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Royal Ballet aims to support ballerinas with graduate scheme

Alice's Adventures In Wonderland returns to the Royal Opera House this Christmas and will be screened as part of the live cinema season . Photo: Tristram Kenton
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The Royal Ballet is to launch a year-long training scheme for graduate dancers aimed at providing female ballerinas in particular with an “extra chance” to gain employment in the industry.

Called the Aud Jebsen Young Dancer Programme, it will commence in September and offer up to six paid placements to dancers who have graduated from ballet school.

Opportunities to work with the company’s corps de ballet, teachers, coaches and young choreographers will be included in the scheme. Participants will also be able to perform with the Royal Ballet.

Royal Ballet director Kevin O’Hare said that the organisation would look to the Royal Ballet School for recruits, but would also encourage graduates from other training providers to apply.

He said the programme would be open to both men and women but that he hoped to see more female ballet dancers applying because it would encourage them to continue their career either at the Royal Ballet or elsewhere.

“There are also a lot of female dancers out there more generally, so this is giving them an extra chance. It will set them up to either join the Royal Ballet or any other company around the world,” he said.

He added: “Sometimes some young dancers need that – some are ready to join the company straight in and some need that extra little help and finish that this can offer them.”

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