Dance

3 year diploma in professional dance

Qualification | Level 6 Diploma in Professional Dance

Course leader | Andrew Waldron

Validated by | Trinity College London

Location | Woking

Course length | 3 Years, Full-Time

Start date | September 2024

Course Overview

Level 6 Diploma in Professional Dance at Italia Conti is a three-year, full time vocational course, for anyone aged 16+ wishing to become a professional dancer.

The Level 6 Diploma in Professional Dance is awarded by Trinity College London and regulated by Ofqual. It is Level 6 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework.

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Course Summary

Level 6 Diploma in Professional Dance at Italia Conti aims to produce highly skilled, creative and thinking dance artists and provides students with a comprehensive training in all aspects of dance.

The course will give students the necessary technical, creative and performance experience, and the skills necessary to become a professional dancer. This is achieved through a rigorous curriculum focused on studio-based practice and creative exploration, underpinned by key elements of contextual study.

Through classes in ballet, jazz, contemporary, commercial, tap, choreography, aerial and acrobatics skills and supporting skills in singing and acting, students are sure to graduate into the professional dance industry as highly employable multi-faceted performers.

Workshops and masterclasses throughout the course offer students the opportunity to work with a wide range of professionals who specialise in particular areas of dance.

Public performances and an Industry showcase consolidate everything that has been learnt in the classroom and gives students the confidence and experience to perform in front of an audience.

 

Course structure

The delivery of the technique classes, across all years are structured to provide a balance of consistency and diversity. In the first and second year students work in depth towards particular technical approaches. The breadth of teaching encountered over the course ensures that graduates are versatile with the ability to apply their technical skills to new and varied challenges. The range of techniques experienced is guided by the particular expertise and teaching philosophies of the dance faculty and how these relate to the needs of the particular group and the individual. This approach ensures that students receive relevant and current training. In the third year technical training is linked directly to the performance options chosen.

Year 1

Students are introduced to a wide variety of subjects and will predominately focus on re-evaluating and refocusing existing technique to ensure that any pre-existing technical faults have been addressed. Understanding and awareness of safe practice, nutrition and injury prevention will be fundamental to any technical development. In addition to the core dance subjects such as ballet, contemporary, jazz and tap, students will take acting and singing classes.

Within Contextual Practice, students explore health and safety as an emerging performer in theatre. This focuses on areas such as safe practice in class, injury prevention and overall positive health and well-being. Lessons are also used to contextualise the landscape of dance and themes covered in other classes.

By the end if the first year students are expected:

  • To have made technical progress relevant to their starting point
  • To have a clear understanding of human anatomy and physiology in the context of professional dance training and safer practice
  • To have a good knowledge of dance history
  • To have a good knowledge of dance composition
  • To have the capacity to reflect and plan for their ongoing progress
  • To have completed and passed all contextual requirements​​

Year 2

In year 2 students’ core skills become more advanced and more integrated. You will consolidate existing skills and develop a wider range of styles within the dance genres as well as deepening your technical and expressive abilities. More project work is introduced, in which the core disciplines become interdependent.

Dance Performance projects provide students with the opportunity to develop their collaborative, creative, rehearsal and performance skills in two contrasting projects.

Within Contextual Practice, students explore the history of dance. This focuses on the development of dance as a social and politic influence, as well as recognising the chronologic evolution of theatrical trends. Lessons are also used to contextualise the landscape of dance and themes covered in other classes.

By the end of the second year students are expected:

  • To have adapted to complex movement, demonstrating technique and performance skills
  • To have made sense of individual corrections and directives to inform ongoing progress
  • To have the confidence to improvise and create
  • To have applied anatomic and health principles for prevention of and care of common injury
  • To have objectively critiqued and referenced contextual material
  • To have evaluated and planned for their ongoing progress

Year 3

In year 3 the emphasis is on preparing students for a career as a professional performer. This final year bridges the gap between professional training and the professional dance world. The priority for this year is to develop our students’ capacity to engage with the profession in multiple ways, maximising their employability and innovative skills in readiness for entry into the dance profession.

