Sponsor our students


The Royal Ballet School accepts students based purely on talent and potential and is ‘needs blind’. Your support will ensure this continues and we train the very best classical dancers of tomorrow.

Student Sponsorship and Bursary Programme

Perhaps 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.

With admission to the School based purely 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 pride ourselves on never turning away a talented student due to lack of financial means and rely on individuals, companies and grant-making trusts to support these exceptional young dancers.

88% of current Royal Ballet School students require financial assistance to attend the School, with one in five coming from families who earn less than £15,000 per annum and almost half from families with an annual income of less than £40,000.

Where your sponsorship is most needed

British students at The Royal Ballet School are eligible for a means-tested grant to help meet their school fees from the Department for Education’s Music and Dance Scheme (MDS).

Students from Europe (over 16 years old) may apply for funding from the MDS to help cover the cost of their training but not their accommodation or living expenses. Those students who come from beyond Europe are not entitled to any MDS funding and can need up to a full bursary to train at the School.

Between 45 and 50 students require bursaries every year and approximately £650,000 has to be raised annually to fund this essential programme. All bursaries are means-tested in line with the grants made to British students by the MDS.

Sponsors are invited to support the Student Sponsorship and 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 School.

As a Student Sponsor:

You will be assigned a specific year of students whose development you will follow as they progress through the School and will also receive:

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

* 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 2017-18 are likely to be £29,436 at the Upper School in Covent Garden

Sponsors are invited to support the Student Sponsorship and Bursary Programme at:

  • £5,000 upwards – to sponsor a ‘maintenance bursary’
  • £10,000 upwards – to sponsor a ‘training bursary’
  • £23,300 – to sponsor a ‘full bursary’ *

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

*assuming 2.3% inflationary increase and the DfE continues to support international students in their last two terms

Audition Fund

With many ballet companies around the world under increased financial pressure, they are getting smaller and employing fewer dancers. This means students often 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 prohibitively high. Your help can aid them on their way to a professional career.

Hardship fund

Our hardship fund helps to pay for the day to day necessities of being a student of dance – ballet shoes, tights, travel, outings, music lessons, audition photographs etc. None of these are covered by a student’s grant or bursary and can mount up as the year progresses. This is where your support can be felt on a daily basis, allowing our dancers to equip themselves in line with their peers.


95% of students accepted into White Lodge began their training in our Associate programme. The costs associated with this programme can be difficult for parents, particularly if they have to travel a long way to their Associate centre. As a vital step on the road to becoming a full-time student, we believe that no student should be deterred from becoming an Associate. We are generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust and your donations can help support young dancers in the early stages of their ballet lives.

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

Head of Development and Communications

+44 (0) 20 7845 7070