Elite Training Series Q&A

Thank you for attending our Elite Training Series Online 2020.

We are pleased to provide a summary from the four Q&A sessions held throughout the week. If you have any additional questions, please email academy@queenslandballet.com.au

Auditioning for the Academy

1. How does your audition process work?

For 2021 placements, all auditions will be via video submission through our 2021 auditions page. We have provided set criteria to ensure your video contains the correct material required, based on the endorsed International Audition Pre-selection Guidelines.

2. What qualities do you look for in young dancers joining Queensland Ballet Academy?

Every dancer will have different qualities and strengths, and depending on their previous experience and training, will be at differing stages of development. Each dancer is assessed individually on how they present in their audition, as well as on their potential to progress and succeed in the future.

3. Do audition videos need to be filmed on expensive equipment, or can we use a smartphone?

No. We want to stress that you do not need to purchase any additional filming equipment to enter your audition. We are not judging the quality of your video. We recommend using a tablet, laptop or high definition smartphone camera to film your material.

4. What are the closing dates for 2021 video audition submissions?

Audition registrations for the 2021 Guest Academy Program, Academy Program and Pre-Professional Program are all open now and can be found, along with audition video guidelines, on our website. Closing dates are:

2 August: Academy Program

6 September: Pre-Professional Program

1 November: Guest Academy Program

A Pre-selection Experience for the Foundation Program will be held in lieu of an audition. This program is for children aged 8 - 11.

5. Once you're accepted into the Academy, do you need to re-audition every year?

No, however progression through the Academy Program (Levels 6 - 1), is dependent on achieving the required minimum mark in the end of year examinations for each core dance subject. Students who for any reason do not meet the required mark/s for progression, may be offered to repeat a level (however they will move up in their academic year level). Progression from the Academy Program Level 1 into the Pre-Professional year is via audition or invitation.

6. If I audition unsuccessfully, is it worth auditioning again next year?

We encourage dancers to continue working towards their goals and they are welcome to audition in subsequent years. However, please note we are unable to provide individual feedback following auditions.

Guest Academy Program

1. What will a typical week look like for a visiting Guest Academy Program student?

Guest Academy Program students will visit the Academy for a period of five days, four times per year and will participate in classes with our full-time Level 6, 5 or 4 Academy Program students. Classes run on weekdays from 1.45pm – 6pm (approx.) and other activities may also be available, such as viewing the older levels in morning classes.

2. Is the Guest Academy Program held in school term, or during school holidays?

The Guest Academy Program visits occur during Queensland school terms, with set visit dates advised closer to enrolment. Flexibility exists to negotiate alternative dates if required.

3. Is the Guest Academy Program only open to students in Years 7 - 9?

Yes, to be eligible students must be in academic Years 7 - 9 however, at the Academy Director's discretion, we do also offer short-term training scholarships and / or Academy Invitee positions to older students from time to time.

4. Is your Guest Academy Program open to international students?

Yes, international students are welcome to apply for the Guest Academy Program from any location, as long as they are able to travel to Brisbane to participate.

Academy Program (Levels 6 to 1)

1. What does a typical day look like for an Academy Program student?

The Academy Program's weekly schedule increases in training hours and variety of subjects studied, the further you progress through the program.

Levels 6 to 4 (Years 7 - 9) - students will attend academic classes from 9am – 1.10pm, then head to the Academy building for their dance training from 1.45pm - 6pm (approximately), each weekday.

Levels 3 to 1 (Years 10 - 12) - dance training takes place in the mornings from 8am - 1pm (approximately), with academic classes from 1.50pm - 4.45pm. Dance training also takes place on Saturdays from 9am - 1pm (approximately).

2. Can Academy Program students be home schooled or attend another academic school?

Queensland Ballet is fortunate to have a long-standing partnership with the Queensland Department of Education, and all Academy Program students must be enrolled at Kelvin Grove State College where they receive face-to-face academic schooling in Years 7 - 12. Therefore, Academy Program students cannot be home schooled or be enrolled with an alternative public or private school.

3. Can I transfer from the Guest Academy Program to the Academy Program?

Yes, this is possible but will be dependent on placement availability. Simply email us at academy@queenslandballet.com.au to initiate this conversation.

