Ballet Academic Program

Ballet Academic Program
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English Francais

Ballet Academic Program

The Ballet Academic Program is a full-time seven-level program for young artists pursing their dream of dancing professionally.

Students enter the Program as young as 10 years of age (going into academic grade 6). Depending on age and level in program of study, they dance between 14-25 hours per week, for 11 months of the year. Students do intensive work in ballet and pointe technique and in higher levels, pas de deux and variations. In addition to classical training, students receive a comprehensive education in character and modern dance. The curriculum is augmented by classes in historical dance, conditioning, music, drama, repertoire, improvisation, choreography, visual art, dance history, creative movement, strength-training, and Pilates. Students also attend nutrition classes taught by our Registered Dietitian and Performance Enhancement classes with our Physical Education Consultant. Peer Relationships courses developed by our Student Care Counsellors provide students with the skills required to live away from home and to manage personal and professional relationships in an intensive training environment. Students for whom English is not their first language are also required to attend English as an Additional Language classes for supplementary academic and training support.

The RWB School has spent 50 years researching and studying the means to adapt the finest elements of the Russian training system for the Canadian dancer.

The result is a unique curriculum that develops a versatile young artist with a strong technique and the ability to be competitive internationally. A commitment to years of slow growth and evolution are the root of this very successful method of training. The RWB School artistic faculty, educated and experienced in the practice of this system, is a key element in its success. These teachers work as a collaborative team to impart their knowledge to subsequent generations of teachers and dancers.

Performance Opportunities

Performance opportunities are an integral part of RWB School students’ training. Our goals are to provide professional dance students an opportunity to experience the demands of performance and touring first-hand and to introduce classical ballet and other dance forms to new audiences. Every year, we invite guest teachers and choreographers to work with our students in the studio and to stage choreography for these performances.


A summer tradition for over 30 years, Ballet in the Park attracts approximately 20,000 Manitobans and visitors to the Lyric Theatre at Assiniboine Park for a mixed repertoire performance featuring both the RWB Company and School.


Our long-standing Concert Hour Ballet Tour sends dancers on the road for one week in November to share the power of ballet and other dance forms with new audiences in schools and community spaces.


Extending over a period of five days in February, and typically including upwards of 12 student choreographers, our First Steps Choreographic Competition is one of the most exciting events of the School year. Starting in September, student choreographers direct all aspects of the creative process, from casting decisions to costume designs, and marketing and promotional considerations.


Our Spotlight performance series in May showcases the work of all of the dancers in the Program and fluctuates between a story ballet and mixed repertoire programmes. Past performances have included excerpts from Le Corsaire, Coppélia, Don Quixote, Carmina Burana, as well as world premieres by critically acclaimed choreographers like Mark Godden, Gabriela Rehak, and Jera Wolfe.


Students also have regular opportunities to perform with the RWB Company in full-length classical ballet productions, and throughout the School year at our Scholarship Presentation Evening, Graduation Convocation, Sharing Dance Day, and Ballet Ball. These RWB performances are complemented by a host of opportunities to perform for other local arts and culture organizations and at corporate galas and other special events.

Academic Partnerships

The RWB School has forged strong partnerships with two highly regarded local private schools, ensuring that our young artists are challenged and stimulated beyond time spent in our studios. These partnerships enable us to offer the best overall support to the student body and ensure that the RWB School continues to rank among the best ballet schools in the world. Allowing our students the opportunity to venture beyond our walls on a daily basis affords them the ability to share ideas and develop friendships with a diverse group of young people, further enriching their RWB experience.

The rest is history, as witnessed by the long list of alumni working in the field around the world today.

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