Heather Ogden in rehearsal Photo Credits

Heather Ogden in rehearsal

Auditions

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.

Contract Dates?

The likely start date for a new Apprentice would be August 2015. Dancers offered Apprenticeships will automatically be offered the opportunity to spend July in Banff, Alberta, all expenses paid, to participate in the Banff Centre's Summer Professional Dance Program.

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

The 2015/16 Apprentice Programme audition will take place on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 11:00 am, in front of a panel from both The National Ballet of Canada and Canada's National Ballet School. The audition will include class, pointe work for ladies, company repertoire and possibly pas de deux work. Please note that dancers may be eliminated from the audition process at any time during the audition. The audition is expected to end by 3:00 pm.

Auditionees who were not eliminated over the course of the audition will be notified of their status within approximately two weeks.

Successful applicants may be invited to join the Apprentice Programme directly, or may be asked to consider joining the Post Secondary Programme at Canada's National Ballet School to strengthen their skills sufficiently to be considered for an apprenticeship. Canada's National Ballet School may then offer the applicant the opportunity to join the Summer School phase of the School's auditioning process for the Post Secondary Programme. For more information on the Post Secondary Programme, please refer to Canada's National Ballet School's website www.nbs-enb.ca.

How do I apply for an audition spot?

Applications will be accepted starting October 1, 2014. 

All applications MUST SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL BY EMAIL to be considered for a spot at our apprentice auditions:

  1. Complete CV
    • REQUIRED:  must include your email address, height, date of birth, citizenship, training and performance experience 
     
  1. Photographs
    • REQUIRED (2):  one headshot and one full body arabesque position
    • Additional photographs in dance positions are beneficial but not required 
     
  1. Video work
    • REQUIRED (2):  One classical variation and one contemporary variation
    • Additional video that is beneficial but not required:  pas de deux work, a jump exercise (men may include entrechat six and double tour en l’air), a turn exercise and an adage.
    • Barre and other class work is not needed 

    *Video work should ideally be shot in a studio and not too far away.  Performance video is acceptable if of good quality and filmed close-up.  For the Classical variation, women must be in pink tights and leotard or tutu; men in light coloured tights or bare legs.

    *Video work should be uploaded to a host site (such as YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) or file sharing site (such as Dropbox or YouSendIt) and links included in your application.  Please remember to include a password if needed and keep your video work available for viewing until January 25.  Please do not email video files.

Email your completed application to auditions@national.ballet.ca by January 2, 2015.  Please specify that you are applying for the Apprentice program auditions on January 25.  You will receive a reply within 5 business days.

Your application will not be processed unless all the required documents, photos and videos are submitted.  Please note some servers are not able to send out large files, therefore you may want to reduce the size of your photos or send the attachments separately.

Only those who are considered good candidates for the Apprentice Programme will be invited to audition in person in Toronto on Sunday, January 25, 2015.  Please do not make travel arrangements until your application has been accepted. 

What if I can’t attend the scheduled audition?

Apprentice candidates must be seen in person to be considered for an apprentice position with The National Ballet of Canada. If you are unable to attend the Apprentice auditions on January 25, please email auditions@national.ballet.ca or call 416 345 9686 x352.

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

The National Ballet of Canada will not be holding an open audition for company contracts (other than Apprentices) for the 2015/16 season.  Auditions for a Corps, Soloist or Principal contract are by invitation only. Applicants for these positions must be established dancers with strong, classical ballet technique and have performing experience with a professional company.

Applications will be accepted between October 1, 2014 and March 1, 2015. 

Height requirements for Corps, Soloist or Principal applicants:
Men must be minimum 178 cm (5’10”) 
Women must be minimum 163 cm (5’4”) 

All applications MUST SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL BY EMAIL to be considered for an audition:

  1. Complete CV
    • REQUIRED:  must include your email address, height, date of birth, citizenship, training and performance experience
     
  1. Photographs
    • REQUIRED (2):  one headshot and one full body arabesque position
    • Additional photographs in dance positions are beneficial but not required
     
  1. Video work
    • REQUIRED (2):  One classical variation and one contemporary variation
    • Additional video that is beneficial but not required:  pas de deux work, a jump exercise (men may include entrechat six and double tour en l’air), a turn exercise and an adage.
    • Barre and other class work is not needed

    *Video work should ideally be shot in a studio and not too far away.  Performance video is acceptable if of good quality and filmed close-up.  For the Classical variation, women must be in tights and leotard or tutu; men in light coloured tights or bare legs.

    *Video work should be uploaded to a host site (such as YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) or file sharing site (such as Dropbox or YouSendIt) and links included in your application.  Please remember to include a password if needed and keep your video work available for viewing until March 31, 2015.  Please do not email video files.

Email your completed application to auditions@national.ballet.ca by March 1, 2015.  Please specify that you are applying for a corps, soloist or principal contract.  You will receive a reply within 10 business days.    

Your application will not be processed unless all the required documents, photos and videos are submitted.  Please note some servers are not able to send out large files, therefore you may want to reduce the size of your photos or send the attachments separately. 

If the Artistic Director feels you are a good candidate for a contract with The National Ballet of Canada, you will be contacted to arrange a time to audition in person in Toronto.

Only those who are considered good candidates for the company will be invited to audition in person in Toronto at a mutually convenient time.  Please do not make travel arrangements until your application has been accepted.

The National Ballet of Canada will be holding Apprentice auditions on January 25, 2015.  If you are a dancer with little or no professional experience, please click here for information on our RBC Apprentice Programme auditions.

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.