Ballet is an art that traces back hundreds of years to the days of the Italian Renaissance. Becoming a professional ballerina or principal dancer requires years of training. You must study the moves, perfect the techniques, and master the choreography. It takes an intelligent, hardworking, and dedicated student to enrol in one of the best ballet schools in the world.
Ballet colleges are advanced institutions aimed at professional-level dancers. These lessons can help those who want to take their art to the next level. They assume you already have a solid foundation in ballet experience, going beyond beginner or intermediate knowledge. The best ballet schools encourage your development as a dancer. They will empower you to become the top ballet dancers worldwide.
You may have heard of the best ballet schools worldwide:
- Best Ballet School in New York: Juilliard School of Dance
- Best Ballet School in San Francisco: San Francisco Ballet School
- Best Ballet School in London: Royal Ballet
- Best Ballet School in Paris: The Paris Opera Ballet School
While the famous academies have renowned dance instructors, don’t let the name recognition be your only criteria for enrollment. Many professional schools and colleges offer elite ballet programs, which will develop your skills tremendously. Here are the twelve best ballet schools in the world:
12 Best Ballet Schools in the World
- Royal Ballet – London, UK
- Juilliard School of Dance – New York, US
- Vaganova Ballet Academy – Saint Petersburg, Russia
- San Francisco Ballet School – San Francisco, US
- Escuela Nacional de Ballet de Cuba – Havana, Cuba
- Australian Ballet School – Melbourne, Australia
- National Ballet of Canada – Toronto, Ontario
- Sunhwa Arts High School – Seoul, South Korea
- John Cranko School – Stuttgart, Germany
- The School of American Ballet – New York, US
- Royal Danish School of Ballet – Copenhagen, Denmark
- The Paris Opera Ballet School – Paris, France
Best Ballet Colleges
Royal Ballet – London, UK
|Dance school||Royal Ballet|
|School location||London, UK|
The Royal Ballet is one of the best ballet schools in the world. This highly esteemed academy routinely graduates students that join the top ballet companies. At Royal Ballet, you will meet international competitors and exceptional ballet technicians, training under their years of experience.
The instructors will provide the necessary nurturing and education to help you become elite ballet professionals. The Royal Ballet is one of the most prestigious ballet schools, enrolling only the best students each year.
Juilliard School of Dance – New York, US
|Dance school||Juilliard School of Dance|
|School location||New York, USA|
Juilliard School of Dance is one of the most famous dance schools in the world. This highly acclaimed dance academy has been in operation since 1905. Since its inauguration, this school has trained some of the best American ballet dancers of the past century.
At Juilliard School of Dance, you can expect to receive the highest calibre of training globally. Enrollment in Juilliard comes from all over the world, with hundreds of performances across New York City venues.
Vaganova Ballet Academy – Saint Petersburg, Russia
|Dance school||Vaganova Ballet Academy|
|School location||Saint Petersburg, Russia|
The Vaganova Ballet Academy is the associate school of the Mariinsky Ballet, one of the leading ballet companies in the world. It is one of the best classical ballet schools, led by highly experienced instructors.
The training here was developed by Russian ballerina Agrippina Vaganova. The excellent ballet classes focus on building strength and flexibility while minimizing the risk of injury. This school treats ballet seriously like it is one of the best sports for girls and boys.
San Francisco Ballet School – San Francisco, US
|Dance school||San Francisco Ballet School|
|School location||San Francisco, USA|
San Francisco Ballet School is one of the best ballet colleges. Launched in 1933, this is one of the oldest ballet schools in the United States. The knowledgable instructors epitomize history, experience, and skill.
The San Francisco Ballet School is the hub of West Coast ballet, bringing together elite dancers. Students will learn ballet, modern dance, and interpretive dance. A strong classic technique is emphasized here with expert-level faculty from all over the world.
Escuela Nacional de Ballet de Cuba – Havana, Cuba
|Dance school||Escuela Nacional de Ballet de Cuba|
|School location||Havana, Cuba|
The Escuela Nacional de Ballet de Cuba is the best ballet school in Cuba. This top ballet college is a powerhouse, with approx. Three thousand students register every year.
It is the largest ballet school at this level, with most of its graduates becoming a part of the Cuban National Ballet. Some graduates, including many American, have been permitted to join foreign ballet companies in recent years.
