This Contemporary Dance programme is delivered through the Junior Conservatoire of Dance and is for talented young dancers who aspire towards further study and a career as a professional contemporary dancer or choreographer.
This intensive training course is the only one of its kind in Scotland and provides the highest quality tuition and guidance in supporting the future contemporary dance artists in Scotland.
As a contemporary dance student at the Junior Conservatoire, you will have an exciting programme of classes and workshops aimed at developing your technical skills and nurturing your unique artistry.
The course leader will help to make connections between studying dancers and practising dance artists across Scotland, creating opportunity and support while building awareness of the greater landscape of dance practice internationally.
By studying on this Juniors Contemporary Dance programme, you will:
- learn from expert staff from the Royal Conservatoire and receive masterclasses with guest artists across the industry
- work with students from other disciplines, including the Junior Conservatoire Music and Drama programmes
- focus on developing your technique, release and floor work
- build confidence in both performing and creating contemporary dance pieces
- take part in performing opportunities including end of term sharings and Bridge Week
Entry to the programme is by audition only and we accept a small number of students each year into the programme to allow us to focus our teaching on each individual’s development.
The programme runs from September to June each year, and there are three levels of study available depending on your ability and experience. Many students join us at level 1 and progress through the level to graduate from the Junior Conservatoire, having completed the full four years of study.
Please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions and we would be happy to help.
As a Junior Conservatoire student, you will have a busy timetable of classes to attend weekly in order to ensure you develop your dance technique at the right pace.
What you will study
- Your core dance classes will focus on the foundations of contemporary dance technique, release and floor work.
- Together with your programme of classes, you will be set individual targets in strength, flexibility, stamina and fitness, which you will be encouraged to practice in your own time.
- You will develop your solo and group performance skills, building confidence to both perform and take part in the creative process of dance making for various performances throughout the year. You will be encouraged under experienced artistic direction to improvise, creatively collaborate with your peers and develop choreography skills.
What is Contemporary Dance Technique?
Your contemporary dance technique class rigorously works your precision and musicality through rhythmic and lyrical exercises. We focus on the articulation of limbs with the contraction, release, curve and spiral of the spine.
You will work on posture and skeletal alignment, the use of your breath with movement, and will practice building dynamic shifting and travelling ability both standing and on the floor.
Technique exercises will work your strength and agility to increase dynamic movement, and improve travelling and jumping facility.
There have been many contemporary dance techniques which have evolved over the last hundred years since the movement began. You will learn contemporary dance history as part of your programme of workshops and build awareness of the vast legacy underpinning the art form.
What is Release?
Release is about finding the balance between holding tension in muscles and learning to release that tension to create an exciting and dynamic movement quality.
You will gain a deeper understanding of how to use the body with the forces of gravity and momentum, facilitating, quick, dynamic and fluid movement sequences.
Students will practice floor work, learning to fall, recover and move safely in, out and across the floor. All students will be encouraged to find ways of adapting movement to suit their own body.
The Junior Conservatoire of Dance is Scotland’s national centre of excellent for training aspiring dancers to progress towards full-time, vocational study at higher education level.
- Learn within Scotland’s national conservatoire, recognised as one of the world’s top ten performing arts education institutions (2016 – 2018 QS World Rankings)
- Train on specifically-designed courses for students working towards full-time vocational training in dance
- Use bespoke, purpose-built dance facilities at the Wallace Studios at Speirs Locks
- Develop your performance skills alongside your technique
- Learn in small class sizes, ensuring you receive detailed one-to-one and group ensemble teaching
- Receive regular feedback reports throughout the year to ensure you are getting the most out of the programme
Our staff include the Head of Modern Ballet at the Royal Conservatoire and teachers who have a wealth of experience from working as professional dancers within the industry. Previously students received masterclasses from guest lecturers from Dance House such as Thomas Small and Mele Broomes.
- Giulia Montalbano (Contemporary Dance)
- Bridie Gane (Contemporary Dance)
- Laura McLaughlin (Contemporary Dance)
We want to make the performing arts as accessible to everyone as possible. Anyone who faces financial barriers to participate in the Junior Conservatoire can apply for a bursary or scholarship. As soon as you have been made an offer, you will be sent a link to the bursary and scholarship application form.
These funds are currently supported by the generosity of individuals and charitable trusts and foundations including:
- James McAvoy Drama Scholarship
- Agnes Allan Bursary
- Cambuslang Rotary Club Bursary
- ABRSM Junior Scholarship UK
- Wolfson Foundation Scholarship
- Stevenson Scholarship
- Miss Nancy Williamson Bursary
- William R MacFarlane Scholarship
- Savoy Scholarship
- John McIntyre Memorial Scholarship
Entry to the Junior Conservatoire of Dance is by audition only, and progression through the levels is not automatic — students will be assessed each year if they would like to continue with their studies.
Whilst the Contemporary Dance programme does not ask for formal entry requirements, we expect applicants to have a strong passion for dance, aptitude and an ambition to become the most diverse, creative dancer they can be.
Levels 1 and 2
There are two levels of study available in the Junior Conservatoire Contemporary Dance programme and we will use the audition to determine what level would be best suited for you. Level 1 focuses on skills development and learning the foundations and craft of contemporary dance. Level 2 is a highly competitive course for aspiring dancers that are aiming for careers within contemporary dance, and it focuses on integrating skills in to a performance setting.
If you are unsure if you are at the right level to apply for the Junior Conservatoire Contemporary Dance programme, please contact us at email@example.com and we will be happy to speak to you in more detail.
The audition process
We want your audition to be an enjoyable experience and encourage you to take this opportunity to find out more about the Junior Conservatoire.
Your audition is a group class in front of a panel of RCS lecturers and specialist teachers (no preparation required)
The audition class
You will take part in a group class with a panel of tutors observing. For the audition, we recommend you arrive 30 minutes in advance of the start time to ensure you have adequate time to warm up and wear dance practice clothing.
We aim to inform all applicants of our decision within three weeks of the audition.
Above all, remember the panel wants to see you do well and we look forward to meeting you.
We want to ensure everyone has an opportunity to apply for the Junior Conservatoire Contemporary Dance programme and everyone who applies on time will receive an audition.
When to apply
Application for entry to the Junior Conservatoire Contemporary Dance programme in September 2021 will open on Monday 30th November 2020
All applications should be completed online and there is an audition fee of £45. If you need financial support to pay for the audition fee please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
All auditions for the Junior Conservatoire Contemporary Dance programme will be held in May 2021.
If you have any questions about the Junior Conservatoire or the application process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com
Term Dates 2020/21
Due to Covid-19 restrictions term 1 will take place online in the first instance. We will return to the studio as soon as it is safe to do so.
Term 1: Sunday 6 September – Friday 11 December 2020 (no classes 10-23 October)
Term 2: Sunday 10 January – Friday 26 March 2021 (no classes 6-12 February)
Term 3: Sunday 18 April – Friday 11 June 2021 (no mid-term break)
Youth Arts Festival: Sunday 13 June 2021
Leavers Ceremony– 26th June 2021