‘A school is the bedrock of any company, nurturing as it does the dancers and choreographers of the future.’
– Dame Ninette de Valois, Founder of The Royal Ballet School and Companies
The Royal Ballet School is one of the world’s most celebrated centres for classical ballet training. It is the leading classical ballet school in the UK and an international institution, attracting dancers with exceptional potential from the UK and worldwide.
Since its founding by Dame Ninette de Valois in 1926, the School has contributed immeasurably to our rich dance heritage, producing dancers and choreographers of international renown for generations. Former students include greats like Margot Fonteyn, Anya Linden, Kenneth MacMillan, Lynn Seymour, David Wall, Antoinette Sibley, Anthony Dowell, Marguerite Porter, Stephen Jefferies, Darcey Bussell and Jonathan Cope.
Now there’s a new generation making its mark on the world stage – Matthew Ball, William Bracewell, Lauren Cuthbertson, Francesca Hayward, Steven McRae, Vadim Muntagirov, Marianela Nuñez, Anna Rose O’Sullivan, Marcelino Sambé, and Christopher Wheeldon, to name a few.
Admission to the School is based purely on talent and potential, regardless of academic ability or personal circumstances. Around 90% of students rely on financial support to attend the School.
The School fosters academic and artistic excellence, holistically nurturing its extraordinary students and ensuring they are equipped to flourish within and beyond the world of classical ballet. Graduates go on to professional careers with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and other leading UK and international companies.
The School sets the standard for the future of classical ballet training with its extensive teacher training programmes. Its unique expertise empowers all teachers to deliver exceptional training, whether in the vocational or recreational sector. The School also works to raise awareness of the benefits of dance and create opportunities for people worldwide to experience and engage with classical ballet, with dedicated in-person and online programmes for dance students, primary school children and the general public.
Striving for excellence
The Royal Ballet School is always working towards excellence in everything we do. We bring the utmost integrity, passion and dedication to our work, always. Through our constant drive to achieve the highest standards, we set the standard for others, enriching and inspiring our sector and defining its future.
We believe in the unique potential of each individual. We nurture each human holistically, equipping them with the tools they need to shape their futures as healthy, resilient human beings. We are committed to equity and ensuring all individuals have what they need to reach their potential. We cultivate supportive, nourishing environments built on trust, respect, open communication and kindness.
Actively widening access
Ballet and creative dance education should be accessible to all. We work proactively to create opportunities for people to engage with ballet wherever we can and to expand our reach across the UK and globally, including through digital access. It is particularly important to us to work to improve access routes to ballet in areas with little access to arts education.
Our heritage nourishes our future
We have a rich and unique heritage and we champion ballet excellence throughout the ages, respecting, preserving and honouring what has gone before, while also valuing our history as instructive, enabling us to acknowledge, learn and develop. Our heritage is the foundation from which we sustain and evolve the School and reach outwards, impacting our sector and society as a whole.
We are a bold, forward-thinking organisation, dedicated to continuous evolution. We take an innovative, pioneering outlook, committed to creative thinking to ensure we remain at the forefront of all we do. We act as thought leaders and contribute to setting the agenda for classical ballet globally. We actively seek to work with other individuals and organisations, sharing knowledge and building on our research collaboratively.