Professional training in Dance

SAAS applicableApproved-Centre-Rev-2567-40x40

Accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority

This course in Dance is designed to take you from student-in-training right the way through to professional dancer, prepared for everything the industry expects of you as a performer.

Our Dance course incorporates HNC and HND qualifications (accredited by SQA) into three years of rigorous and disciplined training in technique and performance and can be part-funded by SAAS. With up to an incredible 50 hours of classes per week, our diploma course is definitely a full-time programme, providing you with an affordable and great value path to the profession of your dreams.

Get the training you need to compete on the international stage without having to spend three expensive years in London!

Dance at MGA

On this course you will develop core technique and build up a portfolio of dance styles and genres – as solo performer, in duet and in ensemble. You will explore the range of opportunities in the dance industry, learning how to recognise and develop your strengths, and how best to represent yourself as a unique performer.

Studio-based classes develop dance technique and understanding, and you will learn how to unlock the potential of your body, maintain it and promote it. Regular core classes in ballet, jazz and contemporary are supplemented by a wide range of styles and skills, from tap and commerical to aerial and gymnastics, taught by our incredible dance faculty and some amazing visiting performers and choreographers from across the industry. Alongside productions, presentations and film projects, you will have opportunity to apply your skills in the wider world of performing arts by participating in musical theatre productions, concerts and special events.

The course

This course consists of three years of extensive training in the core dance disciplines, structured around the transition from technique-based classes to performance-based work. The third year includes extra personal and professional development sessions. Additional specialist workshops led by visiting professionals feature throughout the training.

Equipment checklist

All MGA Full-Time students are expected to have the following equipment – a definitive list will be discussed at audition stage.

  • MGA Full-Time uniform
  • Jazz trainers/shoes
  • Tap shoes
  • Ballet tights, leotard and shoes
  • Knee pads
  • Dictaphone, notepad and pencil
  • Boys will also need a pair of dress shoes and a black suit
  • Girls must have a pair of character shoes and character skirt, and a black cocktail dress

A reading list will be provided to all students accepted into Full-Time training.

Course content includes:

  • Jazz
  • Ballet
  • Tap
  • Commercial
  • Contemporary
  • Pas de deux
  • Gymnastics and tumbling
  • Aerial work*
  • Heels class
  • Acting for the dancer
  • Singing for the dancer
  • Theatre and dance history
  • Dance anatomy and contextual studies
  • Stage makeup
  • Professional and personal development
  • Audition technique
All or Nothing homepage

*MGA is delighted to be working with All Or Nothing, an Edinburgh-based aerial performance company. Students on the Dance diploma are offered the unique opportunity to expand their portfolio of skills by learning basic flying techniques on equipment such as silks.

Our Dance staff are a dedicated team of professionals, all successful in their individual dance fields, and ready to share their experiences with the stars of the future. Find out more about who will be teaching you on the MGA Staff page.

The course is run primarily from Dance Base on Grassmarket – Scotland’s National Centre for Dance. Students have use of the building’s four spacious dance studios, and changing and shower facilities. This is, of course, in addition to all the amazing resources MGA students benefit from at our Academy building on Balgreen Road. There may also be occasional off-campus rehearsals for large-scale shows during production weeks. Learn more about all the amazing resources and facilities students at MGA can benefit from on Our Facilities page.


MGA is now an approved teacher training centre for ISTD, and students have the opportunity to gain ISTD qualifications while training with us. We are thrilled that we can offer our students another pathway into the world of Dance through these internationally-recognised and widely respected teaching qualifications.

Upon successful completion of the course, graduates may be offered representation by MGA’s in-house management agency MGA Management, best placing them to kick-start their professional careers.

On graduating

The three years of training concludes with a professional showcase, best placing you to kick-start your careers upon graduation.

By the time you graduate from MGA full-time training you will have under your belt:

  • Your Equity card
  • Spotlight membership
  • Many and varied roles in productions including a professional showcase
  • A professional-standard CV, headshots and personalised stationery
  • A portfolio of professional photographs
  • Opportunity to apply for representation by MGA Management and Casting
  • The MGA Little Black Book of Contacts
  • Skills that will allow you to forge a successful and fulfilling career!

Find out more about life after graduation and where our graduates go next on our Graduates page.

Entry requirements and applications

Full course details and information about applying and auditions are available from the MGA office. If you’re interested in joining us at MGA, click here to start the application process. If you are unsure which course is most suitable please contact us and tell us which courses interest you. We are also happy to discuss this at audition stage.

Entry onto all our courses is by audition only (details provided after application) and applicants should be aged 16 years or over. Auditions are held throughout the year and applicants will be contacted within two weeks of receipt of application form.

Natural aptitude, potential and attitude will be key considerations, with academic achievements taking a back seat for once!

Students applying from overseas should apply in exactly the same way. However if attending an audition in the UK is not possible, applicants may apply by video/DVD with supporting documentation from both professional and character referees.

For information on fees for Full-Time courses see our Fees and Funding page.

Full-Time Audition Dates

Remaining audition sessions for entry in September 2017 are:

  • 30 April
  • 11 June
  • 13 August

To apply for full-time courses simply fill in our application form and we will contact you with information our application process and auditioning.

Published 9/2/17   5:00PM

Graduate success!

We asked all our graduate students, from 2009 through to 2016, to tell us about life after MGA. We heard back from a fantastic 83% of them! Huge thanks to everyone who responded. Below are some of the key results, along with feedback from a few of our graduate students… » Read more

Published 7/2/17   10:58PM

Dance course builds Momentum

The news for our Dance course students just gets better and better! We are thrilled to announce MGA has been approved by ISTD and is now and accredited centre and is able to offer the opportunity of gaining teaching qualifications to our students! MGA has become the newest Approved Centre… » Read more

Published 3/1/17   5:30PM

Happy New Year from all at MGA!

As we head into January, and with a group of our Full-Time students New York bound at this very moment, we want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! Here’s hoping that 2017 will bring even more success and magical moments for our fabulous students in both the Full-time and… » Read more

Published 16/12/16   11:52AM

Christmas Greetings

MGA would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a magical New Year!

We had a wonderful night on Thursday at the Usher Hall, with over 200 students from both Full-time and Junior Schools bringing in enough Christmas cheer to keep us fuelled through the holidays.

Professional standard performance opportunities are what The MGA Academy of Performing Arts is all about. Treating our students like professional performers means that by the time they graduate they are ready for anything.» Read more

Published 22/11/16   6:26PM

Winter Season shows coming up

MGA WINTER PRODUCTION SEASON IS UPON US! Our students are hard at work rehearsing for three fantastic shows coming up in December. Join us Upstairs at Assembly Roxy from December 5th to 10th for a week of live theatre featuring our wonderful Acting and Musical Theatre students. Full details of… » Read more