Dance Teacher Resources

The Royal Ballet School brings ATAP training to Australia

The Royal Ballet School's ATAP. Photo by Pierre Tappon Photography.
The Royal Ballet School's ATAP. Photo by Pierre Tappon Photography.

The Royal Ballet School, a world leader in ballet education, has devised the Affiliate Training and Assessment Programme (ATAP) for private and recreational dance training. The programme serves as an alternative to other training models based on learning a syllabus for examination, and it provides young dance students a high quality, student-centred learning experience.

“The programme takes a holistic approach to the learning of dance,” says Karen Berry, Senior Teacher Training Manager at The Royal Ballet School. “As well as ballet technique, vocabulary and performance skills, students will learn about the art form, studying repertoire, appreciation and choreography.”

The Royal Ballet School's ATAP. Photo by Pierre Tappon Photography.
The Royal Ballet School’s ATAP. Photo by Pierre Tappon Photography.

Dance teachers who complete the training are given the title of Affiliate Teachers of the prestigious Royal Ballet School.

For the first time, The Royal Ballet School will be bringing this training to Australia in April 2025, following initial introductory Insight workshops in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney this April.

During the Insight workshops this April, there will be a presentation on ATAP and its methodology for dance teachers, followed by trial classes for students. Teachers will see how Affiliate teachers deliver the programme in their studios and learn about the benefits of a holistic training method.

“We welcome any Australian dance teacher who has a passion for delivering high-quality training to their students, and who is excited to find out more about our ground-breaking holistic, student-led approach,” explains John Byrne, Artistic Advisor, Australasia, for The Royal Ballet School. “Teachers could be from any recreational or private dance teaching setting – the main thing is they are enthusiastic to learn more about the method.”

This introductory course will be available for $40 per teacher, and students attending will also be charged $40 for their class. Byrne encourages teachers to bring students of mixed age (from 8-11 years) to the workshop, and young dancers with differing abilities and at various stages of progress. “This will allow you to see the programme ethos in action and understand how it can benefit all dance students,” he says.

The Royal Ballet School's ATAP. Photo courtesy of RBS.
The Royal Ballet School’s ATAP. Photo courtesy of RBS.

Following next month’s Insight workshops, The Royal Ballet School plans to deliver Inspire seminars in Australia in September/October of this year. These seminars will be more in-depth and give any teacher interested in becoming an Affiliate teacher a better understanding of the School’s pedagogical approach and set them up for the 2025 ATAP training.

Victoria Bremner, director of VBDance in the UK, became an Affiliate teacher in October 2023. “I felt that the opportunity to be involved with ATAP would greatly benefit the development of my students, my own personal growth as an educator and as a dance school, too. The whole experience left me feeling so enriched, motivated and inspired. The number-one takeaway for me is to consistently reflect on the ‘why’, the purpose and rationale behind everything I do and decision I make as a ballet educator. Not just in the planning of my classes but in delivery, feedback and evaluation. It also reminded me that creativity is key in order to explore new ideas for my students and in order for them to be able to discover more joy in their dancing, too.”

Byrne notes that there are already some Australian Affiliate teachers who completed their ATAP training in London during the School’s first and second cohorts, and that there has been a huge demand from Australian teachers who understand the goals of the programme and are excited to bring it to their own students.

“What all our Affiliate teachers have in common is a sense of curiosity, a hunger to develop their knowledge and understanding and a real dedication to putting their students first,” Byrne adds. “They all also share an enthusiasm for growing their students’ knowledge and appreciation of ballet as an art form, not just a physical activity. In bringing ATAP to Australia, we are making a difference at the grassroots level in the way dance is taught, and we know there is a huge appetite for this among Australian dance practitioners. We are also excited to find really committed teachers who can act as ambassadors for this ground-breaking programme in Australasia in the future.”

The Royal Ballet School's ATAP. Photo by Pierre Tappon Photography.
The Royal Ballet School’s ATAP. Photo by Pierre Tappon Photography.

Enrolments for both teachers and students are open for the Insight workshops in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney on 6, 8 and 9 April. Byrne encourages teachers to book as soon as possible, as the response has already been very high. Book now:

“The Insight workshops are the first time The Royal Ballet School is bringing ATAP to Australia in person, so it’s a fantastic opportunity for teachers to meet the team and find out all about the programme in their home cities,” Byrne says. “Australian teachers attending the initial Insight workshop then have the opportunity to set up an ongoing relationship with The Royal Ballet School by attending the Inspire seminars in September 2024, the ATAP training programme itself in April 2025, and thereafter as an Affiliate Teacher of The Royal Ballet School once they have satisfied all of the requirements.”

Applications for the next cohorts of Affiliate teachers, to train in London and Hong Kong this summer, open on 11 March. And to stay in the loop about when The Royal Ballet School will be bringing the full programme to Australia, interested teachers should sign up for the School’s email newsletters here. There is also a Facebook group for teachers in Australia who are interested:

For more information about ATAP and how to become an Affiliate teacher, visit

By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.

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