Central School of Ballet
Image: Bill Cooper
The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama has unparalleled links with the industries it serves and an impressive record of graduate employment.
The Conservatoire’s eight schools offer programmes focused on the students’ futures as artists and production professionals. In its Strategic Plan 2013-2018, the Conservatoire has committed itself to ensure that it remains at the forefront of preparing graduates with exceptional skillsets to enable them to have sustainable careers as performers and makers.
Programmes equip students for a variety of careers ranging from circus artists, actors and dancers, to choreographers, designers, stage managers and theatre directors. Some graduates work as performers with professional companies both in the UK and overseas, on stage and in television and film. Some form their own performance companies or go on to direct, produce or choreograph, while others take teaching positions. Graduates from technical theatre, design and stage management programmes go on to work in theatre, on screen productions as well as other areas such as events, large and small, public or corporate.
By focusing on the individual, the Conservatoire schools provide opportunities for each student to find an employment path to match their talents and strengths. Through their chosen programme of study, students are encouraged to forge links with the industry, to network with current practitioners and, on some programmes, to undertake placements which help them to meet prospective employers and gain valuable experience. Students benefit from teaching by established industry professionals who enjoy successful careers in their fields. Many students at the Conservatoire’s dance schools undertake national tours as a core element of their study.
Students are also prepared more generally for sustainable careers in the industry. The activities offered may include rigorous practical workshops (such as classes in taxation, letter and business plan writing), mock interviews with visiting professionals, lectures, master classes and careers seminars with leading organisations. Agents and casting directors are invited to attend many public productions, screenings and showcases.
Recent destinations across acting, dance, circus and technical disciplines include:
Akram Khan Company, Alula Cyr, Apollo Theatre, Ballet Black, Ballet Boyz, Barely Methodical Troupe, BBC Productions, BBC Radio, Billy Elliot, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Brewery Theatre (Bristol), Bristol Old Vic Theatre, British Library, Calendar Girls The Musical, Channel 4 Productions, Cinevox Junior Company (Switzerland), Circus Maximus, Circa (Australia), The Circulus (BBC Tumble, Blue Peter), Dance Umbrella, Danish Dance Company, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, English Youth Opera, Frantic Assembly, Grand Ballet Poznan (Poland), Inala (Rambert Dance Company / Royal Ballet collaboration), ITV Productions, Jasmin Vardimon, JV2, K Ballet (Tokyo, Japan), Kolben Dance Company, Les Femmes Circus (Rag Factory London), Lionsgate Films, Liverpool Everyman, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, National Opera & Ballet Theatre (Romania), National Theatre, Northern Ballet, Nottingham Playhouse, The Old Vic, Phoenix Dance Company, Protein Dance Company, Pleasance Courtyard (Edinburgh), Rambert Dance Company, Richard Alston Dance Company, Redgrave Theatre (Bristol), Royal Opera House, Royal Shakespeare Company, Scottish Dance Theatre, SmallPetitKlein, Shakespeare’s Globe, Silver Linings, Singapore Dance Theatre, Skanes Dansteater Project, Southwark Playhouse, Tabard Theatre, Teatro Furio Camillo (Italy), Theatre Royal (Bath), Theatre Royal (Drury Lane), Tobacco Factory (Bristol), Welsh National Opera, Wexford Opera Season, The Young Vic.
Conservatoire school graduates feature regularly in the awards list for almost every major award from the Oliviers to Tonys, BAFTA to Academy Awards. Alumni have received more Oscar nominations than any other drama school in the world (114), over 180 BAFTA film nominations, and over 150 Golden Globe nominations for film and television. On stage, they have been nominated for over 400 Olivier Award nominations with 103 wins, including 3 wins and 17 nominations for dance alumni.
The Conservatoire is keen for students to keep in touch after they graduate and to send news of their activities. Each of the schools has its own alumni scheme or network. For further information about graduate employment and alumni at the Conservatoire schools, please see the relevant school’s web page.
Examples of notable alumni can be found here.