Associate Programme

Junior Associates

The Associate programme, created in 1948 by our Founder Dame Ninette de Valois, nurtures young, talented students between the ages of 8 and 17 in pursuit of excellence in pre-vocational classical ballet training.

Please visit our Apply page to find out how to apply to the Programme.

Junior Associates

Junior Associates

Mid Associates

The Royal Ballet School Associates students 
Patrick Baldwin

Ages 8-10

Senior Associates

Brian Slater

Ages 14-15

Ages 11-13

Advanced Associates

Brian Slater

Ages 16-17

Belfast Associate Short Course

Our Belfast Associate Short Course takes place at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. Find out more.

Associates Programme

Based in nine centres across the UK, the course is designed to augment an individual’s current training while introducing them to The Royal Ballet School’s System of Training, alongside other gifted children who aspire to a career in dance. Pupils continue to study with their regular dance teacher, in addition to their Associate classes each Saturday. Associates make lifelong friends on the course, dancing alongside other gifted children who share their passion for dance.

Associates sometimes have the opportunity to perform with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and other ballet companies, and many have progressed through the School and into the Royal Ballet Companies.

Our Associate programme offers regional training to young dancers before they are old enough to apply for full-time training. Many students accepted into White Lodge each year are Junior Associates.

Mid and Senior Associate boys are encouraged to attend our London Centre where specialist boys’ classes are held.


  • Held at nine centres across the country
  • Run throughout the UK academic year, usually from September to July
  • Each session lasts 2 hours 15 mins


  • Classical ballet based on The Royal Ballet School’s System of Training
  • National dance, historical dance, natural movement and pointe work as appropriate to the students’ age and development
  • Exercise programmes devised and developed by the School’s healthcare team

Associate Centre Locations

Five young Junior Associate students stood at the barre

Meet the teachers

Katie Davison

Our Associate Programme is generously supported by The Leverhulme Trust