Professional Preparation and Employability workshops will hone audition technique to ensure that students have all the skills necessary to embark upon a successful professional career. This also extends to preparation for all wider soft-skills and supporting areas for professional practitioners including sourcing and choosing headshots, joining and populating Spotlight, creating personal showreel performance reels and meeting with leading industry creatives, agents and casting directors to begin networking.

Students will participate in two fully staged dance theatre productions and an industry showcase, working with outside industry choreographers/directors. Agents, casting directors and other industry professionals are invited to performances to facilitate your representation and exposure.

Within Contextual Practice, students engage with two main focuses:

  • Employability Skills and Professional Practice
  • Research and Reflection

Employability skills and professional practice will hone audition technique to ensure that, when they leave, students have all the skills necessary to embark upon a successful professional career. This also extends to preparation for all wider soft-skills and supporting areas for professional practitioners including sourcing and choosing headshots, joining and populating Spotlight, creating personal showreel performance reels and meeting with leading industry creatives, agents and casting directors to begin networking.

Research and Reflection promotes the reflective practitioner and draws upon learning acquired across the first two years of training and placing this into a professional capacity. Students will reflect on their engagement with productions, research into choreographic practices, and reflect upon their training as a whole and the progress they have made.

By the end of the third year students are expected:

  • To have achieved technical and artistic development to a professional level
  • To have quickly responded to complex instructions and reproduce work with the intended directives
  • To have audition experience and an awareness of the professional industry
  • To have researched, referenced, critically appraised and reflected all contextual work
  • To have completed and passed all contextual requirements
  • To have established the necessary skills to withstand the pressures of professional life, adapt to change, and be self aware of the need for continuing professional development

Fees & funding

Tuition fees | £15990 per academic year, (paid in advanced termly instalments)
Trinity college fee | £220 – £250 (paid per annum, set by Trinity College London)
Audition Fee | £45 (Non-refundable)
Deposit | £275 (The deposit is refundable within 14 calendar days of the payment being received by Italia Conti but will not be
refunded thereafter for non-enrolment. It will be held by the School and will be refundable on completion of the course,
without interest, less any outstanding sums owed by the student to Italia Conti.)

International Students

For further information, please see our International Applications​ page.

Terms & Conditions

Terms and conditions apply upon acceptance to Italia Conti.

Funding

The Diploma course offers the following funding options:

  • DaDA
  • Advanced Learner Loan
  • Scholarships and Bursaries
  • Private Funding

Audition Fee Waiver

Italia Conti welcomes applications for audition fee waivers for those who are eligible.

Deposit Fee Waiver

Italia Conti welcomes applications for deposit fee waivers for those who are eligible.

  • “I have just graduated from Liverpool Theatre School with a Level 6 Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre. I wanted to do the BA Hons (Top Up) in Professional Arts Practice course to further develop my skills for the industry. It is the perfect balance between academic writing and creativity. I already have seen improvements, both in my academic and performing work, and I now really value the ability to critically reflect on past experiences in order to improve my current skills.”

    - Sarah Collinge – Musical Theatre Performer Current Student, Class of July 2024
  • “I have found that my first term at Italia Conti has been better than I could’ve imagined. I am working with driven, passionate, likeminded people within all different realms of the performing arts industry. I find that the course is very tailored to each individual and the content is broad enough to apply to everyone but specific enough to challenge each person within their abilities. I find the course to be a place where I can collaborate and interact with people who I’d never had met otherwise. I only look forward to what the next few months of the course bring and feel more motivated than ever.”

    - Kate Drummond – Actor Current Student, Class of July 2024
  • Current Student, Class of July 2024
    “The course is allowing me to reflect on my past practice, current position, and future endeavours. I really enjoy how flexible the course is, with regards to being able to tailor my studies to my own practice, enabling me to maximise the benefits of this on my future career. I expect my professional development to be impacted exponentially and I am excited to continue!”

    - Amy-Jo Sumner – Musical Theatre Performer
  • “Italia Conti’s BA Top up course was the one for me! Creating a business in under 9 months has been a massive accomplishment! The course really helps shape your future, enables you to meet professional contacts to support your research, and gives you lots of time to understand the area of the industry you want to specialise in.”

