Pre-Professional Dance Training

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The National Ballet School offers pathways to a professional career through our nationally accredited courses in Dance (Elite Performance).

pre-professional dance training

Welcome

The National Ballet School is one of Australia’s most influential dance training institutions. As the birthplace of dance training in this country, its alumni and faculty – such as Marilyn Jones, Amber Scott and Jarryd Madden to name a few – have extended its legacy across this vast continent and around the world, creating new families of dance organisations and communities.

Established in 1939 by visionary arts pioneer Ms Gertrude Johnson The National Ballet School continues to train in our very own studios located underneath the theatre where more than 16,000 young artists have developed their skills and explored their passion for dance.

As its current Artistic Director, it’s my pleasure to lead this historical dance institution into the future, acknowledge its past and inspire its present student body. We proudly continue to produce, connect and embrace the entire performing arts family of Australia and continue to produce great results in preparing the next generation – with similar grit and determination to our Founder – for a future in the dance industry.

Damian Smith - Artistic Director

Damian Smith
Artistic Director

fulltime accredited courses

Certificate IV in DANCE, Diploma of Dance (elite Performacne), Advanced Diploma in Dance (Elite Performance)

Cultivating the stars of the future, The National Ballet School offers pathways to a professional career in Dance through our full-time nationally accredited courses in Dance include Certificate IV in Dance, Diploma of Dance (Elite Performance) and Advanced Diploma of Professional Dance (Elite Performance) qualifications.

The entry level Certificate IV offers aspiring dancers the opportunity to complete secondary school studies while undertaking full-time dance training.

Students who successfully complete Cert IV, or who have equivalent skills and training, may then study for a Diploma and Advanced Diploma qualifications. These levels of Elite Performance training further develop individual skills in ballet as well as choreography, partnering, movement and behavioural techniques.

Potential career paths include performing, choreography, teaching, and arts administration.

Certificate IV in Dance

The Certificate IV in Dance provides students with a solid foundation in dance technique, performance, and choreography. It is aimed at students who are interested in pursuing a career in dance, whether as a performer, choreographer, teacher, or arts administrator.

Students train in a range of different styles, including classical ballet, contemporary dance, character dance and jazz and tap, as well as in areas such as improvisation, partnering, and repertoire. Developing technical skills better equips students to handle the physical demands of a career in dance, as well as to communicate their ideas and emotions through movement.

In addition to technical training, the Cert IV in Dance exposes students to the dance industry more broadly. This may include guest lectures and workshops from industry professionals, as well as opportunities to attend performances and festivals. An understanding of the wider context in which dance exists, enables students to identify the types of career paths that might be available to them, and to start making informed decisions about their own professional development.

Finally, the Cert IV in Dance helps students to start developing a sense of direction about where they want to take their dance career. This may involve exploring different career paths, such as performing, choreography, teaching, or arts administration, and gaining experience in these areas through practical projects and work experience placements. By the end of the course, students should have a clearer idea of their strengths and interests, as well as the skills and knowledge they need to further their professional development in dance.

Units of Study 6 core units plus 7 elective units (Total 13)
Duration 12 months (approx 21.5 hrs over a 5-6 day week) OR 24 months (approx 14 hours per week)

CORE UNITS
CUACHR413 Develop choreography skills
CUADAN313 Develop and apply dance partnering techniques
CUADAN417 Develop expertise in dance performance techniques
CUAPRF414 Develop movement skills for performance
CUAPRF415 Rehearse for performances
CUAWHS411 Apply movement and behavioural principles to conditioning

ELECTIVE UNITS

CUADAN413 Develop expertise in jazz dance techniques
CUADAN418 Develop expertise in ballet techniques
CUADAN419 Develop expertise in contemporary dance techniques
CUADAN421 Develop expertise in cultural dance techniques
CUAPRF412 Develop conceptual and expressive skills as a performer
CUAPRF314 Develop audition techniques
CUAWHS311 Condition body for dance performance

