London Contemporary Dance School

Image: Pari Naderi

Routes into Training

We believe conservatoire-level training should be accessible to anyone with talent and potential. To achieve this aim, we are continually looking for new ways to find talented young people and provide pathways into training.


The schools offer a range of activities outside of their degree provisions, from leisure classes for adults and children to one-off workshops and short courses in a particular discipline. Whether you’re thinking about a career as an artist or technician, or want to try out a class for fun, there are lots of different ways to get involved, and many of the activities offered have subsidised or means-tested places available.

cdd posterFor an overview of what’s on offer, you can download our poster, Opportunities to Get Involved, by clicking on the link below.

Opportunities to Get Involved

If you would like a print copy for display in a school or youth group, please email Emma Swift at

Weekly Classes

Many of the schools offer leisure classes for children, young people and adults. These classes give students an opportunity to develop and progress to short courses, summer schools, other training programmes, and, ultimately, vocational training at conservatoire level.


NCCA childrens classes_Hua Hua_034_v1 (2)_bertil nilssonNational Centre for Circus Arts offers a range of weekly classes in circus skills for all ages, from 2 years 9 months to 18 years, all available at a concessionary fee for those who qualify. Adult and family classes are also available in disciplines such as acrobatics, flying trapeze and tightwire.


CSB junior class Tim CrossCentral School of Ballet run a Junior Programme providing ballet tuition on Monday to Thursday evenings with an in-house syllabus, specifically tailored across eleven levels for pupils aged 3-16.

Central School of Ballet also runs a satellite school in Southwark, giving pupils in the borough access to free weekly dance lessons. The dance classes are running in partnership with three of Southwark’s primary schools, and are hosted each week at Alfred Salter Primary School in Quebec Way in Rotherhithe.


The Place (London Contemporary Dance School) offers a wide range of dance classes for 5 – 15 year olds each Saturday throughout term time. A comprehensive programme of adult classes is available for beginners through to advanced, including ballet, contemporary and Pilates.


Northern School of Contemporary Dance offers weekly youth and children’s classes, for age 7 years and over, with free-entitlement places available for the youth course.


BOVTSBristol Old Vic Theatre School offers adult evening classes in modern and classical acting, offering a limited number of free places to those unable to afford the fees.


RADA offers Saturday workshops for young people age 16-24, offered at a concessionary fee for those claiming JSA.

To find out about Saturday workshops, visit:

Short courses and summer schools

Short courses and summer schools take place over a concentrated period of time and provide intensive training. This is a good way to experience what a conservatoire-level course might be like.

Drama, Stage Management and Technical Theatre

LAMDA operates 9 full-time summer courses, including Introduction to Drama School and Audition Technique, which are open to both national and international students.


Bristol Old Vic Theatre School offers week-long short courses in Classical Acting and Modern Acting, suitable for those aged 17 and above.


RADA hosts the Camden Summer University (CSU) drama project.  The project is in partnership with Camden Council and is free to participants. It gives young people living in and around the borough the opportunity to experience an intensive week of training similar to that undertaken by RADA’s core course students.


Northern School of Contemporary Dance runs a free, week-long, non-residential summer school for dancers 12 and above, with 40 places offered per year (with funding from Aimhigher).


London Contemporary Dance School run holiday projects for younger people during some half term breaks. These can range from one-off workshops to courses of up to a week in length.


In July 2016, Rambert School is piloting a week-long, non-residential summer course for students aged 13-19.

Advanced training programmes

Advanced training programmes aim to improve the quality of pre-vocational training and prepare students for conservatoire-level study. Financial support is available to students who qualify for the scheme through audition. This support is means tested and based on parental income.


London Contemporary Dance School runs a Centre for Advanced Training based at The Place, which currently has 75 students from London and the South East. Approximately 50% of The Place’s CAT students live outside of greater London. The programme is open to all children between 10-16 years regardless of previous dance training. Each participating family is means tested so families only pay fees according to their means. Find out more via the website.

As a part-time pre-vocational course, both NSCD and Northern Ballet’s Centres for Advanced Training in Dance work with young people from across the Yorkshire regions that have exceptional potential in dance, in order to thoroughly prepare them for professional dance training. Previously known as Yorkshire Young Dancers (YYD) both NSCD and Northern Ballet are funded together to deliver two strands of dance activity in Yorkshire: Contemporary Dance, delivered by NSCD and available to 13-17 year olds, and Ballet, delivered by Northern Ballet and available to 10-12 year olds. Find out more via the website.


London Youth Circus, based at the National Centre for Circus Arts, is run in conjunction with the CAT programme at The Place. It aims to provide pre-vocational training of the highest standard to 10-18 year olds, enabling young Circus Artists to access institutions for professional circus training. CAT scheme applications are open to current London Youth Circus students and students from other youth circuses in the UK. Places are means tested, as with the other CAT programmes. Find out more via the website.

The National Centre for Circus Arts also jointly delivers a BTEC Level 3 Circus Skills Diploma with Hackney Community College.


Youth companies

Youth groups and companies prepare young people to perform work, often specifically commissioned or adapted. There are four youth companies across the Conservatoire with around 200 participants.


London Youth Circus has 100 students aged between 11 and 18 from across London. It offers courses at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, including supporting classes in movement, core stability and performance. Acceptance is by audition and subsidised places are offered. The advanced class performs annually.


London Contemporary Dance School runs the weekly youth group ‘Junior Dance Club’, for 8-12 year olds with around 15 places per year. Priority is given to those living in the King’s Cross and Camden area, and subsidised places are available.

The Place runs two dance companies: Shift, the senior youth dance company, for young people aged 14-19 years, and Shuffle, the junior dance company for young dancers aged 9-14 years.


Bristol Old Vic Theatre School offers a weekly youth group, ACTiv8 for 7-18 year olds. There are currently 80 participants, largely from the Bristol area.


RADA has a Youth Company which provides access to drama training and performance opportunities for young people aged 16-20 who live in and around London. The company meets every Saturday and makes an annual commitment.

To find out more about the Youth Company, visit: