RBC Apprentice Program for emerging professional dancers with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen.
Canada’s Ballet Jörgen with support from the RBC Foundation offers a limited number of apprenticeship contracts to young dancers in the first few years of their career.
The programme enables emerging professional dancers to gain the experience necessary to succeed technically and artistically as professional dancers in a ballet company.
Apprentice dancers will be immersed in a demanding working environment of a Company that delivers over 150 classical and contemporary ballet events across Canada every season. Apprentices participate in performances, community events and youth engagement programs. Completing an apprenticeship will give the young dancer a clear understanding of their future both with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen as well as with their overall dance career.
To be eligible for an RBC Apprenticeship, a dancer must complete the Company’s summer Junior Company Program.
RBC apprentices with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen are hired every season from the pool of dancers that have completed our Junior Company program. An apprentice position with the Company is a paid contract for one season, typically 28-35 weeks. Apprentices are expected to meet basic professional standards; continuously improve when rehearsing and performing and meet the Company’s technical and artistic values on stage and in the community.
Completing the Junior Company does not guarantee the dancer an apprenticeship. Once a prospective apprentice has completed the Junior Company the artistic director will give the dancer a clear understanding of what the future employment opportunities are, either for the immediate season or for future seasons. A non-Canadian dancer without a residency or work permit can usually only be considered for work in future seasons.
The apprentice dancer is expected to:
- Meet the artistic director’s artistic and technical standards for entry into the Company (this is determined during the 5 week Junior Company program)
- Continue to improve artistically and technically during the course of the apprenticeship with the guidance of Company coaches, teachers, dancers and staff
- Perform corps roles in all the season’s main stage ballets and additional roles as requested
- Participate fully in all community and youth engagement events and programs
You must audition for the Junior Company – auditions are available across Canada.
You must bring your resume, a dance photo and a head shot to the audition.
The audition consists of a ballet class where the female dancer is expected to dance on pointe in the centre and complete a minimum of two turns on pointe and the male dancer must be able to complete a double tour. Upon successful completion of the first stage dancers will be expected to learn and perform given Company repertoire. The final stage is an interview with the artistic director.
Although video auditions are accepted, it is highly recommended that an in-person audition be attended by the interested dancer.
- Once you have successfully passed the audition you must then complete the upcoming Junior Company program – click here for program details; dates and fees
- Upon completion of the Junior Company program (end of July) you will undergo an in-depth interview with the artistic director – this interview will provide you with a clear understanding of the status of your future relationship with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen.
- 2-4 RBC apprentices are hired each season; contracts are issued at the end of the program for the immediate season and for future season contracts offers generally come in the spring before the season’s August/September start date.
- For further questions contact education manager, Clea Iveson firstname.lastname@example.org 416-415-5000 ext 4928
Canada’s Ballet Jörgen’s Season schedule varies yearly but quite consistently for the apprentice dancer runs between mid-August and late April.
August – September
September – November
Mains-stage ballet touring; local, Quebec, Atlantic Canada
November – December
Nutcracker rehearsals and touring
Rehearsals and Local Performing
February – March
Western Canada Touring
March – April
Atlantic Canada Touring
Children’s show touring, creation rehearsals, community events and educational programming are mixed in all across the schedule
*Apprentices that are current Company dancers
RBC Apprentice in 2015-16
RBC Apprentice in 2014-2015
RBC Apprentice in 2013-2014
RBC Apprentice in 2012-2013
RBC Apprentice in 2011-2012
RBC Apprentice in 2010-2011
Sarah Koekkoek – Company dancer 2012-2014
RBC Apprentice in 2009-2010
George Brown College provided me with the skills to land a professional career with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen. I was taught a wide array of dance forms, acting, and vocals lessons within the George Brown Dance program. The diverse studies created a much more enriching environment as opposed to solely studying ballet. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone and studying subjects I hadn’t before was exciting, resulting in a versatile sense of self expression through my dancing. Developing this sense of self expression proved to be valuable in the professional world of performing arts.
The program’s excellent caliber of classical ballet training provided me with the technique and confidence that was necessary to jump start a career. I was lucky to work with wonderful teachers and coaches that had also worked closely with Ballet Jörgen company members. Studying in the same location as the company dancers proved to inspire me on a day to day basis, watching rehearsals in my spare time. All these components pushed me to set goals for myself; graduating from George Brown College, completing the mentorship program, and receiving an apprenticeship contract, which has brought me where am today working as a full company member.
Dancer at Canada’s Ballet Jörgen