FD/BA Ballet & Contemporary Dance

Our Foundation and BA (Hons) degree programmes follow a unique curriculum with an equal focus on Ballet and Contemporary Dance.


The Foundation (FD) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) (Hons) Degree programmes are designed to develop dancers using highly tuned dance training by a wide, experienced and varied faculty, all prominent in their specialism. Arguably the equal emphasis upon training in these two genres is unique within the UK, and the curriculum is enriched by inputs from guest artists and choreographers from the profession.

Modules on the degree programme include: daily ballet classes, daily pointe work, classical partnering work, coaching, learning performance and classical ballet repertoire. Daily contemporary classes range from teaching of foundational techniques such as those pioneered by Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham, through release-based styles and newer techniques such as Gaga. Students also study improvisation on a weekly basis.

Other modules also include Critical Studies which gives students the skills they need to become thinking dancers and choreographers.  In addition there are weekly workshops on choreography and improvisation.

Performing plays a key part in the students’ experience and there are regular student choreographic platforms, where students of all years can show their works in the theatre or online. In addition newly commissioned works and re-staged repertory are performed each year, both in the School’s own Anya Linden Studio Theatre and at external venues, both in London and elsewhere.

Many classes are taught with live music in our wonderful facilities.


In the event of COVID-19 lockdowns or restrictions Rambert School may revert to a mixed-mode approach wherein students blend daily classes in small groups with online workshops and lectures. Currently our students learn on site and in person.

Note to applicants:
For the previous 16 years, Rambert School has been a member of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD). However, in August 2022, Rambert School became an independently registered higher education provider with the Office for Students.  This does not affect the delivery of any of our courses of higher education; there will be no changes to our professional training arising from this new independence.  Rambert School degrees continue to be validated by the University of Kent, the awarding body, and there is no change to this relationship. 

Please contact admissions@rambertschool.org.uk for further information.

Ballet forms the cornerstone of the dance technical training at Rambert School. Our longstanding approach emphasises clarity of line, placement and precision, always allowing these to grow through a developing sense of movement. Beyond technical prowess, musicality, expressivity and artistry are emphasized and valued.
The study of ballet encompasses daily classes, pointe work for any student wishing to work on pointe, coaching, classical partnering work, virtuosity, and learning/performance of classical repertory.  No ballet classes are split by gender.

Each semester every student performs a ballet solo in costume, lighting, and with live music, to an audience including students from other year groups and all teaching staff. In Year 3 students are invited to perform self-choreographed ballet solos if they wish.

In today’s dance profession this is a very broad field, which has evolved vastly since the work of early pioneers such as Martha Graham and, later, Merce Cunningham. The well-established techniques codified by these two important figures instil both a strong technical base and a deep physicality. Conceptual understanding and physical embodiment of these foundational techniques also helps students to understand how and why the newer styles practiced today have evolved.

Contemporary dance techniques are taught through daily classes providing a grounding in Graham, Cunningham, floor work and release-based techniques, and students begin to study other methods as they progress. Students are exposed to a vast array of choreographic methods through taught classes in first year, and through a diverse range of weekly workshops given by guest artists throughout second year, third year students might well encounter a different style almost every day. This approach builds versatility, and prepares graduates for the wide range of challenges they can expect to face at audition and as professional artists. Third year students learn a contemporary dance solo each term, which is performed alongside their classical solo, and they may opt to create their own contemporary solos.


Students are exposed to a wide variety of choreographic methods, ideas and tools through taught classes in 1st year, and through a diverse range of weekly workshops given by guest artists throughout 2nd and 3rd year. This ensures they experience many of the different approaches which are used by today’s dance practitioners and choreographers.
Rather like an artist’s palette, students then have a range of methods from which to draw as and when they chose to create work for student choreographic showcases, which take place twice per year. The student rehearsal schedule is separate from the daily timetabled classes and is run by students themselves. Studios are open evenings and weekends for this purpose. Any student can create a work and there is no selection for performance. Students also rehearse, light, costume and stage their work and there is mentorship and guidance throughout the process.

In the majority of auditions, students will be asked to improvise and/or create dance material based upon set tasks. Improvisation classes for each year group take place weekly, and are often also delivered by guest professionals.

Rambert School is renowned for producing passionate, expressive dancers and innovative choreographers. These outcomes are not accidental: they come through a strong emphasis on performance throughout the course, and through repeated opportunities for students to explore their creative ideas. Frequent experience of working with guest teachers and choreographers allows students to experience performance at professional level whilst still in school. This ensures that by the 3rd year of training the gap between student and professional has narrowed.
Performing is therefore an integral part of the learning at Rambert School. Every student performs a solo before an audience of students and staff each term. Students also stage their own choreography, perform repertory old and new, and present shows to the public every term, both in the School’s own theatre space and at external venues. Regular London venues include the Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House, and Lilian Baylis Theatre, Sadler’s Wells.

At Rambert School we have a fantastic collection of talented musicians who love playing for dance. Our musicians are deeply passionate about creating a special environment in the dance studio. A wide range of instruments and diverse music is used for both ballet and contemporary dance, helping to create an atmosphere that is often evocative and inspirational.

Contextual work has been carefully put in place to support and enhance students’ learning in the dance studio. This area also promotes key transferable skills, preparing students for professional careers as dancers and also well into the future.   

 The overarching topics covered in the FD/BA programme are:

  • Reflective Practice
  • Dance Science 
  • Dance Psychology 
  • Dance Analysis 
  • Somatics 
  • Dance History 

Learning to think reflectively and to research independently helps students to form links between theory and practice. It also encourages students to become thinking dancers and deepen their understanding of their art form.  

Academic writing encourages students to construct arguments, analyse and evaluate information, structure their ideas coherently and reference their work conforming to recognised conventions. By the end of the BA (Hons) course each student is equipped to carry out their own independent research project, completing a 8,000 word dissertation. 

There is an extensive academic support programme in place, including 1-1 tuition for students with specific learning differences such as dyslexia, and English language classes for students for whom English is a second language. This ensures that each student builds their academic skills and confidence in order to develop their own voice. 

Questions on General School life at Rambert School here.

Find the answers to the most common questions on the Digital Audition Process here.

  • Wednesday 18 October 2023, 2pm
  • Wednesday 15 November 2023, 2pm
  • Wednesday 22 November 2023, 2pm
  • Wednesday 29 November 2023, 2pm
  • Wednesday 10 January 2024, 2pm
To book your space onto a tour please contact info@rambertschool.org.uk


Full details on course structure, delivery and module information and assessment, learning and teaching methods can be found here:

Foundation Degree Ballet & Contemporary Dance: Foundation Degree Programme Specification

Details on Rambert School policies and procedures can be found here.

On the FD/BA (Hons) Degree Ballet and Contemporary Dance courses you will be registered with both Rambert School and the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama.  Degrees and other higher education qualifications offered by Rambert School are validated by the University of Kent.  The academic regulations, credit framework and applicable general regulations of the University of Kent can be found at the following link: University of Kent regulations.

Please find all key Policy and Procedures related to the FD/BA (Hons) Degree at Rambert School here.

For further information, please contact admissions@rambertschool.org.uk

The information provided on this website was correct at the time of publication, every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.

Rambert School reserves the right to change the information including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of programmes. Any changes to programmes will be available on the Rambert School website so please check the website before applying.

Download the student handbook for this academic year 2023 here: STUDENT HANDBOOK 2023/24.

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