Audition FAQs


Here we’ve answered some of our most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about auditions. If you have a question and can’t find the answer below, get in touch at [email protected].

General FAQs

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 rates.

Does everything (pictures/video/etc) need to be submitted at the same time?

Yes, all the materials requested must be submitted at the same time and before the deadline set for your audition. Please ensure that you have read the requirements fully before beginning the form and have your photographs, video link (not the video file itself), and payment method available as you go through the form.

Can I audition at one of The Royal Ballet School’s Intensive Courses?

During our London Spring and Summer Intensive Courses, we do not hold auditions for the full-time training programme. If you wish to audition for the School, please visit our apply page and complete an application.

In Korea, you will need to book your audition separately from applying to the Korea Winter Intensive. Students will then need to submit a semi-final video before the deadline in early January for Upper School applicants or will be invited to our final auditions held in London, during our Spring term, for those who are applying for Years 10 and 11. Find out more about our international auditions.

At an in-person audition

What happens at an in-person audition?

When you arrive at your audition a Royal Ballet School staff member will meet you, help you to register and 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 or guardian will be shown to a communal waiting area, usually a studio. You won’t be doing your class in this studio, so you may leave your bag and clothes here.

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 start.

Do I need to prepare anything for the in-person audition?

You do not need to prepare anything specifically for the 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 in-person audition?

Some basic pointework is included in the 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 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 they judge 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 the School looking for in the audition?

We are seeking to train to the highest standard dancers from the UK and around the world for future careers in classical ballet. Our team are looking for dancers who show potential, artistry, musicality and a love for what they do.

What should I wear and 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 clothes that you feel comfortable in, there is no need to buy new or special clothes 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 are preferred.

Who will be on the audition panel?

The preliminary audition panel usually consists of two or three people, including one of our Intensive Courses and Auditions Artistic Managers 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 audition?

If you are shortlisted for a final audition, there will be an interview. We will be in touch to let you know exactly what to expect at this stage.

Video auditions

What do I need to include in my video audition?

Read our video audition guidelines.

Video audition guidelines are broken down based on the age of the applicant on 31 August. Please take advice from your current ballet teacher on the exercises if you have any questions about the content.

Can I video exercises to music?

Yes, please do. We want to be able to see the musicality and artistry of the dancer as well as their technique, so dancing to music is a very important part of the audition.

Does the video have to be shot in a studio or by a professional videographer?

No, we are aware that some dancers may have limited access to a studio. Videos can be filmed in any safe and suitable place that allows us to see the dancer clearly. No judgement will be made about the dancer from their surroundings. Similarly, we have never required professional filming for video submissions. The footage must just be clear and show the whole of the dancer.

Can I upload my video directly to the application form?

No, you will need to upload your video to a site such as YouTube, Vimeo, or use Google Drive or One Drive so that you have a link you can submit. Please do not use Dropbox or other sites which require a download or which put a time limit on the availability of the link. We cannot guarantee a link will be viewed before the link expires.

International auditions

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 and Japan. Visit our International auditions page for upcoming events and links to applications.

Successful applicants at the 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 the 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 using the same audition criteria.

Getting your results

When will I find out the results?

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.

Please do not contact the office for results before these times.

Will I receive feedback after my audition?

We regret that we cannot provide individual 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.

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