Professional training in Dance

SAAS applicableCDET-accredited-logoApproved-Centre-Rev-2567-40x40

Course accredited by CDET and qualification awarded by SQA

This course in Dance is designed to take you from student-in-training right the way through to professional dancer, prepared for everything the industry expects of you as a performer.

Our Dance course incorporates HNC and HND qualifications (awarded by SQA) into three years of rigorous and disciplined training in technique and performance and can be part-funded by SAAS. With up to an incredible 50 hours of classes per week, our diploma course is definitely a full-time programme, providing you with an affordable and great value path to the profession of your dreams.

Get the training you need to compete on the international stage without having to spend three expensive years in London!

Dance at MGA

On this course you will develop core technique and build up a portfolio of dance styles and genres – as solo performer, in duet and in ensemble. You will explore the range of opportunities in the dance industry, learning how to recognise and develop your strengths, and how best to represent yourself as a unique performer.

Studio-based classes develop dance technique and understanding, and you will learn how to unlock the potential of your body, maintain it and promote it. Regular core classes in ballet, jazz and contemporary are supplemented by a wide range of styles and skills, from tap and commerical to aerial and gymnastics, taught by our incredible dance faculty and some amazing visiting performers and choreographers from across the industry. Alongside productions, presentations and film projects, you will have opportunity to apply your skills in the wider world of performing arts by participating in musical theatre productions, concerts and special events.

The course

This course consists of three years of extensive training in the core dance disciplines, structured around the transition from technique-based classes to performance-based work. The third year includes extra personal and professional development sessions. Additional specialist workshops led by visiting professionals feature throughout the training.

Equipment checklist

All MGA Full-Time students are expected to have the following equipment – a definitive list will be discussed at audition stage.

  • MGA Full-Time uniform
  • Jazz trainers/shoes
  • Tap shoes
  • Ballet tights, leotard and shoes
  • Knee pads
  • Dictaphone, notepad and pencil
  • Boys will also need a pair of dress shoes and a black suit
  • Girls must have a pair of character shoes and character skirt, and a black cocktail dress

A reading list will be provided to all students accepted into Full-Time training.

Course content includes:

  • Jazz
  • Ballet
  • Tap
  • Commercial
  • Contemporary
  • Pas de deux
  • Gymnastics and tumbling
  • Aerial work*
  • Heels class
  • Acting for the dancer
  • Singing for the dancer
  • Theatre and dance history
  • Dance anatomy and contextual studies
  • Stage makeup
  • Professional and personal development
  • Audition technique
All or Nothing homepage

*MGA is delighted to be working with All Or Nothing, an Edinburgh-based aerial performance company. Students on the Dance diploma are offered the unique opportunity to expand their portfolio of skills by learning basic flying techniques on equipment such as silks.

Our Dance staff are a dedicated team of professionals, all successful in their individual dance fields, and ready to share their experiences with the stars of the future. Find out more about who will be teaching you on the MGA Staff page.

The course is run primarily from Dance Base on Grassmarket – Scotland’s National Centre for Dance. Students have use of the building’s four spacious dance studios, and changing and shower facilities. This is, of course, in addition to all the amazing resources MGA students benefit from at our Academy building on Balgreen Road. There may also be occasional off-campus rehearsals for large-scale shows during production weeks. Learn more about all the amazing resources and facilities students at MGA can benefit from on Our Facilities page.


MGA is now an approved teacher training centre for ISTD, and students have the opportunity to gain ISTD qualifications while training with us. We are thrilled that we can offer our students another pathway into the world of Dance through these internationally-recognised and widely respected teaching qualifications.

Upon successful completion of the course, graduates may be offered representation by MGA’s in-house management agency MGA Management, best placing them to kick-start their professional careers.

On graduating

The three years of training concludes with a professional showcase, best placing you to kick-start your careers upon graduation.

By the time you graduate from MGA full-time training you will have under your belt:

  • Your Equity card
  • Spotlight membership
  • Many and varied roles in productions including a professional showcase
  • A professional-standard CV, headshots and personalised stationery
  • A portfolio of professional photographs
  • Opportunity to apply for representation by MGA Management and Casting
  • The MGA Little Black Book of Contacts
  • Skills that will allow you to forge a successful and fulfilling career!

Find out more about life after graduation and where our graduates go next on our Graduates page.

Entry requirements and applications

Full course details and information about applying and auditions are available from the MGA office. If you’re interested in joining us at MGA, click here to start the application process. If you are unsure which course is most suitable please contact us and tell us which courses interest you. We are also happy to discuss this at audition stage.

Entry onto all our courses is by audition only (details provided after application) and applicants should be aged 16 years or over. Auditions are held throughout the year and applicants will be contacted within two weeks of receipt of application form.

Natural aptitude, potential and attitude will be key considerations, with academic achievements taking a back seat for once!

Students applying from overseas should apply in exactly the same way. However if attending an audition in the UK is not possible, applicants may apply by video/DVD with supporting documentation from both professional and character referees.

For information on fees for Full-Time courses see our Fees and Funding page. Please note: unlike a lot of other drama schools out there, applications for our full-time courses are FREE, there are no audition fees to pay!

Full-Time Audition Dates

Our main audition sessions for entry in September 2018 are:

All at MGA in Edinburgh except where stated otherwise. MGA has an Open Day for Full-Time Courses on Thursday 8th February 2018.

If you are interested in applying for full-time courses at MGA fill in our application form and we will contact you with information on the application process and audition requirements. (You can also book on to the Open Day with this form.)

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