Become the best dancer you can be in the final years of training before joining a professional company.
During the three years of training at the Upper School, our 16 to 19-year-old students continue to work towards a career with the world’s leading dance companies.
Classical ballet remains the foundation of the curriculum and the School’s System of Training builds a strong technique that makes Royal Ballet School dancers sought after by company directors around the world.
Solos and repertoire introduce students to new and heritage works of the Royal Ballet companies. Knowledge of these ballets is essential, as students are frequently required to perform with The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Upper School students also study for a BA degree in Classical Ballet and Dance Performance.
Areas of Teaching
- Pas de deux
- Pointe work
- Improvisation and Choreography
- Upper body programme
Character and contemporary continue to play an important part in the dance curriculum, as does pas de deux and pointe work for girls, although all become more physically demanding.
An intensive upper body programme is introduced for boys at the Upper School to enhance pas de deux training and pilates classes are added to the curriculum to strengthen core stability for all students.
Full-time students of The Royal Ballet School receive a broad education, designed to give them experience of a wide range of roles within the dance sector. Students are taught choreography alongside their classical training and take part in The Creative Artist Programme, making them well-rounded artists ready to enter a competitive industry.
Healthy Dancer Programme
Creative Artist Programme
Guest teachers come to the Upper School from all over the world, introducing students to different dance styles and techniques. International choreographers coach students in new ballets and stage existing works which are often presented at the School’s end of year performances at the Royal Opera House. These opportunities provide the young dancers with invaluable experience for their future careers.
How to apply to Upper School
Applications for full-time training at Upper School are made via an online form which is available from September to November each year for entry the following year. Keep an eye on our Apply page for more information.
Auditions are held in January and February each year. International students, and those from Scotland and Ireland, may submit a video audition for the preliminary stage, but must attend in person in London if they are shortlisted for a final audition. Find out our audition dates and venues.