Advanced dance training in association with RISE Youth Dance.

  • Experience a professional dance
    ethos and approach with minimum of 21 hours of teaching time a week.
  • Learn dance techniques and styles taught by working industry professionals.
  • Experience an array of training including Contemporary, Hip Hop, Commercial, Diverse styles (Caribbean Soca and Afro Beats) and Ballet.
  • Each year take part in at least one public facing dance production, plus other opprtunities to perform with our partners.

Our Level 3 Extended Diploma in Dance is designed to encourage you to develop as an independent dance artist and grow into a confident, creative practitioner. Under Artistic Director Helen Wilson of RISE Youth Dance and a team of professional dancers and choreographers, the course will develop your technical, creative and performance skills.

The course format is similar to that of a dance conservatoire, tailored to 16-18 year olds. It has a foundation of Contemporary Dance whilst including different styles such as Hip hop (foundations and commercial) and Diverse Styles (Caribbean Soca and Afro beats). Ballet is also taught on the course, adding to the wide range of techniques. In addition to these core areas of study, classes and workshops in various other dance styles are incorporated into the course. It is intensive and demanding to reflect the nature of professional dance training, and is led by a supportive and nurturing team of teachers and dance artists.

Bristol School Of Acting is running this course in partnership with RISE Youth Dance, Led by Director Helen Wilson. RISE is a Bristol-based company for six to 25 years olds. Its vision is for every young person to become the best they can be. They achieve this by providing high quality dance training in an inclusive, nurturing and safe environment. They believe in the power of dance to help young people become their best selves.

RISE is recognised nationally as an excellent training ground for young dancers and many students progress to the UK’s top training institutions such as Trinity Laban and The Place. RISE is not only a place for high quality dance training, but a home for young people to learn valuable life skills through the opportunities provided. Find out more here.



Throughout the first year you’ll take class in different techniques. In contemporary, there are many techniques and these will include Cunningham, limon and release styles. Contemporary fuses with lots of styles and techniques so we try to incorporate learning from these within contemporary. There will be Ballet classes, yoga, Hip hop foundations, Commercial dance, Soca carnival, salsa and many others to give learners an experience of different styles that they may come across in the industry.

The teachers will work with you as a group and as individuals to develop your physical skills: Stamina, coordination, balance, flexibility etc… We will also work with you to develop key life skills: organisation, punctuality, team work, communication etc. For us both go hand in hand and will give you the best opportunity of working in the creative industry.

You will also take units in:

Dance Fitness – This is a huge industry and many dance students will go into this after training. Looking at fitness elements and how we tailor a class as well as delivering the class you plan to your peers. We look at Safe Dance Practice and what is needed to run safe and fun classes.

Dance on Camera – Learning about the history of dance film, different camera techniques, what it is like to work in the industry and in different locations. The final product will be a dance film that students feature in with ideas from the learners.

Global Dance Styles – We will be looking at two different styles from around the world. Looking into the history, costume, music and movements for these styles as well as performing in these styles.

Preparing for a Career in the Arts – We will be working on personal statements, how to apply for further education, writing a fantasy funding proposal, making show reels and doing a C.V.

The year culminates with a public production that shows the skills learned and the planning and background involved in running a Production.


The second year will be a continuation of some units and other new ones.

You’ll take units in:

Audition Preparation – techniques to support auditions, making audition solos and looking into different training facilities.

Leading Dance – Looking at how we teach, lead and working towards developing skills to plan and deliver a class to different settings like older people, young people, Primary schools etc.

Choreography – Planning your own piece of choreography to deliver to your peers that will be made into a small performance.

You will also work towards a final end of year show where Year 2 will work with a guest choreographer for a piece or work towards their final production.


Submit your application on our website by visiting You will then be invited to an audition. You do not need to prepare anything for your audition, it will take place as a workshop which will cover at least two styles of dance. 

Though experience of dance is advantageous in giving you a sense of what’s involved, we are more interested in raw talent and welcome your application even if you have had little or no experience.

The course is a practical one. There is some written assignment work but much of the evidence is filmed and evaluation is conducted through filmed interview. We describe the course as consisting of 80% practical and 20% written work. There are no examinations. You are assessed continually through an assignment for each unit. On successful completion of the course, you will be awarded an overall Distinction*, Distinction, Merit or Pass grade.

You will need to be on track to get at least five GCSE grades 4-9 including Maths and English or BTEC Level 2 Diplomas (at Merit or Distinction). In exceptional cases we can take students who don’t have GCSE English or Maths at grade 4 or above and we can provide tuition in those qualifications alongside the course.

The programme is fully funded for students ages 16-18 at the start of their course. Students will be eligible to apply for a discretionary bursary. Auditions are also free of charge but students are asked to contribute to the cost of theatre trips by way of a one-off £200 charge which pays for around 10 trips over the 2 years.
TERM DATES 2022/23
13th September – 21st October
31st October – 16th Dec
3rd Jan – 10th Feb
20th Feb – 31st March
17th April – 26th May
5th June – 30th June


What kind of qualification will I achieve?
Our Extended Diploma qualification is a RSL Level 3 Course in Creative and Performing Arts and is a full-time 2 year course. RSL are one of the leading awarding bodies offering specialist qualifications in the creative arts.
Who quality assures the qualification?

BSA is responsible for over 300 learners at diploma and degree level and has its own robust quality assurance procedures. Our course is run in partnership with digitec, students are on roll as digitec students and the school monitor our standards. We are subject to Ofsted inspection as is the case with very other Post 16 course.

Can a Level 3 Diploma get me into university?
Absolutely. Extended Diplomas are awarded the same UCAS points as A-Levels, and are welcomed by universities. Different courses have different requirements, however, so we would always recommend students do their own research to check the entry requirements of courses they may want to follow. It is important to note that the qualification is considered a passport to a wide range of performing arts, media and humanities subjects at many universities and choosing this course does not close down your university options.
Is the course approved by the Department for Education?
Yes. The qualification number for the RSL suite of courses is: 601/8617/3 and it can be found in the DfE Performance Tables.
Does the course equip me to get into Dance school?

Yes. Though entry to dance school is exceptionally competitive, the course has been designed to give you the best possible chance of successfully applying and being prepared for a dance school training.

Does the course attract UCAS points?
Yes. The qualification is awarded as one of 4 single grades – Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction*. If you achieve a Distinction* the qualification has 168 UCAS tariff points or 3 A-Levels at A* grade. A Merit has 96 UCAS tariff points or 3 A-Levels at C grade.
What if I change my mind and don’t wan’t to progress with Dance?

If this happens during your first year study with us, in some cases we may be able to negotiate a move down to a smaller qualification taken over 1 year. You are entitled to 3 years post 16 funding so if you were to leave the course at the end of year 1 you could still sign up to a full 2-year programme at another institution.