Student sponsorship

Sponsor our students

Girls stood at the barre in white lodge studio

Student Bursary Programme

One of the most rewarding ways to support The Royal Ballet School is to sponsor our students and help them fulfil their dream to dance professionally.

Admission to the School is based on artistic merit and potential. Competition is fierce and every year hundreds of young dancers, from across the world, apply for one of its coveted places.

We aim never to turn away a talented dancer due to lack of financial means and rely on individuals, companies and grant-making trusts to support these exceptional young people.

87% of current Royal Ballet School students require financial assistance to attend the School, with one in six coming from families who earn less than £15,000 per annum and 40% from families with an annual income of under £40,000.

Where your sponsorship is most needed

Sponsorship is needed most by our international students in the Upper School. Our aim is for all our students to have the same opportunities so bursaries are means-tested and aligned with those awarded to our British students from the Department for Education’s Music and Dance Scheme.

Between 45 and 50 international students require bursaries every year and approximately £750,000 has to be raised annually to fund this programme. It is likely that this will rise to £1,000,000 following Brexit.

Sponsors are invited to support the Student Bursary Programme with donations from £5,000 upwards to a full bursary. A commitment of three years is requested where possible to support students throughout their time at the Upper School.

As a Student Sponsor:

Together with a small like-minded group, you will support a specific year of students in the Upper School. You will have the opportunity of getting to know these students and following their development as they progress through the School. You will be kept informed about your students and receive:

  • Regular updates on what they have been doing and how they are progressing
  • Opportunities to come and watch them in class and to meet them informally over lunch
  • VIP tickets to all Royal Ballet School events where your students may be performing
  • Receptions with the students and other supporters following events
  • Tickets to the Summer Performances at Opera Holland Park and the VIP reception
  • Priority booking for the Summer Performance at Royal Opera House (complimentary in Year 3)
  • Encore the termly Royal Ballet School e-newsletter
  • Grateful acknowledgement on The Royal Ballet School website and in its Annual Review

* additional opportunities are offered to sponsors at higher levels.

Of greatest value, perhaps, is seeing the students fulfil their true potential and, as they graduate on to their professional careers, the pleasure of knowing that you played an important part in making this possible.

Supporting these aspiring young artists is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable things we have ever done’ Richard and Jennie Cunis

I will always be grateful to my sponsors for helping me reach my full potential’ Marcelino Sambé – The Royal Ballet

Sponsor our Students

School fees in 2020/2021 are likely to be £30,208 at the Upper School in Covent Garden

Sponsors are invited to support the Student Bursary Programme at:

  • £5,000 upwards –a ‘maintenance bursary’
  • £10,000 upwards –a ‘training bursary’
  • £25,000 upwards –a ‘full bursary’

A commitment of three years is requested where possible to support students throughout their time at the School.

Audition Fund

With many ballet companies around the world under increased financial pressure, they are employing fewer dancers. This means students sometimes have to attend several auditions before securing a job. Flights to auditions, accommodation and other costs have to be met by the students and for some, this becomes prohibitive. Your support can help them on their way to a professional career.

Hardship fund

Our student hardship fund helps to pay for the day to day needs of being a dance student – ballet shoes, tights, travel, outings, music lessons, audition photographs etc. These are not covered by a student’s grant or bursary and can mount up through the year. This is where your support can be felt on a daily basis, allowing dancers to equip themselves and participate in line with their peers.


95% of students accepted into White Lodge began their training in our Associate programme. The costs of this programme can be difficult for some parents, particularly if they have to travel a long way to their Associate centre. As an important step to becoming a vocational student, we do not wish for any aspiring young dancer to be deterred from becoming an Associate. Bursaries are therefore offered to help those who need them. These are generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust but further support is needed.

If you are interested in supporting students of The Royal Ballet School, please contact:

Head of Development and Communications

+44 (0) 20 7845 7070

[email protected]

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