BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance

"In order to prepare students for the diversity of the contemporary dance profession, students are taught by a wide range of practicing dance artists and academics, each prominent in their particular field of specialism and expertise. The undergraduate programme trains students to be technically advanced, versatile and creative dance artists, which is why so many choreographers are keen to work with our graduates."

Colin Bourne Collins, Head of Dance Programmes

 Key Features

  • Our three-year undergraduate programme prepares you for a career in contemporary dance by giving you the opportunity to develop the technical, creative and performance skills needed to become an individual and versatile dance artist. 
  • The programme will also help you gain the contextual understanding and the critical, analytical and reflective skills which will inform your artistic practice.
  • Alongside daily classes in contemporary dance techniques and classical ballet, creative workshops will help you shape your artistic practice and develop your choreographic voice.
  • You will have numerous opportunities to create your own choreography and perform in your own and others' dance works.
  • Reflecting on a range of creative processes and investigating movement and dance in its historical, social and cultural contexts will allow you to locate your own practice and to explore areas that interest you.
  • As you move through the programme, major performance projects enable you to work with leading dance practitioners (members of the Trinity Laban teaching faculty as well as visiting dance artists) to create and perform a wide range of dance works.  The performance projects in the first and third years of the programme involve the creation of new dance works whilst second year students participate in the restaging of historically significant repertoire.
  • A substantial independent project is an important element in your third year and you can choose to undertake theoretical or practical research, leading to a written dissertation or the performance of a choreographed work. 
  • A degree show at the end of the final year provides a public showcase for work by graduating students.

Student Testimonial

"One of the things that's really amazing about the teachers at Trinity Laban is that each one is unique. Each of the classes that you have...you will always get different teachers, and each brings their own experiences, their own fundamental ways of working and that really shifts your way of thinking as a dancer."

Jordan Lee Pirrie, BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance

Year One

You will enhance your understanding of movement and develop your technical and choreographic skills, leading up to a performance project at the end of the year. Developing frameworks for reflection on contemporary dance practice will be integral to your practical studies.

Year Two

You will continue your technical training in a variety of dance techniques while working creatively on choreographic and performance projects. Theoretical and analytical engagement with dance and its broader contexts will support your understanding of the art form. You will be able to choose specialised areas to study in further depth, and the placement at the end of the year will allow you to work within the professional dance world.

Year Three

Company-like experience of intensive performance projects led by in-house and visiting artists starts the final year. You will tour the created work and bring your choreography and technical training to a culmination with presentations in performance. You will also undertake a substantial independent project in an area of your choice. A degree show marks the end of your studies as a final year student.

For more detail have a look at our Programme Specification (correct for academic year 2016-17).

How Will I Be Assessed?

A wide variety of assessment methods are used to reflect the diverse learning experiences you will encounter on the programme and to give you the opportunity to demonstrate the acquisition of the broad range of skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to become a rounded and versatile dance artist.

  • Practical tasks
  • Assessed classes
  • Performance/Choreographic presentations
  • Rehearsal and performance (both in commissioned work, your own work and that of your peers)
  • Group and individual oral presentations
  • Lecture demonstrations
  • Viva voce
  • Research based academic writing
  • Reflective journal writing
  • Report writing
  • Notebook/sketchbook

What Do I Need To Apply?

If you wish to apply for September 2017 entry please contact [email protected]

Entry is by audition, where you will need to demonstrate the commitment and potential required to study dance to a professional level, and normally you will have previous dance experience. You should be curious, willing to be challenged, be open to new ideas, be mature in your approach to study and have an enthusiasm for the physical demands of intensive dance training.

In addition, normally you should hold qualifications appropriate for entry to university/degree level study in higher education. For overseas candidates, International Baccalaureate, European Baccalaureate, Abitur and Gymnasium are recognised. English Language competency requirements also apply

All UK and EU students on the BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance are eligible for the same level of Government support as students studying at any UK university, see funding information.

Alumni Destinations

Many Trinity Laban alumni go on to perform in leading dance companies, in the UK and internationally. Here is just a small selection of our recent BA graduates and the company they are working/have worked with:

Eeva Juutinen (graduated 2014) - Tilted Productions
Elly Braund (graduated 2011) - Richard Alston Dance Company
Ian Gardside (graduated 2008) - DV8 
James Pett (graduated 2011) - Company Wayne McGregor
Matthew Sandiford (graduated 2012) - BalletBoyz
Matthew Winston (graduated 2003) - Protein
Megan Armishaw (graduated 2011) - Candoco Dance Company
Dylan Crossman (graduated 2006) - Merce Cunningham Dance Company
Mandeep Raikhy (graduated 2005) - Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company
Luka Owen (gradated 2010) - Motionhouse
Petros Treklis (graduated 2010) - Sydney Dance Company
Sebastian Abarbanell (graduated 2015) - Sidra Bell Dance New York
TJ Lowe (graduated 2008) - Akram Khan Company
Adam Russell (graduated 2012) - BalletLorent
Russell Fine (graduated 2013) - New Adventures

For more information on the successes of Trinity Laban dance graduates, visit Alumni Destinations.

Video: Alumnus James Pett

"I feel like the training supported me on that creative side that he (Wayne McGregor) works with ... because here (at Trinity Laban) they are constantly working with choreography and improvisation, creating movement and being in tune with how to create, how to make things different and interesting."

Trinity Laban welcomes European students

TL building with EU flagInformation for EU students >>

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Full-time: 3 years

Entry is via an audition.

You will normally have two A Levels at Grade E or above. For overseas candidates: International Baccalaureate, Abitur and Gymnasium are recognised. Alternatives can be considered.

English language requirements (if applicable): IELTS Band 6 (General or Academic Training) or above; or Trinity College London – Integrated Skills in English level II or above; or Cambridge English: First Certificate – grades A or B.

Full details on how to apply

A wide variety of assessment methods are used to reflect the diverse learning experiences you will encounter on the programme and to give you the opportunity to demonstrate the acquisition of the broad range of skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to become a rounded and versatile dance artist.

• Practical tasks
• Assessed classes
• Performance/Choreographic presentations
• Rehearsal and performance (both in commissioned work, your own work and that of your peers)
• Group and individual oral presentations
• Lecture demonstrations
• Viva voce
• Research based academic writing
• Reflective journal writing
• Report writing
• Notebook/sketchbook

"The unique thing about Laban is its strength in teaching both performance and choreography, and its focus on developing the individual."

Matthew Bourne - graduate and Artistic Director, New Adventures

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