New Zealand School of Dance

New Zealand School of Dance

+64 4 381 9252



New Zealand Diploma in Dance. This course sits at Level 6 on the NZ Qualifications Framework
and is a two-year full time course designed to prepare students for a performance career.
Upon completion, students may apply to complete the New Zealand School of Dance Diploma in
Dance Performance. This course sits at Level 7 on the NZ Qualifications Framework (equivalent to
an undergraduate degree) and focuses on providing performance opportunities and industry experience.
The full-time tertiary programmes offered by the New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD) are aimed at developing the qualities essential for professional dancers: strong technique, musicality, coordination and dedication to the art form. NZSD students major in either classical ballet or contemporary dance, but maintain a strong base in their minor discipline.
The NZSD has an outstanding faculty of dance teaching staff. Guest tutors from around the world and specialists in anatomy, dance history, sports medicine, nutrition, physiotherapy, strength and conditioning, yoga and pilates round out the holistic training.
The School's impressive purpose built facilities house nine dance studios, a 160 seat theatre, specialist performing arts library, pilates studio and physiotherapy rooms. Students have full access to a state-of-the-art gym and have regular training sessions with a personal trainer. The School is Official School of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Excellent secondment opportunities are available through the School's relationships with leading ballet and contemporary dance companies around the world.
NZSD has between 85-100 full-time students and in addition, runs the Young Dancer programmes. NZSD is funded by the Ministry of Education through the Tertiary Education Commission and is registered with the NZ Qualifications Authority (NZQA).
Main Subjects
Classical ballet, contemporary dance. Allied subjects: nutrition, yoga, pilates, anatomy, music and dance history. For classical majors - pas de deux, repertoire, pointe, virtuosic coaching, choreography, For contemporary majors - partnering, improvisation, repertoire, yoga and choreography.
Practical Classes
30-40 hours.
Contact Hours
8.30 - 5.45 (Monday to Friday) and 8.30 - 12.30 (Saturdays).
More hours may be required at certain times.
Students are usually 16 to 18 years old when entering the full-time course. Preference will be given to students who have attained NCEA Level 1 (Yr 11 NZ or Yr 10 Australia) and who have reached a level in classical ballet equivalent to RAD Advanced 1 (IDTA Advanced level 1, BBO Advanced 1, Cecchetti Advanced 1, BAL Intermediate). International students are required to understand conversational English. Auditions will be held in Wellington, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Candidates who are unable to audition in person are encouraged to participate in the NZSD Digital Auditions.
Garry Trinder (Director), Paula Steeds-Huston, Christine Gunn, Holly Newsome, Robert Mills, Nadine Tyson, Turid Revfeim, Maksim Temnikov and Gina Andrews, plus international guest teachers throughout the year.
Auditions Date
Digital: 11 September. Live auditions: 23, 25, 27 & 28 September.
Audition Requirements
Candidates must complete an online application form at, and pay an
application fee, to secure an audition. The audition consists of a classical technique class and a
contemporary technique class. An interview with the audition panel is also required.
NZ$ 9,122 + student services levy* (subject to change)
*Based on 2023 fees.
Scholarship or Subsidies
Scholarships may be available to students who have successfully completed at least one year of
study at NZSD, on the grounds of financial hardship.
Possible Career Options
Most graduates enter careers in dance performance, around 70% of students gaining contracts
within six months of graduating. Recent graduates are dancing with Akram Khan Company (UK),
Atamira (NZ), The Australian Ballet (AU), Australian Dance Theatre (AU),Ballet Arizona (US), Black
Grace (NZ), Co:3 Australia (AU), Dancenorth (AU), English National Ballet (UK), Footnote New
Zealand Dance (NZ), Hofesh Shechter II (UK), Houston Ballet (US), Java Dance Company (NZ),
Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (IL), Leipzig Ballet (DE), The National Ballet of Canada (CA),
New Zealand Dance Company (NZ), Queensland Ballet (AU), Rambert (UK), Royal New Zealand
Ballet (NZ), The Sarasota Ballet (US), Singapore Dance Theatre (SG), Studio Wayne McGregor (UK),
Sydney Dance Company (AU), Theringer Staatsballett (DE), The Washington Ballet (US), West
Australian Ballet (AU) New Zealand School of Dance alumni also work in related fields such as
physiotherapy, dance teaching, pilates instruction, arts administration, research, dance notation,
dance film, photography and journalism.

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