Here are some answers to some of our most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about auditions. If you have a question and can't find an answer below, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How many stages are there in the audition process?
If applying for full-time training, there are two stages to the audition process: a preliminary stage and a final stage. Preliminary auditions happen in centres around the UK and internationally. Dancers who are shortlisted after the preliminary stage are invited to attend our final auditions which all take place in London. If applying for an Associate programme you only need to attend the preliminary stage audition.
Can I audition again, if I’ve been unsuccessful in the past?
Yes, we welcome applications from those who have auditioned before. We are aware that young dancers develop and progress at different times.
At the preliminary audition
What will the preliminary audition involve?
When you arrive at your audition a Royal Ballet School staff member will meet you. They will help you to register and will give you a pair of audition numbers. You will then be given time to get ready and check your hair and clothing. You and your parent will be shown to a communal waiting area, usually a studio – but you do not do your class in this studio, so you may leave your bag and clothes in the waiting studio when you go to another one for the ballet class.
You will then be taken to the audition studio with other students by the audition class teacher. They will explain the general format of the class and what to expect. The audition is always a regular classical ballet class, appropriate for the age group taking part. The class will last between 1h15 and 1h30, and will include a gentle warm-up to begin with.
Do I need to prepare anything for the preliminary audition?
You do not need to prepare anything specifically for the preliminary audition. The audition will take the form of a regular classical ballet class, similar to the classes you already attend. You will not need to perform a solo or bring a prepared dance piece.
What if I haven’t learnt one of the steps in my class?
Students are encouraged to ask the class teacher to explain and show them any steps they are unfamiliar with. The teachers always appreciate it when a dancer has a go at learning a new step. No student will be disadvantaged for not having previously learnt steps or terminology.
Will there be pointework at the audition?
Some basic pointework is included in the preliminary stage audition for those aged 14 and over. However, classes at some venues may include a mix of age groups and dancers not yet working on pointe will be able to do the same exercises in flat shoes on demi-pointe.
No dancer should attempt any pointework exercises unprepared, nor buy pointe shoes for an audition if not yet proficient. Your regular dance teacher will guide you through this stage of training when he/she judges that you are ready and experienced to do so safely.
At the final audition for White Lodge Years 9-11 and for Upper School, a short part of the audition class will be on pointe.
What is looked for in the preliminary audition?
We are looking for students who show talent, musicality and potential and who aspire to a career in classical ballet.
What should I bring to my audition?
You should come to the audition ‘underchanged’, with ballet clothes under your normal clothes. Please wear your regular dance school ballet kit, there is no need to buy new or special kit for the audition. Remember to bring your regular ballet shoes and a bottle of water, which you may be allowed to take into the audition with you. You may be asked to take off your shoes during class for some exercises, so please wear flat ballet shoes with elastics rather than ribbons. If you wear tights*, convertible tights would be preferable.
*Please see the dancewear guidelines for your age-group on your invitation to audition.
Who will be on the audition panel?
The preliminary audition panel usually consists of two or three people, the Head of Training and Access and Artistic staff member(s).
The final audition panel will consist of the Artistic Director and Artistic staff members.
Will I have to do an interview at the preliminary audition?
No, attending the audition ballet class is the only requirement at the preliminary audition. If you are shortlisted for a final audition we will contact you to let you know exactly what to expect.
Getting your results
When will the results be sent?
We aim to send preliminary results for full-time training auditions out as soon as possible, this is likely to be within one month after your audition. Associate results go out at the very end of the audition process, this will be in March/April.
Will I receive feedback after my audition?
We regret that we cannot provide feedback after auditions or selection due to the very high number of applicants. All dancers are encouraged to seek development advice from their regular ballet teacher who is the best person to support their training and progress.
I’m not based in the UK – can I audition nearer home?
We now hold preliminary auditions outside the UK in countries such as Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Japan and America. If auditioning at one of our international events, please apply direct through the venue rather than on our website. Please check our Audition dates and venues page for upcoming international auditions and links to applications. Successful applicants at preliminary stage will be invited to attend a final audition in London, UK.
You can also apply online and opt to submit a video application for your preliminary audition. Again, video applicants who are successful at preliminary stage will be asked to attend a final audition in London.
Does the School’s international recruitment give an advantage to international students over UK-trained students?
No, we recruit students from the UK and overseas based purely on their talent and potential, regardless of their nationality. We are seeking to train the very best dancers from the UK and around the world and we aim to offer the best possible chance for gifted young dancers to access our training. All preliminary auditions, both in the UK and elsewhere, are offered the same class format and are conducted by Royal Ballet School teachers and Artistic staff.
Can I audition at one of The Royal Ballet School’s Intensive Courses?
Students attending our Hong Kong Spring Intensive will have the chance to attend an audition during the course.
Students at our London Spring and Summer Intensive Courses will not be offered an audition as part of the course. They can, however, express an interest in being considered by the School for full-time training. They may then be observed during class at the intensive and, as a result, those of interest may be invited to visit School during term time, or attend an audition, usually for the following academic year. Very occasionally, subject to circumstances, a student may be invited to join the full time programme at the beginning of the following academic year.
We cannot guarantee we will be able to consider all students who express an interest at our London courses therefore we recommend that all students hoping to join the School apply for an audition through our annual audition application form.