Keep in touch

Get our e-newsletters

Latest news

The Nutcracker gallery

Government Spending Review

The Nutcracker casts

The Course

The Graduate Professional Programme is a full-time year long finishing course for professionally trained classical ballet dancers who will benefit from additional training before making the transition to a professional position.

Dominique Larose and Filippo Di Vilio. Photo Martin Bell

Our students come to us for a number of reasons including needing to strengthen after injury or not feeling ready to join a professional Company. The course is designed to help you overcome these obstacles and give you the technical and professional advice you need to embark on your career.

Training Technique

The Graduate Professional Programme follows the Ichino Technique developed by Northern Ballet’s Ballet Mistress and Associate Academy Director, Yoko Ichino.

The Ichino Technique focuses on developing healthy minds and bodies to prepare for professional Company life. Using an in-depth knowledge of the scientific effects of dance on the human body, dancers learn how to cope with the physical and emotional demands of dancing through preventative conditioning, a clear understanding of their individual strengths and limitations and a detailed knowledge of dance technique.

Individual attention is the focus for the Graduate Professional Programme meaning that class sizes are kept to a maximum of 10 allowing you to get the individual attention you need.

Course Content

The course provides a unique combination of training in classical ballet technique, repertoire, strengthening and Pilates.

The emphasis of the course is placed on individual training and health as well as developing proper posture and strengthening.

see a sample timetable

Professional Experience

Training full-time at Northern Ballet’s headquarters means that you will be training alongside the Company’s professional dancers and have the chance to watch technical rehearsals, take the occasional Company Class and really experience how a professional ballet Company operates.

You will also have the opportunity to rehearse and perform with the Company as well as accompanying them on tour in the UK gaining valuable professional experience.

Previous students on the course have performed with Northern Ballet in Ugly Duckling, A Christmas Carol, Three Little Pigs and Cinderella.


A dedicated mentor will support you throughout the year, helping you to settle in to the course and be available to discuss any problems or concerns you might have.

Our teaching staff will guide you through your training needs giving you realistic expectations and helping you with applications and auditions.


Your training will be based at Northern Ballet’s award winning home in central Leeds which includes state of the art studios, performance space and physiotherapy support.

For more information please contact Annemarie Donoghue Academy Programmes Manager, by emailing or call 0113 220 8000.