The Associate Programme nurtures young, talented students between the ages of 8 and 15 in pursuit of excellence in pre-vocational classical ballet training.

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.

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.

Junior Associates
8-10 years (within age range at 31 August)

Centres: London, Birmingham, Bath, Eastleigh (Southampton), Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Totnes

Classes: Saturdays – except Manchester which has a combination of Fridays and Sundays

Mid Associates
11-13 years (within age range at 31 August)

Centres: London, Birmingham, Bath, Manchester and Newcastle

Classes: Saturdays

Senior Associates
14-15 years (within age range at 31 August)

Centres: London and Birmingham

Classes: Saturdays – intended for dancers who are considering auditioning for vocational training at 16 years.

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

Successful applicants for Mid and Senior Associates are offered an initial year’s course beginning in September and are appraised annually as to their suitability for further training.

Associate classes run throughout the UK academic year, usually from September to July.

Session Times: 2 hours 15 mins


Classes include:

  • 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 physiotherapist

Our Associate Programme is generously supported by The Leverhulme Trust