérez – Apprentice

Start January 2021
Javier Rojas – Artist


There are no formal promotions, but we congratulate our two apprentices Ryan Felix (Elmhurst Apprentice) and Tessa Hogge as they formally join the Company as Artists.

Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta CBE, comments:

“So far, 2020 has been a formidable challenge for all of us. The lockdown has forced Birmingham Royal Ballet to work very differently, and to postpone or adapt our planned performing schedule.

But as we start to ease back tentatively from lockdown, the moment arrives in which we announce the names of dancers who are joining the Company for the start of the 2020/21 season. This gives us a focus on building for our future, and brings a welcome element of new hope and excitement. 

Among those dancers joining the Company from September, we are delighted to welcome Sofia Liñares Vazquez , Lucy Waine and Shuailun Wu, graduates from our sister organisation, The Royal Ballet School. Our historic affiliation with The Royal Ballet School grows stronger with time –  some 60% of our current dancers are alumni of the School. We take great pride in being a ‘Royal’ company alongside The Royal Ballet School and The Royal Ballet. 

Closer to home, we congratulate our Elmhurst Ballet School apprentice, Ryan Felix, as he joins the Company as an Artist. 

We also give thanks for the contribution made by those who will leave the Company this summer. Delia Mathews who has been with the Company since graduating from the Royal Ballet School (Outstanding Graduate 2008) and was made Principal in 2017 is delighted to announce with her husband, that they are expecting their first child and will be returning to raise their new family in her native New Zealand.

Departing artists also include Maureya Lebowitz and Aitor Galende. We wish them well in their future ventures as they extend the spread of our international family of alumni. 

The Company has proven its resilience in these difficult times and we are thankful for the contribution everyone has made on and off stage during 2020/21. We wish all of our dancers, whether with the Company or beyond, great success in the future and thank the Royal Ballet Sinfonia and our brilliant backstage team for making Birmingham Royal Ballet such an extraordinary place to work and perform.

I am reminded at times like these, of the wise words of Dame Ninette de Valois, Founder of The Royal Ballet School and Companies: ‘Respect the past, herald the future, but concentrate on the present’. 

I look forward to meeting some of you and hearing your views, as the lockdown lifts and the Company’s public events become possible once more.”


As the Company return to studio, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Clinical Director, Nick Allen PhD MSc (Sports Med) MCSP SRP who has been an active member of the DCMS Events and Entertainment Taskforce will be overseeing the health of all dancers and ensuring studio work follows the latest government guidelines.