Heather Ogden in rehearsal Photo Credits

Heather Ogden in rehearsal


RBC Apprentice Programme

What is the Apprentice Programme?

The National Ballet of Canada offers an Apprentice Programme under the sponsorship of The RBC Foundation. This programme is intended for both male and female graduates of professional conservatories who are interested in dancing with The National Ballet of Canada. The apprenticeship takes place over a 10 month period and allows dancers to continue building their technical skills while adapting to a professional schedule.

All Apprentices take part in YOU dance, an outreach program offered by the National Ballet. This program involves the preparation and presentation of selected repertory at performances (approximately 20 per year) designed to introduce young people to ballet. Performances take place in a theatrical setting and are scheduled so as not conflict with the Apprentices' responsibilities to the main company.

As members of YOU dance, Apprentices also benefit from classes and rehearsals that focus on the development of the skills appropriate to their position as entry level professionals. As well, they are welcome to approach the members of the artistic staff for career advice and coaching. Apprentices receive 50% of a first-year NBC corps member salary. The National Ballet's Artistic Director and her staff evaluate the Apprentices throughout the year and may invite them to join the National Ballet as a company member at any point within the period of the Apprenticeship. In the event an Apprentice is not to be offered further work with the National Ballet every effort is made to convey this information in a timely fashion.

Who should audition?

Recent graduates of professional ballet conservatories who are interested in dancing with The National Ballet of Canada, generally between the ages of 17 – 21 years old.

If you won't have graduated from a secondary school program by the start of the contract date, you are NOT eligible for The National Ballet of Canada Apprentice auditions. However, you may contact Canada’s National Ballet School at www.nbs-enb.ca for more information regarding classes, summer school and other training programs while a secondary school student.

If you are an established dancer who has strong, classical ballet technique and performing experience with a professional company, please click here for information on how to audition for a Corps, Soloist or Principal contract.

When is the next Apprentice audition? And what should I expect?

All positions for The National Ballet of Canada’s 2014/15 Apprentice Programme have been filled and we are no longer accepting applications. Please refer back to this page in the fall when we will post updated information about auditions for the 2015/16 Apprentice Programme.

What if I have other questions?

Please visit our FAQ page for more information.  For anything else regarding the RBC Apprentice Programme and auditions, please email auditions@national.ballet.ca or call 416 345 9686 x352.

The RBC Apprenticeship Programme is generously supported by the RBC Foundation.

Company Auditions

We have completed our auditions for the 2014/15 season and are no longer accepting applications. Please visit this page in the fall when we will post updated information on how to apply for our 2015/16 season.

For more Information about becoming a Company member please email auditions@national.ballet.ca or call 416-345-9686 ext 352.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the auditions held?

The auditions take place at The Walter Carsen Centre for The National Ballet of Canada, 470 Queens Quay West in Toronto. The facility is just west of the downtown core at Queens Quay West and Spadina Avenue.

Is there a hotel close by?

There are several hotels in downtown Toronto that are all about 10 to 20 minutes away by taxi or public transportation. Any travel website that lists a hotel as "downtown" will be fairly close. Dancers who have auditioned with us in the past have recommended The Bond Place Hotel and The Strathcona Hotel as they are less expensive than some of the large chain hotels.  The closest major hotels are the Hilton Garden Inn, Hyatt Regency Toronto and Super 8. Some hotels may not allow youths under 18 to book a hotel room without an adult. Please be sure to confirm with the hotel about their policy in this regard.

Is there parking at The Walter Carsen Centre?

There is no designated parking for The Walter Carsen Centre where the audition is held. There are public parking lots within walking distance of the centre. Also the Toronto Transit Commissions (TTC) streetcars operate regularly past the facility located in the Queens Quay/Spadina Avenue area of Toronto. Please note, the subway does not start running until approximately 9:00 am on Sundays. For transit information please visit http://www.toronto.ca/ttc/ 

Is there a dress code for the audition?

Both Women and Men should wear clothing that allows the adjudicators to see the line of the body and legs.  Women will be required to wear pointe shoes for a portion of the audition.

What can I expect at the audition?

The apprentice audition will consist of ballet class followed by learning and presenting company repertoire, with a possible pas de deux component. Dancers may be eliminated at any point during the audition process. (Generally there is an elimination after barre and at the end of class.) You do not need to prepare a piece for the apprentice audition.

An audition for a company position will consist of taking company class with National Ballet dancers.