Academic Studies and Kelvin Grove State College

1. Is Kelvin Grove State College a high-ranking school?

Yes, Kelvin Grove State College is an inner-city Independent Public School which performs very well in Queensland's academic school rankings each year. Families often relocate into the school's catchment zone in order to secure enrolment at the College. You can learn more about the school here.

2. How are academic studies structured with the training offered at the Academy?

Through Queensland Ballet Academy's partnership with the Queensland Department of Education, the academic component of the program in Years 7 to 12 is provided by Kelvin Grove State College. Dancers in the Academy Program enjoy face-to-face academic tuition, however with a slightly reduced academic subject load, and will graduate with a Queensland Certificate of Education and ATAR (tertiary ranking) where eligible, at completion of Year 12. If desired, it is also possible to undertake VET Certifications in the senior school at Kelvin Grove State College, such as a Diploma of Business.

3. If I audition successfully for the Academy, will I also need to enrol into Kelvin Grove State College, or will the Academy do this on my behalf?

If successful, and as long as your academic record is satisfactory, you will automatically receive a position at Kelvin Grove State College. Please note however, an out-of-catchment enrolment application and fee will apply for those residing outside of the College's designated catchment zone. All new students and their parents / carers will be invited to a phone or in-person enrolment interview to discuss subject preferences and an individualised learning pathway.

4. Do Academy students join Kelvin Grove State College students in their academic classes?

Yes, Academy students will be placed in mixed classes with other Kelvin Grove State College students. This enables the students to make friends outside of the dance world and fully integrate into the school community.

Academy Life and Training

1. At what age do you recommend children join Queensland Ballet Academy?

From 2021, we will offer training for students as young as 8 years of age. The earlier students commence consistent and progressive training, the better the outcomes. However, we recognise that individual circumstances will vary and lead young dancers to apply or be invited into the Academy at many different stages along the training pathway. Auditions are held annually and suitable dancers will be accepted where appropriate and where positions are available in each level of the Academy each year. 

2. How many training hours per week is recommended for each age group?

At the Academy, training increases from 14.5 hours per week in Level 6 to 23 - 26 hours per week in Level 1. A full-time training load is only introduced in the final year, the Pre-Professional Program. The steady progression is deliberately designed to increase as the dancer matures and strengthens so they are safely building towards being ready for employment at the appropriate age of approximately 19 - 21 years.

3. Which training method is taught at Queensland Ballet Academy?

Queensland Ballet Academy is non-syllabus based, however the Vaganova method is used as the base for our ballet curriculum. As the training levels progress, the curriculum becomes more varied to incorporate material and training practices considered best practice and which required in the profession at the time. As a part of Queensland Ballet, our direct link with the professional industry allows us to mould our practices in real-time, according to what is currently required.

4. Is the music used in classes composed specially for the Academy?

We are very fortunate to engage professional pianists and have an experienced music team embedded in the Academy Faculty. During classes, the Academy Teachers will set the rhythm and required music style for each exercise, and the pianist will then find a suitable piece of music or improvise to accompany the dancers as required.

5. Is there any opportunity to start dancing with the Academy earlier than Year 7?

For students living in the Brisbane metropolitan area, our new Foundation Program will be available for children from 8 - 11 years of age from 2021. This program will be the earliest entry point into the Academy, and is delivered as an after school dance program offering foundational ballet training and additional activities to inspire a love of our artform in younger children.

6. What specific training and support is offered for male dancers?

Depending on enrolment numbers in each year level, we endeavour to offer split male and female classes for classical ballet to ensure dedicated, male-specific training for boys. In the upper levels, male students take Male Fitness with a professional Strength and Conditioning Coach, and enjoy the mentoring and guidance from our male Faculty members, all who have enjoyed long and successful professional careers.

For male ballet dancers, we are also offering our first ever all-male event, Boys ONLY Workshop in August. Register here

7. Is body conditioning an optional class, or do all students do this?

Students across all levels do at least two hours of body conditioning per week. As they progress, boys will also incorporate Male Fitness classes to prepare the body for partnering work.

