System of Training

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All Royal Ballet School students, from Associates to full-time students, learn The Royal Ballet School System of Training.

The system equips students with the technique and artistry required to perform the sought-after English style of classical ballet initiated by the School’s founder Dame Ninette de Valois.

The System of Training grew from the legacy that de Valois inherited from her teachers: Espinosa, Cecchetti, Legat and Preobrajenska. In establishing the School in 1926 (originally The Academy of Choreographic Art), de Valois’ aim was for England to have its own ballet company and school in the model of the old schools attached to the opera houses of Continental Europe and Russia, with a distinctive style drawing on de Valois’ influences.

System of training

The System of Training has been passed down by successive directors, teaching staff and guest teachers who are alums of the School and Company. Today’s system preserves the valuable traditions from its roots in different schools of classical ballet and embraces the new and evolving demands of classical dance technique required of professional artists. Through studying this system, the School’s students continue to integrate seamlessly into The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and other leading professional dance companies.

The School’s core aim remains the same as in de Valois’ time: to produce dancers with a strong, clean classical technique encompassing artistry, purity of line, coordination and quality of movement, free from mannerisms. We emphasise the natural flow of movement, musicality, the joy of dance and the dancer’s development as an expressive artist.

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