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Primary Steps

Primary Steps is a national junior school programme which aims to provide Year 3 (7-8 yrs) class groups with a positive introduction to ballet; and initial creative ballet training for selected children, who would not otherwise have the opportunity. Started in Dagenham, Primary Steps offers dance training to students in Swindon, Mansfield, Blackpool and Bury St Edmonds.


Primary Steps provides training to children who would not normally have access to creative ballet classes. A specific socioeconomic and cultural need was identified in diverse areas. Success is based on primary school satisfaction and enhanced student performance, pupil retention in the after school programme and pathways to other dance activities. 


On-going funding from the DfE and support from private sponsors. After-school classes and workshops are held on partner school premises. Enrichment visits and performances are held at The Royal Ballet School. 29 specialist teachers and musicians deliver the programme supported by a full-time manager and coordinator.


Primary Steps focuses around a cluster of five or six primary schools in one area. Each school receives:

- Six creative dance workshops introducing elements of ballet, for all Year 3 pupils

- CPD and resource materials to support work with the pupils.

- An invitation for Year 3 to watch a demonstration in their area of ballet training by Royal Ballet School students. This demonstration involves Upper School students aged 16+ and Junior Associate students aged 10 -11 years and is audience interactive.

- The opportunity for selected pupils to join a regular Primary Steps class for initial creative ballet training.

Our Autumn Workshops can contribute to Arts Award Discover through pupils’ participation and documentation of their learning.

Weekly after school classes

Up to 26 Year 3 pupils from participating schools, who have not previously had an opportunity to study ballet, are invited to attend regular introductory creative ballet classes. For a nominal weekly fee, pupils receive:

- Weekly introductory classes led by Outreach & Access teachers and accompanied by a musician

- Dance uniform and shoes

- Opportunities to see Royal Ballet School students in training and professional dancers performing

- Visits to local and regional dance providers and opportunities to perform locally and at The Royal Ballet School

Pupils in Primary Steps dance classes can contribute to Arts Award Explore through participation, creating and presenting their work and finding out about The Royal Ballet School and other arts organisations.