    - Rachel Ward – Performing Arts Tutor Graduate, BA Top up Class of Sept 2022
  • I’m a professional dancer but have taught only ballet. These classes are EXACTLY what I was looking for to show some basics of contemp for my students !! Absolutely love every single Video

    - @ginamusaelyan2307 – Italia Conti Virtual
  • I’ve watched a lot of your videos and I love every single one that she teaches. THANK YOU. Gorgeous movement.

    - @debbied3464 – Italia Conti Virtual
  • Amazing class, one of the best I’ve ever done. So easy to follow, thank you!

    - @yellowbeachgirl – Italia Conti Virtual
  • I’m a dancer in LA and can’t keep up with my peers on how often they take dance classes. This channel has been so helpful for me to keep up my training. Thank you for sharing this with the world. I feel like we are all dancing together even though we are all doing this at different times and in different spaces. 🖤

    - @SarahPaceSings – Italia Conti Virtual
  • Best ballet teacher on the internet Great explanation, enthusiasm and commentary throughout the exercise!

    - @annajones6805 – Italia Conti Virtual

Entry requirements

Entry to diploma in professional Dance requires the following:

  • 16+ by the 31st August in the year of entry​.
  • Legal right to reside/study in the UK for the full period of the programme.
  • Successful audition through Italia Conti, details of which can be found below.
  • Evidence in hard copy of all the above must be provided.

Audition requirements

After completing the application process, you will be invited to submit an audition tape where you will be required to demonstrate a variety of skills. Information about auditions can be found below.

Successful applicants will be invited to a recall audition on site.

Application

Application to the Diploma in Professional Dance course can be made using our online application form.

Applicants must complete the form and pay the audition fee (£45) in order to be considered for the course. Upon receiving your application we will contact you with your audition date.

Audition fees are non-refundable. These fees act as both an administration fee for processing your application as well as a non-refundable deposit for a place on an audition day.

In line with our admissions policy, Italia Conti reserves the right to alter or withdraw offers at any point. Places on our courses are limited. Acceptances are dealt with on a first come first serve basis and so early acceptance is advised.

Audition Criteria

FIRST ROUND – SELF TAPE RECORDED AUDITION

First round applicants will receive the result from their audition submission within 3-4 weeks of receipt. This is to ensure that every submission deserves our full time and attention.

BALLET & JAZZ AUDITION

Please record yourself performing the following exercises as taught in the video:

Ballet:
Plié and tendu exercise
Battement Fondu and Rond de Jambe en l’aire exercise
Adage
Pirouette combination
Petit Changement

Jazz:
Kicks and Pirouette combination
Jump combination

SOLO DANCE AUDITION:

Auditionees should prepare one dance piece in their preferred style, no longer than one minute. This should showcase their strengths and highlight any special skills.

Required dress:

Applicants should wear tight-fitting clothing to allow the panel to see their movement fully.

RECALL AUDITION

You will be required to participate in three dance classes at your recall; Ballet, Technical Centre Practice, a class where you will learn a set piece of Jazz choreography, and a contemporary dance class will be taught. You will also be asked to perform your first round self tape solo dance and explore this movement further through guidance and redirection from the panel. Each class will last 30 minutes.

Required dress:
Jazz shoes or trainers that are suitable for dance (i.e. no Converse or similar fashion shoes that are not designed for dance). No loose clothing or jewellery is permitted.

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Career Prospects

Industry links

Regular workshop sessions are held to give students the opportunity to work with directors, choreographers and industry professionals whilst training. Second and third year students also have to opportunity to join the Italia Conti Agency and undertake professional work should the opportunity arise. During the 3rd year students take part in Dance Productions and a final Showcase whereby agents are invited, and Italia Conti has connections with many of these.

Progression

Italia Conti offers a 1 year Top Up Degree for Diploma students.

 

Alumnx & graduate success

With over 112 years of Italia Conti history, our graduates populate the performance industries and include many famous faces. Recent graduates can be seen working on prestigious productions in all areas of the industry.

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