Alberta Ballet School Professional Division FAQs

If you have ambitions of becoming a professional ballet dancer, there is no better place in the world to pursue your dance career than at one of the best ballet schools in the world: Alberta Ballet School. Our Professional Division provides artistic and academic training for aspiring professional dancers in grades 7-12. Here are some frequently asked questions about our world-renowned program.

Alberta Ballet School aims to ensure all its students are well-versed in a variety of different movement forms and styles. Our exclusive curriculumcreated with the help of our artistic advisor, Diane van Schoor, incorporates prominent influences from Cecchetti, Vaganova and French systems of training. Junior school students receive training in Ballet and instruction from YYC Dance Project in jazz and commercial/contemporary dance. Senior school students receive training in Ballet and modern and contemporary dance. In our Senior school, repertoire is emphasized, as is partnering and choreographic composition. Students are provided the opportunity to perform in annual productions, attend seminars with leading artistic directions, and receive instruction from guest teachers from around the world.
Under the direction of Alberta Ballet School Director Ashley McNeil, Professional Division students receive world-class instruction from a dynamic and varied faculty with both artistic and academic expertise. Our students are also able to benefit from the instruction of highly accomplished guest teachers.
Alberta Ballet School is an accredited private school that provides onsite academic programming for grades 7-12 that is designed to allow students to complete the requirements for an internationally recognized Alberta High School Diploma and graduate with the qualifications required to enter post-secondary studies. Senior students are eligible to receive 15 credits per year for their dance training, which may be applied toward their diploma. Our students benefit from small class sizes, and a positive, personalized learning environment. Nearly 50 per cent of our students in both grade 9 and grade 12 achieve excellence (80% or higher) on their diplomas and achievement tests, which is significantly higher than the provincial average. Eighty-seven per cent of our students achieve honour roll status and leadership or citizenship awards.
Our Professional Division dancers dedicate 40 hours per week to Professional Division work, which includes both artistic and academic studies. One of the greatest benefits of this model is that students’ after-school time is their own; instead of rushing from school to the studio and staying there until well into the evening, training is all completed during working-day hours.
Acceptance into our Professional Division is contingent upon both a successful artistic audition and a personal academic review. A fully refundable $1000 deposit is required for admission and will be applied to a student’s first-year admission if they are granted admission to the program. You can learn about dates and requirements for current-year admissions here.
Yes! Alberta Ballet School offers a residence program for all Professional Division dancers. Located on its own dedicated floor in the West Residence – Building D, at Mount Royal University, students benefit from a secure building with full-time, on-site staff, a comprehensive meal plan, and transportation to and from school. Resident life affords students the chance to become both self-reliant and independent within a familial, multicultural environment and with the support and supervision of both a dedicated Residence Team and the Alberta Ballet School community.
Absolutely! One third of students in our Professional Division are not local to Calgary, and 30 per cent of those students are from countries other than Canada. We ensure international students have the all the support they need – from the admission process, to the dance floor, to the classroom, and beyond.
Alberta Ballet School recognizes the importance of both physical and mental health. We are proud to support our students by providing on-site health and wellness services including physiotherapy, massage, naturopath, chiropractic care, nutritional and sport psychological care. Our dedicated team works together to ensure any issues related to diagnosis, prognosis, and recovery are clearly understood and respected.
Yes! Alberta Ballet School offers a two-year post-graduate program to nurture aspiring professional dancers who have already obtained their high school diploma. Admission is based on an audition process and the program follows the traditional school-year calendar (June to September.) We also offer our Alberta Ballet Trainee Program in partnership with the Alberta Ballet Company to bridge the gap between training and a professional dance career.
The sky’s the limit for our Professional Division graduates; the world truly is their stage! Since 1991, Alberta Ballet School has been proud to be part of the story of some of the world’s greatest dancers. You can read some of their profiles here.

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out and contact the Alberta Ballet School team.