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Ballet students in class

Auditions FAQs

When will I know if I have got an audition?

All applicants will be offered an audition slot via email following the closing date. If you haven't heard from us within 5 working days of the closing date please contact academy@northernballet.com.

Please ensure that you give correct email contact details on your application form and check your junk mail folder before contacting the Academy.

What will the audition involve?

You will be advised a time to arrive for registration on the day of your audition. A changing space will be available, however where possible we would advise you arrive with your dancewear under your outdoor clothes. Prior to your audition you will be given a number and can warm up in the studio provided. During this warm up time you will also have a headshot taken for identification purposes following the audition.

You will participate in a ballet class (45 min – 1.5 hrs age/course dependent) in front of an audition panel that will be appropriate for the expectations of your age range. You do not need to prepare any material prior to your audition.

Please do not worry if there is something in the audition that you haven’t done before. We aim to create a friendly and approachable environment during our auditions so please ask your audition teacher if you do not understand something and have a go at anything new.

Audition stages

Preliminary auditions for CAT, Associates and Intermediate Summer Intensive.

There will be a recall audition for Associate and CAT applicants 

Intermediate Summer Intensive candidates will only need to attend the preliminary audition.

What to expect if I get a recall


Junior, Intermediate foundation and Intermediate Associates will experience a ballet class similar to their preliminary audition. No pointe work will be required.

Senior Associates will be recalled to a session with our current senior associates which will include a ballet class with pointe work and a contemporary class.

CAT (Centre for Advanced Training)

Recalls for age 10 and 11 CAT staudents will include a ballet class similar to their preliminary audition.

Older level CAT students will be invited to join a current CAT class which may include pointe work.

Can I audition again if I am unsuccessful this time or have been unsuccessful previously?

Yes. We understand that students can improve significantly within a year and encourage unsuccessful applicants to return the following year to re-audition. We have current students on our courses where this has been the case.

What should I wear to my audition?

You can wear your regular dance attire for your audition. Pink flat ballet shoes with elastics and convertible tights (for girls) are preferred in case you are asked to perform any tasks in bare feet. Hair should be off the face in a bun and no accessories or jewellery. All students can bring a water bottle into the audition studio with them.

If you do not have a regular dance kit you are invited to wear something comfortable to move in that will show your movements clearly, for example a fitted t-shirt and shorts. Where a student does not have ballet shoes, we ask they dance in bare feet. Please no socks, denim or outdoor footwear.

What will I be assessed on in my audition?

We look for different attributes from programme to programme. For our Centre for Advanced Training we look particularly to see if you have the physical capabilities to withstand intensive classical ballet training. For this programme experience is not necessary as we are looking for physical and artistic potential. For our Associate programme as well as potential, we look at a variety of skills including musicality, co-ordination and facility. In older auditionees we will be looking for a good foundation of strength and technique. Expectations for successful audition will vary depending on age and the course applied for.

What if I audition for more than one course?

If you are auditioning for more than one course, you may need to attend two auditions on the same day. We will outline your audition slots in our confirmation email to you.

You will be allocated an audition slot with people of the same age applying for the same course. Due to the high number of applications we receive, there may be more than one audition slot per age per programme.

What if I can’t make my audition?

If you are unable to make your audition time/date please let us know as soon as you can by emailing academy@northernballet.com. Although we cannot guarantee an alternative audition, we will do our best to try and see you at another time/date.

Can I get any feedback from my audition?

Due to the high number of applicants we see, we are unable to offer any feedback following your audition.

International students – how do I apply for summer school?

Students living outside the UK are welcome to apply for our International Summer Intensives. You will need to complete the relevant application form and include the required photographs and video link. We will use your video to assess your suitability for the intensive instead of inviting you to an audition in the UK. 

How will international students be advised on the outcome of their application?

All applicants for our Intermediate Summer School will be notified if they have been offered a place on the course.

Senior International applicants will be sent an outcome email following the closing date for Senior applications.


The cost of our CAT, Associate and Intermediate Summer Intensive auditions is £30 and you may audition for more than one programme for this price.

Once you have filled in your application form you will need to make your audition fee payment of £30 via BACS:

Account Number: 00893718

Sort Code 30-00-05

Please use code AUD followed by the applicants surname and first name as the reference for your payment.  


If you have any problems making a payment this way, please call our reception team on 0113 220 8000 who will be able to take payment over the phone. Please ensure that we have the name of the applicant auditioning.

If you are applying for our CAT programme and need financial assistance to attend the audition, we do have limited support available offered on a means tested basis however the deadline for this coming year has now passed. Please contact academy@northernballet.com for more information.

How to find us

Northern Ballet is located in Leeds City Centre.

Our Address is: 2 St Cecelia Street, Leeds LS2 7PA.

We are approximately a 20-minute walk from the train station and are located very close to Leeds bus station.

Please note that Quarry Hill car park is undergoing major construction work and parking is extremely limited here therefore we advise parking elsewhere. The closest car parks to Northern Ballet are Victoria Gate Car park and NCP The Markets.

For more information about Northern Ballets accessibility please click here

Get in touch

Photo Justin Slee.