Advanced dance training in association with RISE Youth Dance.

  • Experience a professional dance ethos and approach with 21 hours of teaching a week. 

  • Learn approaches to professional dance taught by working industry professionals.

  • Opportunities to work on projects with professional choreographers and companies. 

  • Support applying to further professional dance training.

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 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, but tailored to 16-18 year olds. It is built on a foundation of Contemporary Dance and branches out to include many different styles from Hip Hop (foundation and commercial) to ballet and diverse styles such as Caribbean Soca and Afrobeats. 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 runs this course in partnership with RISE, a Bristolbased company for 6 to 25 year-olds. Its vision is for every young person to become the best they can be through the power of dance. They achieve this by providing high quality dance training in an inclusive, nurturing and safe environment.

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.

Please note that we are not taking applications for September 2024.



Throughout the first year you’ll take contemporary classes exploring Cunningham, Limon and release styles. Contemporary fuses with lots of styles and techniques so we incorporate learning from these within the class.

You also take ballet classes, yoga, hip hop foundations, commercial dance, soca carnival, salsa and others to give you a broad experience on which to develop your technique.

Tutors will work with you to develop your physical skills, stamina, coordination, balance, and flexibility. These go hand in hand with the professional skills of organisation, punctuality, teamwork and communication to give you the best opportunity of working professionally in the creative industries.

You will also take units in: 

  • Dance Fitness – This is a huge industry and many dance students will encounter this after training. You’ll learn fitness elements, how to deliver a class and safe dance practice.
  • Dance on Camera – You’ll learn about the history of dance film, different camera techniques, what it is like to work in the industry and in different locations. The unit will culminate in you appearing in a dance film.
  • Global Dance Styles – You look at two different styles from around the world, researching into the history, costume, music and movement of the style.

The year culminates in a public production.


In the second year you take units in:

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

  • Leading Dance – Developing skills to plan and deliver a class in different settings.

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

You will also work towards a final end of year show in which you will work on a number of pieces including working with a guest choreographer.


Please note that we are not taking applications for September 2024.


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.


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 free of charge but students are asked to contribute to the cost of trips to see professional shows and specialist workshops by way of a one-off £200 charge which covers the 2 years.

TERM DATES 2023/2024

Term 1: 11th Sep 2023 – 20th Oct 2023 

Term 2: 30th Oct 2023 – 15th Dec 2023 

Term 3: 3rd Jan 2024 – 9th Feb 2024 

Term 4: 19th Feb 2024 – 28th March 2024

Term 5: 15th April 2024 – 24th May 2024 

Term 6: 3rd June 2024 – 28th June 2024 

TERM DATES 2024/2025

Term 1: 16th September 2024 – 25th October 2024 

Term 2: 4th November 2024 – 20th December 2024

Term 3: 6th January 2025 – 14th February 2025

Term 4: 24th February 2025 – 4th April 2025

Term 5: 21st April 2025 – 23th May 2025

Term 6: 2nd June 2025 – 4th July 2024 


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.