One Year Professional Diploma
- Duration 1 year
- Start date September 2023
- Apply by July 2023
- Funding Unavailable
It is possible to specialise in classical ballet, contemporary dance, jazz dance or musical theatre. Applicants must demonstrate the skills and aptitudes necessary to work in a ‘professional’ context, as the course aims to provide aspirant performers with relevant experience and a portfolio of performance work, so that on graduation they can audition successfully for professional companies.
This year provides the intensive training and performance experience that is required by advanced classical ballet students who wish to pursue a professional career. The current programme builds on the original course which was developed by Margaret Barbieri in consultation with Dame Alicia Markova. It aims to prepare students to meet the demands of performing in a range of work on the ballet stage today, fostering a critical awareness of the choreographic movements in classical ballet, deep understanding of the form and nurturing each dancer in their unique gifts/talents as an artist.
The work in Images Ballet Company emerges from current approaches to classical ballet, while valuing its heritage. In addition to daily ballet classes, specialist courses in repertoire, virtuosity, pas de deux and pointe work are included in the curriculum. These are complemented by other disciplines considered essential for a career as a professional ballet dancer, including contemporary dance and a programme of Individual Physical Development sessions which provide students with physical grounding in strength and conditioning in support of growing their individual artistic practice. Master classes and weekly workshops with leading figures in dance are organized to enable further creative exploration, artistic development and professional networking. Career management and audition techniques are also studied during this final year of training, ensuring that the students receive a comprehensive education that prepares them for professional career.
This year, and time in INTOTO Dance, our contemporary performing company, concentrates on creative, individual interpretation in performance and the enhancement of students’ technique and command of the stage. It aims to foster an intelligent dance artist – one who has the technical skills, creative artistry and physical and emotional maturity to work successfully in a professional environment.
In addition to a daily ballet class specially geared towards the contemporary dancer, third year students on the contemporary dance professional option study Graham and Cunningham-based technique, contact improvisation, release technique and choreography, as well as taking classes that encompass current commercial dance styles. Students can also take advantage of voice technique training and singing for dancers.
Technical training is enhanced by research and development sessions, workshops and masterclasses with artistic directors and leading practitioners across the field of contemporary dance and dance theatre. Sessions are designed to expand and nourish the students’ creative practice, and recent visiting companies have included Phoenix Dance Theatre and Richard Alston Dance Company. Professional development opportunities for third year students also aim to foster entrepreneurial and networking skills, invaluable for a portfolio career path after graduation.
The aim of this year is to refine and polish the students’ physical and artistic capabilities for a professional career. A challenging and exciting opportunity is provided for the serious jazz dancer to train, rehearse, perform and tour as part of our dedicated performing company Jazz Co. This environment develops the resilience, physical skills and stamina required by today’s emerging professional performer, as students are exposed to the latest trends and ever-increasing technical demands of today’s workplace. Care is taken to ensure training is balanced and provided to the highest standards and that the particular gifts and interests of each student are valued and nurtured in the context of professional standards and goals. The year’s syllabus builds towards a final term largely committed to performances in public.
Emphasis is placed on the concept of isolation technique as a feature common to all the different and personal characteristics of jazz dance. The vocabulary of the different jazz styles – ballet, tap, contemporary dance, singing and drama – are combined to create the comprehensive yet balanced training required to equip students for a successful career in commercial dance. Essential skills such as focus, projection, interpretation and style, linked to the ability to absorb and memorise choreography are also developed.
Training also includes work on the styles and personalities of past jazz dance icons and is further enhanced by regular workshops and masterclasses given by leading choreographers and dancers from companies, television and West End productions. This, coupled with visits to performances, provides students with valuable experience and the vital opportunity of working with potential employers.
Encouraging and emphasising the individuality of a dancer is a vital element of the graduate year. The diverse nature of dancers’ skills are polished, advice is given on careers, agents, Equity, CVs, photographs, portfolios of audition material and identification of possible job opportunities.
This professional option embraces all of the theatrical disciplines that contribute to the production of music theatre. It is designed specifically for students aiming at a professional career in this aspect of theatre, which demands a high level of practical expertise in a wide variety of skills.
The curriculum is comprised of intensive courses in acting, improvisation, singing, voice, speech, stage fighting and music theatre repertoire. These are supplemented by the dance techniques that are required by music theatre students, such as ballet, jazz and tap. Students have contact with potential employers through studio-based workshops and masterclasses.
Specialist singing courses build on the students’ knowledge of the musical repertoire for popular theatre, including composers such as Ivor Novello, Noel Coward, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Jerry Herman, Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber. The classwork ensures that the students have their own natural skills developed and that they have the technical foundations to sustain a professional career. Regular private coaching means that students are fully prepared for public performances and auditions.
Drama studies naturalise acting technique, so that it becomes undetectable in performance. The course aims to promote the technical skills, intellectual grasp and the physical and artistic maturity that are required to work successfully in the professional theatre. Voice and speech coaching also play an important part in the final year, reinforcing the work covered in the first two years. This ensures that each student has a flexible, well-modulated voice and is able, therefore, to tackle a wide variety of roles and possesses the strength and skill to project in large auditoria.
These different disciplines are united in the rehearsal and performance of the music theatre repertoire, which commences in the 1920s and proceeds via Rodgers and Hammerstein to the most recent rock musicals. This work promotes an awareness of both the content and style of these different forms of musical theatre.
Classical ballet continues to provide a basis for sound dance technique, emphasising the secure performance of the basic vocabulary. Isolation jazz technique adds interest, style and flair to the performance and staging of songs and dances from musical theatre, with its emphasis on co-ordination, fluency and presentational skills. Dance and tap for musical theatre are essential skills for students seeking employment in the commercial world.
Students on this pathway will be part of our performing company Seedtime.
Sarah TudorAdmissions Manager
Larissa BamberArtistic Director and Principal Ballet Teacher, Images Ballet Company
Sue BookerHead of Department, Contemporary Dance and Artistic Director, INTOTO Dance
Previous full-time training is essential for this postgraduate level training programme. Entrance is by audition only with applications auditioning for entry onto the programme in one of the following pathways: Classical Ballet, Contemporary Dance, Jazz Dance or Musical Theatre.
Please note in most cases, One-Year Professional Diploma students have to be self-funded.
In addition to the Tuition Fees advertised above; students may incur additional costs such as dance equipment (including clothing), travel and maintenance.
Optional additional costs include health insurance/cash plan, Spotlight/Equity membership, LSC merchandise, discounted offers, open classes, production recordings, IPD equipment, LSC performances (discounted), printing costs, stationery costs, TOTUM membership (formerly NUS), TFL discount card, reading list (all available in LSC’s library), sheet music, physiotherapy, massage, Library fines, theatre trips, headshots and graduation costs.