Merit Over Money: The Royal Ballet School Accepts Applicants Based on Talent and Offers Financial Support to 84 Percent of Students

Based in London, The Royal Ballet School never turns an applicant away based on their background. 84 percent of students attending the school have some form of financial support with 22 percent of students paying zero fees. With a range of funding options available to talented applicants, the school is leading the way in making professional dance training accessible to people from all backgrounds.

Nurturing Talented Students

The Royal Ballet School is dedicated to supporting and nurturing young talent from around the globe. This aim is baked into every aspect of the School’s operations. “Students are at the heart of everything we do at the School and their training and welfare are the basis of all decisions,” states one of the School’s core values. With that in mind, the centre of classical ballet training encourages young people from all backgrounds to apply.

Placing merit firmly over finances, the School gives talented young people the chance to hone their skills. The professional dance training prepares students for illustrious careers in the world’s top dance companies.

Successful applicants go on to study at White Lodge. There, they follow an intensive curriculum covering everything from contemporary dance to English folk dance techniques. Once students join Upper School at the age of 16, they spend three years furthering their classical education. These dance students also gain professional experience by regularly performing with The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Studying full-time at The Royal Ballet School gives talented dancers the unique opportunity to learn technical skills. The course leaders and choreographers have designed a syllabus that offers students the chance to gain both experience and a foundational knowledge of the highly-competitive dance sector. All of the above is primed to help these dancers excel when they are ready to embark on their future career.

The Music and Dance Scheme

Finances should not hold young people back when it comes to pursuing their dreams. Backed by the UK government, the Music and Dance Scheme offers financial support to help young musicians and dancers gain specialist training in their field. This scheme applies to students between the ages of 11 and 19 if they are looking to apply for dance schools. The Royal Ballet School is listed as one of the eligible boarding schools.

The aim of the scheme is to allow students from all backgrounds and financial means to gain professional training. To be eligible, students will have had to have lived in the UK for two calendar years and be under the age of 20 on the first day of the academic year. On the other hand, students who have lived in the European Economic Area for three calendar years need to be under the age of 16 when they start.

Individuals who meet the government-lead criteria may be awarded means-tested finance assistance or bursaries to cover their tuition and boarding fees. The Royal Ballet School values talent from all around the globe. For that reason, this government scheme is a real lifeline when it comes to attracting students. Supporting flourishing artists—regardless of their means—allows the school to pick the creme de la creme of dancers. Successful young applicants have the chance to enhance their existing skills and learn new ones.

While the assistance mainly covers fees and boarding, there is additional support available. For example, those on the lowest household incomes may also be able to gain grants for travel and uniform costs too.

Bursaries and Scholarships

The financial support options don’t end with the Music and Dance Scheme. The Royal Ballet School offers funding through its Student Sponsorship and Bursary Programme for Upper School students. This option is available for those who are not able to access the government-backed scheme for any reason. In exceptional circumstances, these types of bursaries may be offered to younger students to cover their White Lodge course.

Each of these bursaries is offered on a means-tested basis, allowing students without the financial means to gain access to professional dance training. The Artistic Director of The Royal Ballet School oversees the funding that the school awards annually. In exceptional cases, the school may offer full scholarships.

The School continuously strives to offer the best opportunities to students allowing them to reach their full potential. Of course, there are countless costs associated with the everyday running of the School. These include staging performances, employing guest teachers, and commissioning new choreography. Needless to say, investing in these areas allows the School to maintain its internationally-renowned reputation.

Fortunately, the School receives ongoing philanthropic support from generous benefactors. Those who donate include individuals, corporations, American supporters, and trusts and foundations. Without the goodwill of these donors, the School would not  be able to nurture such a wide ranging selection of young dancers.

About The Royal Ballet School

Located in London’s famed West End, The Royal Ballet School is a world-renowned centre of classical ballet training. Over the years, the well-known School has produced some of the most talented dancers and choreographers including Kenneth MacMillan, Lynn Seymour, David Wall, Antoinette Sibley, Anthony Dowell, and Jonathan Cope. Offering an eight-year structured dance course combined with extensive academic tutoring, the School gives students the tools they need to excel in the competitive world of dance.

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