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The Professional Graduate Programme is a full-time one year holistic training programme, designed to bridge the gap between full-time training and professional experience.

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.

Graduates from the most recent course have won contracts with the likes of Ballet Cymru, Ballet Ireland, Baltic Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Ukrainian Ballet of Peace, Ukrainian Classical Ballet, Ballet Du Capitole, English National Ballet and Northern Ballet.

Training Technique

The Professional Graduate Programme follows the Ichino Technique developed by 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 Professional Graduate Programme meaning that class sizes are kept small allowing you to get the individual attention you need.

Programme Content

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

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

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 CinderellaLittle Red Riding Hood, Elves & the ShoemakerUgly DucklingThree Little PigsThe Nutcracker, The Little Mermaid, The Great Gatsby and Puss in Boots.


A dedicated mentor will support you throughout the year, helping you to settle in to the programme. Your mentor will 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, Associate & Graduate Programme Manager, by emailing or calling 0113 220 8000.

Applications open January 2024

Photo Emily Nuttall.