Fees and Scholarships

1. Does the Academy offer scholarships for dancers?

Yes. Scholarships are talent-based positions within the Academy which may be offered to potential students by the Academy Director at any stage throughout the year, including at Academy training events or high-profile competitions (where the dancer has indicated they are happy to be approached regarding training opportunities).

We also have an annual bursary application process. Bursaries enable dancers who may otherwise not be able to train at the Academy for reasons relating to barriers of diversity, regionality or financial hardship. 

Queensland Ballet Academy bursaries are generously funded by the Department of Education as well as by individuals and corporations who wish to support young dancers to pursue professional training with Queensland Ballet Academy. More information can be found here.

The annual bursary applications open in November once enrolments have been finalised.

2. Are there fees for both the Academy and Kelvin Grove State College?

Academy Program fees cover the dance component of the program. Kelvin Grove State College is an independent State School and therefore there are no school fees applicable. The College will charge a one-off out-of-catch enrolment processing fee (where applicable) and nominal resource fee each year. Additional expenses include school and dance uniforms, dance wear, stationery, excursions etc.

3. What are the Program Fees at the Academy?

2021 fees can be found here

4. Are there extra fees associated with Academy productions (e.g. costumes, travel etc.)?

The Academy Program fees are all inclusive and there are no additional fees associated with productions.

Moving to Brisbane

1. Where do students live if their family is not based in Brisbane?

Some families choose to relocate to Brisbane or place their child with friends or relatives who reside in Brisbane. The Academy also has a Homestay Program to assist with placement of students in Levels 3 -1 / Years 10 - 12 with registered host families. We do not provide assistance with homestay placement for younger students. Please contact us for further information.

2. Do you have many interstate and international students in the Academy?

Yes, we have students from across Australia, as well as from New Zealand, Hong Kong and Japan who join us in the Academy. Approximately 50% of our students come from regions other than Queensland.

3. What's happens to international students still in lockdown due to COVID-19?

Currently, Queensland is doing really well in the pandemic and our dancers are already back in studios. We encourage International students to audition, and while we hope for the best outcome in regard to the pandemic, we will deal with individual situations as they arise and make adjustments for those affected.

Post-School and Career

1. What does a typical day look like in the Pre-Professional Program?

Pre-Professional Program students train at the home of Queensland Ballet in West End from 10am - 6pm, five days per week, with an additional class on Saturday mornings. The program is a finishing year for dancers to prepare them for employment and incorporates advanced training, career preparation and several live performance opportunities. Read more here.

2. Do many Academy students get into Queensland Ballet Company?

40% of dancers in Queensland Ballet are graduates of the Academy's Pre-Professional Program. More generally, 92% of graduates from the last five years have received professional employment within 12 months of finishing the Pre-Professional Program. Read more on our Alumni page.

3. Do students teach after their dance career?

As Queensland Ballet Academy was formally established in 2015, our graduates are still quite young and seeking or enjoying professional employment or other studies, however some of our community dance classes are taught by Academy alumni. 

When a Company dancer is ready to retire, Queensland Ballet offers a transition program to assist with their next career chapter. Some of our former dancers have moved on to careers in the fitness industry, education, physiotherapy and business, to name a few.

4. Do you have programs to encourage careers outside of on-stage dancing?

Queensland Ballet Academy is firm on its rule that everyone enrolled in a full-time program needs to finish Year 12. This ensures they receive a Year 12 Queensland Certificate of Education, so they have the option to pursue tertiary studies at any stage. The Academy offers Career Preparation sessions in the Academy Level 1 and Pre-Professional Programs. Through Kelvin Grove State College, students can take VET courses while they’re in school. Additionally, our dancers receive exclusive back-end access to Queensland Ballet to see the whole gamut of what makes up a Company, broadening their experience of possible careers in the Arts.

Future Academy Events

1. Does the Academy host holiday programs?

In addition to the Elite Training Series, we offer holiday programs, Summer School, and a Boys ONLY Workshop. You can keep up to date with all upcoming Academy events and performances here.

2. Is there going to be a 2020 Queensland Ballet Academy Gala?

Due to the impact of COVID-19, we have regrettably had to move our 2020 season of the Queensland Ballet Academy Gala into 2021. However, we will instead be hosting a Senior Program Showcase in our studio theatre facilities at the Academy in October. Details will be released soon.