Courses at Ballet West

Ballet West offers two courses validated by The Open University. The honours course is designed to follow on from the Foundation Degree, providing a three year course of study.

Foundation Degree in Dance (2 years)

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BA(Hons) Dance (1 year)

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Foundation Degree in Dance

FOUNDATION COURSE PROFILE

The Foundation degree in Dance is a two-year course that provides you with a firm foundation in dance techniques in ballet, contemporary and jazz, skills in choreography and an understanding of the cultural context of dance. Performance in a key element of the course and you will dance in genuine performing contexts in full-length classical ballets and student showcases as part of your studies.

The programme prepares you for transition to the Honours Degree or a career in the performance and choreography of ballet and other dance forms. 

LENGTH OF FOUNDATION COURSE

  • Foundation Degree in Dance - 2 years, full-time

There is no part-time equivalent to these courses

The course start in the first week of September annually.

FOUNDATION COURSE FEATURES

  • Training at a centre of excellence for ballet
  • Tutors with considerable performing experience
  • Opportunities to create your own choreography
  • Opportunities to dance in genuine performance contexts
  • Wide range of experience offering breadth of employment opportunities
  • Opportunity to progress to Honours Degree level

The school has a considerable international reputation as a centre of excellence for ballet training. The Foundation degree gives you a range of experiences which cultivates your technical, creative, performing and reflective dance skills.

You will participate in the Ballet West performing company which tours full-length ballets around Scotland. The company gives you the invaluable experience of working with professional dancers in class and in performance for audiences in a variety of venues, thus preparing you for your dancing career. In addition to academic qualifications, you can be prepared for and enter Royal Academy of Dance examinations up to Solo Seal level. 

You will have the opportunity to work with choreographers who are also working closely with companies such as the Royal Ballet and have a wealth of experience and contacts in the dance world. The size of the school enables the highly trained staff to give intensive and tailored training to students who aspire to a career in the performing arts. Resident staff are supported by a wide range of guest professionals who provide links between you and the performing arts industry. 

FOUNDATION COURSE CONTENT

This is a varied and broad ranging course which gives experience of a number of dance styles and academic disciplines. All modules are compulsory.

The majority of assessment is through observation of your dance classes and performance of prepared practical work. Other modes of assessment include

  • Presentation of choreographic work
  • Essays and other written work
  • Verbal Presentations

There are 4 strands of study that run through both years, with more complex and demanding work covered in year 2. The strands are 

  • Ballet Technique
  • Dance Technique
  • Choreography
  • Professional Practice and Performance

 

Ballet Techniques

1 & 2

Technical ballet classes working on developing your skills in the performance of classical ballet.

Dance Techniques

1 & 2

Technical classes in contemporary and jazz dance styles, working on developing your technical and performance skills. 

Choreography 

1 & 2

Practical and studio based study of the choreographic process. The practical study is supported by classroom based work on key choreographic practitioners and the cultural contexts of dance.

Professional Practice and Performance

1 & 2

A rehearsal and performance based unit culminating in public performances of both full-length ballets from the classical repertoire and work that has been prepared in jazz, contemporary and neoclassical styles. 

 More information on the first year of study can be found in the STUDENT HANDBOOK

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BA(Hons) Degree in Dance

BA(Hons) COURSE PROFILE

The Honours degree in Dance is a one-year course that is a progression from the Foundation Degree, building on the skills and experiences learned and provides you with professional skills in dance techniques in ballet, contemporary and jazz, skills in choreography and a deeper understanding of the cultural context of dance. Performance in a key element of the course and you will be a senior company member, dancing in genuine performing contexts in full-length classical ballets and student showcases as part of your studies.

A greater freedom to create your own work and research topics that are of interest to you enables you to become a reflective practitioner of your art, enabling a critical awareness of your work and the work of others.

LENGTH OF BA(Hons) COURSE

  • BA(Hons) Degree in Dance - 1 year, full-time

There is no part-time equivalent to this course

The course starts in the first week of September annually.

BA(Hons) COURSE FEATURES

  • Training at a centre of excellence for ballet
  • Tutors with considerable performing experience
  • Opportunities to create your own choreography
  • Opportunities to dance in genuine performance contexts
  • Wide range of experience offering breadth of employment opportunities
  • Practical preparation for the work of work

The school has a considerable international reputation as a centre of excellence for ballet training. The BA(Hons) degree gives you a range of skills and experiences which cultivates your technical, creative, performing and reflective dance skills and prepares you for your career in the dance world or further study at master's level.

You will be a senior member of the Ballet West performing company which tours full-length ballets around Scotland. The company gives you the invaluable experience of working with professional dancers in class and in performance for audiences in a variety of venues, thus preparing you for your dancing career. In addition to academic qualifications, you can be prepared for and enter Royal Academy of Dance examinations up to Solo Seal level. 

BA(Hons) COURSE CONTENT

This is a varied and broad ranging course which gives experience of a number of dance styles and academic disciplines. All modules are compulsory.

The majority of assessment is through observation of your dance classes and performance of prepared practical work. Other modes of assessment include

  • Presentation of choreographic work
  • Essays and other written work
  • Verbal Presentations

The 4 strands of study from the Foundation Degree are carried forward but the choreography strand is an opportunity for you to study an area of dance or topic that interested you through an individual project. The modules are 

  • Ballet Technique 3
  • Dance Technique 3
  • Dance Project
  • Professional Practice and Performance 3

 

Ballet Techniques 3

Technical ballet classes working on developing your skills in the performance of classical ballet to a professional standard.

Dance Techniques 3

Technical classes in contemporary and jazz dance styles, working on developing your technical and performance skills to a professional standard.

Dance Project

An individual project to produce either a substantial piece of choreography without supervision, supported by an essay or an extended research essay examining a topic in dance that interests you.

Professional Practice and Performance 3

A rehearsal and performance based unit culminating in public performances of both full-length ballets from the classical repertoire and work that has been prepared in jazz, contemporary and neoclassical styles. 

 More information on the course can be found in the STUDENT HANDBOOK

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Other training opportunities

In addition to the formal qualifications on offer at Ballet West you will also take part in –

  • Classes to prepare you for Royal Academy of Dance examinations
  • Non – syllabus (free) ballet classes
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Natasha Watson