2024 The National Ballet School (FT) Census Dates
Term 1 29 Jan to 28 Mar 13 Feb
Term 2 15 Apr to 28 Jun 29 Apr
Term 3 15 Jul to 20 Sep 29 Jul
Term 4 7 Oct to 6 Dec 21 Oct
  • Students who enter the Certificate IV course will either be completing their final years of schooling or wish to fast track their training towards preparation to audition into the Diploma of Professional Dance (Elite Performance) course.
  • The Certificate IV course is designed to give more advanced skills to younger students on their way to full-time training and a professional career. It offers high level training in all dance styles (Ballet, Character, Jazz, Contemporary). A Certificate IV qualification is equivalent to a year 12 level of qualification.
  • Students must be 15 years or over by the 1st of January the year their studies commence and have completed Year 9 studies.
  • Applicants may have to complete a Language, Literacy and Numeracy Test (LLN) to ensure they receive the right support to achieve this qualification. This course is open to international students. This course is taught in English and International students must meet a minimum level of 5.5 IELTS or equivalent.
  • Students must meet all requirements and pass all units of competency in each
  • subsequent year to obtain the qualification.
  • Applicants must be at an Advanced Level from a Recognised Classical Ballet Syllabus.

AU/NZ student fees Tuition fees $11,681 (inc gst) per annum.

International Students Tuition fees $14,779 per annum

Acceptance to the course is by audition only. 

2024 Applications are now closed,

If you wish to be considered for the 2025 intake please register your interest and we will keep you up to date with the process.

Step1 Book your audition (see link below)

Step 2 Prepare for and complete your audition. 

Step 3 If you are offered a place following your audition, complete the student enrolment forms and pay the required fees. Schools’ administration will then contact you to manage your enrolment including providing you with the Student information Handbook.


register your interest for 2025

AU/NZ student fees Tuition fees $11,681 (inc gst) per annum.

International Students Tuition fees $14,779 per annum

Register YOUR INTEREST for 2025

Diploma of Professional Dance CUA51520 (Elite Performance)

The Diploma in Professional Dance is a comprehensive training program designed for individuals who wish to pursue a career in dance. This program provides students with a strong foundation in classical ballet technique, as well as the opportunity to refine their skills in contemporary dance.

Throughout the course, students will develop their own artistic style and voice, exploring their creativity and learning how to choreograph their own work. They will also gain valuable insights into the business side of the dance industry, learning about marketing, networking, and other important skills that are necessary for success.

The program’s emphasis on performance will allow students to showcase their talents in a variety of venues and settings, including mainstage performances, theatres, festivals, and other public events. Additionally, the smaller cohort numbers provide students with close mentoring and support from their teachers, enabling them to receive personalised attention and guidance as they work towards achieving their goals.

On completion of this program, students will be well-prepared to audition for ballet and contemporary dance companies, as well as to pursue other opportunities in the dance industry. With a strong foundation in technique, creativity, and business skills, graduates of this program will be equipped to excel in a wide range of dance-related careers.

Units of Study 6 core units plus 7 elective units (Total 13)
Duration 12 months (approx 21.5 hrs over a 5-6 day week) OR 24 months (approx 14 hours per week)

CORE UNITS
CUACHR413 Develop choreography skills
CUADAN313 Develop and apply dance partnering techniques
CUADAN417 Develop expertise in dance performance techniques
CUAPRF414 Develop movement skills for performance
CUAPRF415 Rehearse for performances
CUAWHS411 Apply movement and behavioural principles to conditioning

ELECTIVE UNITS

CUADAN413 Develop expertise in jazz dance techniques
CUADAN418 Develop expertise in ballet techniques
CUADAN419 Develop expertise in contemporary dance techniques
CUADAN421 Develop expertise in cultural dance techniques
CUAPRF412 Develop conceptual and expressive skills as a performer
CUAPRF314 Develop audition techniques
CUAWHS311 Condition body for dance performance

