Photo: Brian Slater

Primary School partnership

The Royal Ballet School is committed to broadening access to the study of classical ballet and creative dance, as part of a child’s wider academic education. The Primary Steps Programme and our Insight events introduce primary school aged children to classical ballet, as well as nurturing young talent through regular dance classes.

Primary Steps

The Primary Steps Programme is a national junior school programme which provides Year 3-6 (7-10 years) class groups with a positive introduction to ballet and initial creative ballet training for selected children,who would not otherwise have the opportunity.


The Primary Steps Programme focuses around a cluster of five or six primary schools in one area. Each school receives:

  • Six creative dance workshops which introduce the basic elements of ballet for all Year 3 pupils in a partner school
  • CPD and resource materials to support dance classes with the pupils
  • An invitation for Year 3 to watch a demonstration of ballet training by Royal Ballet School students in their area, which involves Upper School students aged 16+ and Junior Associate students aged 10 -11 years. Pupils in the programme are invited to take part in elements of the presentation
  • The opportunity for selected pupils to join a regular Primary Steps class in their area for initial creative ballet training

Our Autumn Workshops can contribute to Arts Award Discover through pupils’ participation and documentation of their learning.
To find out more, visit

Primary Steps dance classes

Once pupils have attended our initial introductory workshops, selected Year 3 pupils from participating schools will be invited to attend regular creative ballet classes. For a nominal weekly fee, pupils receive:

  • Weekly creative classes led by Royal Ballet School teachers, accompanied by a musician
  • Dance uniform and shoes
  • Opportunities to see Royal Ballet School students in training and professional dancers performing
  • Visits to local and regional dance providers and opportunities to perform locally and at The Royal Ballet School

Pupils in Primary Steps dance classes can contribute to Arts Award Explore through participation, creating and presenting their work and finding out about The Royal Ballet School and other arts organisations.
To find out more, visit

Music: ‘Happy Chances’ by Nicolai Heidlas

Music: Dave Depper ‘All the Pieces Come Together’

View the photos from graduation here.

Primary Insight

In addition to the Primary Steps Programme, we offer Primary Insight days. Primary aged children can visit White Lodge, Richmond Park, to see our 11-16 year old students demonstrate their classical ballet training. The visit includes an introduction to the key elements of classical ballet training, a specially designed demonstration class and an opportunity to get up and have a go at the dancing shown.

This is a free demonstration offered to local school children in Years 3-6.

The Primary Insight Day for 2016 will be held at White Lodge on 3 November and online applications will open in September.

Online applications for this event will open in late November.

Get involved

If you would like to get involved in either our Primary Steps Programme or attend an Insight event, or for further information on any of the above, contact

Primary Insight


“I wish it could last 100 weeks”

Marsh Green Primary School student

“By the 6th workshop they moved like dancers!”

Year 3 primary school teacher

“Thank you for giving my son the chance to dance. He now has a new respect and understanding for dancing. I know it is not something he would have chosen to do, but done as part of school with his peers has made him try some new things.”

Year 3 parent from Westgate School, Suffolk

“Without Primary Steps I would not have seen or realised my talent…My teachers made me feel proud of myself and showed me that I can do whatever I choose to do with a bit of courage…”

Primary Steps Programme graduate from Marsh Green Primary School, Dagenham

Our Centres


In partnership with Blackpool Aspire Academy, The Lowry Centre for Advanced Training and five local primary schools:

  • Anchorsholme Academy
  • Bispham Endowed Primary
  • Devonshire Primary Academy
  • Layton Primary
  • Revoe Learning Academy

Bury St Edmunds

We have joined with King Edward VI School, DanceEast and six local primary schools:

  • Guildhall Feoffment Community Primary
  • Hardwick Primary
  • Howard Community Primary
  • Sexton’s Manor Community Primary
  • Tollgate Primary
  • Westgate Community Primary


We have maintained a long-term partnership with Dagenham Park Church of England School, Trinity Laban and five local primary schools:

  • Beam Primary
  • Godwin Primary
  • John Perry Primary
  • Marsh Green Primary
  • William Ford Church of England Junior

Mansfield Woodhouse

In partnership with The Manor Academy, Dance 4 and five local primary schools:

  • Framilo Primary
  • Forest Town Primary
  • Peafield Lane Academy
  • Northfield Primary
  • Bramble Academy
  • St Edmunds Church of England Primary


We work with Swindon Dance and six local primary schools:

  • Drove Primary
  • Lydiard Tregoze Primary
  • Lainesmead Primary
  • Lawn Primary
  • Mountford Manor Primary
  • Oak Tree Primary