Australian Ballet School – Melbourne, Australia
|Dance school||Australian Ballet School|
|School location||Melbourne, Australia|
The Australian Ballet School is an excellent ballet school in the world. It boasts an impressive rate of 90% of its graduates, all elite dancers, gaining appointments and contracts within six months of graduating.
Since the mid-1960s, the Australian Ballet School has provided a clear pathway to some of the world’s biggest stages. Through rigorous training, many graduates move on to join the Australian Ballet Company.
National Ballet of Canada – Toronto, Ontario
|Dance school||National Ballet of Canada|
|School location||Toronto, Ontario|
The National Ballet of Canada is a famous ballet school. First established in 1959, it is the only ballet school in North America offering elite dance training, academic instruction, and residential care.
The school has an international-influenced training program, from portable ballet barre exercises to technique refinery. It is highly revered with graduates traversing worldwide and moving up into the National Ballet of Canada company.
Sunhwa Arts High School – Seoul, South Korea
|Dance school||Sunhwa Arts High School|
|School location||Seoul, South Korea|
The Sunhwa Arts High School is one of the best ballet high schools. Founded in 1974, it utilized a rigorous six-year ballet program to ready its graduates for placement in some of the world’s top ballet companies.
Sunhwa Arts High School graduates have gone on to have careers across Korea, Europe, Australia, and the United States. Students are well-versed in Russian techniques, extreme athleticism, and traditional French and Italian technique.
John Cranko School – Stuttgart, Germany
|Dance school||John Cranko School|
|School location||Stuttgart, Germany|
The John Cranko School is one of the top ballet colleges. It utilizes a dedicated Vaganova ballet training program supplemented with select modern and contemporary techniques.
Many graduates go on to become prize winners in competitions all over the world. This was Germany’s first ballet school when it was originally built in the 1970s. It is led by the acclaimed South African-born John Cranko.
The School of American Ballet – New York, US
|Dance school||The School of American Ballet|
|School location||New York, USA|
Another New York City ballet school is the School of American Ballet, founded in 1934. The top ballet school has transformed ballet in the United States.
This academy launches new works and hosting the works of Balanchine, Robbins, and choreographers worldwide. Graduates from the School of American Ballet often receive appointments to the New York City Ballet and other companies worldwide.
Royal Danish School of Ballet – Copenhagen, Denmark
|Dance school||Royal Danish School of Ballet|
|School location||Copenhagen, Denmark|
The Royal Danish School of Ballet is among the top ballet schools in the world. Instruction at the Royal Danish School of Ballet has classical ballet training and in-house academic classes per the Danish public school system.
Students attend academic classes in the morning and the theatre in the afternoon, learning the ins and outs of technique, repertoire, modern dance, nutrition, and more.
The Paris Opera Ballet School – Paris, France
|Dance school||The Paris Opera Ballet School|
|School location||Paris, France|
The Paris Opera Ballet School offers the top ballet lessons in France. It has approximately 150 students every year are educated to become the world’s finest ballet dancers. For over 300 years, this has been the reputation of the world’s oldest ballet company, the Paris Opera Ballet Company.
Ballet here is taught to men and women with multidisciplinary courses. They include lessons in music, mime, history of dance, anatomy, and physical preparation.
Best Ballet Schools in the World FAQ
The Royal Ballet is the best ballet school in the world. Based in London, this British dance college attracts the top talents in the ballet industry every year. Students train here to become the best ballet professionals.
The Royal Ballet is one of the hardest ballet schools to get into. It is famous for a strict enrollment process and only accepts the top ballet dancers in the world.
The Juilliard School of Dance is the most prestigious ballet school. This famous dance college has earned its famous reputation for mastering professional dance, including ballet. Graduates of Juilliard School of Dance are renowned in the industry.
The best ballet school in the US is the Juilliard School of Dance. Other top American schools include the San Francisco Ballet School and The School of American Ballet.
The best ballet school in Canada is the National Ballet of Canada. Based in Toronto, this famous dance academy offers elite training to ballet dancers in North America.
Vaganova Ballet Academy is the best ballet school in Russia. This top dance academy offers the leading dance classes in the world. It focuses on building flexibility and strength in the dance lessons.
The John Cranko School is the best dance college in Germany. This famous ballet academy has decades of experience, establishing itself as a leader in training modern and contemporary dances.
The Paris Opera Ballet School is the best ballet school in France. Graduates of this top dance academy receive the finest education, proceeding to prestigious dance careers in the world.
Australian Ballet School is the best ballet college in Australia. This national academy trains dance enthusiasts and develops their skills at a professional level.