2024 The National Ballet School (FT) Census Dates
Term 1 29 Jan to 28 Mar 13 Feb
Term 2 15 Apr to 28 Jun 29 Apr
Term 3 15 Jul to 20 Sep 29 Jul
Term 4 7 Oct to 6 Dec 21 Oct
  • Students who enter the Certificate IV course will either be completing their final years of schooling or wish to fast track their training towards preparation to audition into the Diploma of Professional Dance (Elite Performance) course.
  • The Certificate IV course is designed to give more advanced skills to younger students on their way to full-time training and a professional career. It offers high level training in all dance styles (Ballet, Character, Jazz, Contemporary). A Certificate IV qualification is equivalent to a year 12 level of qualification.
  • Students must be 15 years or over by the 1st of January the year their studies commence and have completed Year 9 studies.
  • Applicants may have to complete a Language, Literacy and Numeracy Test (LLN) to ensure they receive the right support to achieve this qualification. This course is open to international students. This course is taught in English and International students must meet a minimum level of 5.5 IELTS or equivalent.
  • Students must meet all requirements and pass all units of competency in each
  • subsequent year to obtain the qualification.
  • Applicants must be at an Advanced Level from a Recognised Classical Ballet Syllabus.

AU/NZ student fees Tuition fees $11,681 (inc gst) per annum.

International Students Tuition fees $14,779 per annum

Register YOUR INTEREST for 2025

Advanced Diploma of Professional Dance CUA60120 (Elite Performance)

The two-year Advanced Diploma in Professional Dance is an intensive training program designed for students who have already completed a foundational diploma in dance and wish to elevate their skills to a professional level.

Throughout this program, students will develop expertise in classical ballet and other complimentary styles such as contemporary and neoclassical dance.

Building on their existing technical skills, students will be challenged to reach new heights of artistic expression through the creation of original works of dance. They will also focus on getting industry ready, with coaching and support to help them prepare for high-level competitions and auditions.

Technical training will be a key component of the program, with students pushed to perform at a high level and develop the skills needed to enter the professional ballet world. They will receive personalised coaching to help them refine their technique and develop their own style.

In addition to technical training, students will receive guidance on how to apply for individual arts grants and other opportunities that help support their career development. With a focus on both artistry and practical skills, graduates of this program will be well-equipped to pursue a wide range of career opportunities in the dance industry.

Units of Study 6 core units plus 7 elective units (Total 13)
Duration 12 months (approx 21.5 hrs over a 5-6 day week) OR 24 months (approx 14 hours per week)

CORE UNITS
CUACHR413 Develop choreography skills
CUADAN313 Develop and apply dance partnering techniques
CUADAN417 Develop expertise in dance performance techniques
CUAPRF414 Develop movement skills for performance
CUAPRF415 Rehearse for performances
CUAWHS411 Apply movement and behavioural principles to conditioning

ELECTIVE UNITS

CUADAN413 Develop expertise in jazz dance techniques
CUADAN418 Develop expertise in ballet techniques
CUADAN419 Develop expertise in contemporary dance techniques
CUADAN421 Develop expertise in cultural dance techniques
CUAPRF412 Develop conceptual and expressive skills as a performer
CUAPRF314 Develop audition techniques
CUAWHS311 Condition body for dance performance

2024 The National Ballet School (FT) Census Dates
Term 1 29 Jan to 28 Mar 13 Feb
Term 2 15 Apr to 28 Jun 29 Apr
Term 3 15 Jul to 20 Sep 29 Jul
Term 4 7 Oct to 6 Dec 21 Oct
  • Students who enter the Certificate IV course will either be completing their final years of schooling or wish to fast track their training towards preparation to audition into the Diploma of Professional Dance (Elite Performance) course.
  • The Certificate IV course is designed to give more advanced skills to younger students on their way to full-time training and a professional career. It offers high level training in all dance styles (Ballet, Character, Jazz, Contemporary). A Certificate IV qualification is equivalent to a year 12 level of qualification.
  • Students must be 15 years or over by the 1st of January the year their studies commence and have completed Year 9 studies.
  • Applicants may have to complete a Language, Literacy and Numeracy Test (LLN) to ensure they receive the right support to achieve this qualification. This course is open to international students. This course is taught in English and International students must meet a minimum level of 5.5 IELTS or equivalent.
  • Students must meet all requirements and pass all units of competency in each
  • subsequent year to obtain the qualification.
  • Applicants must be at an Advanced Level from a Recognised Classical Ballet Syllabus.

AU/NZ student fees Tuition fees $11,681 (inc gst) per annum.

International Students Tuition fees $14,779 per annum

Register YOUR INTEREST for 2025