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.
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.
Our Associate programmes
Senior Associate Short Course - Leeds
This course is for girls and boys aged 14-15 who wish to take class with The Royal Ballet School, alongside their regular ballet classes.
Classes run on six Sundays across the academic year 2021/22, starting in October 2021, with two classes per term.
International Online Associates Portugal
Our new initiative bringing Royal Ballet School training to students aged 11-17 in Portugal.
More about the Associate programme
- 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