BA (Hons) Dance for Commercial Performance

Course accredited by the CDMT

Qualification validated by Bath Spa University

Duration 3 years full time (5 days a week)
Year 1 and 2: HND
Year 3: BA (Hons) top-up year

Scheduled teaching per week 30 hours (average)

Our three-year course, culminating in a BA (Hons) Degree in Dance for Commercial Performance, 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.

Why choose this course?

On this course you will develop core technique and build up a portfolio of dance styles and genres – as a 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, unlocking the potential of your body and teaching you to 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, commercial and heels, to aerial and gymnastics. These are taught by an exceptionally experienced Faculty of Dance, guest performers and choreographers from across the industry. Alongside productions, presentations and film projects, you will have the opportunity to apply your skills to the wider world of performing arts by participating in musical theatre productions, concerts and special events.

Course content

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.

Year 1:
Incorporating the Higher National Diploma in Dance

Year 2:
Incorporating the Higher National Diploma in Dance

Year 3:
BA (Hons) top-up year – Dance Independent Study (20 credits); Professional Dance Performance Projects (60 credits); The Professional Dancer (40 credits)

Learning enrichment

The training at MGA is delivered with the highest possible standards expected from students in each discipline. MGA operates on the belief that more can be learned about these disciplines in a few minutes of rehearsal or on stage in front of an audience than can be achieved in hours of classroom-based tuition. Our students are therefore given as many opportunities as possible to get into a rehearsal room or in front of a live audience to perform. These include an annual festive concert at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall to audiences of over 1,700, original dance productions, straight plays and musical theatre productions. In addition, throughout the year there are one-off concerts, appearances, workshops and small-scale performance opportunities, alongside ongoing studio-based productions directly connected to course topics.

The MGA Academy of Performing Arts adopts a policy of student feedback that follows an ‘always honest, always constructive’ philosophy rather than the often-used ‘always positive, almost pointless’ approach. MGA aims to encourage a sense of respect, direction and dedication within the practice and study of performing arts, and the courses on offer require a huge commitment from students – but with the potential for huge rewards.

Attracting tutors from across the UK and internationally, MGA prides itself on the high standards of the core teaching staff and their abilities to bring their experiences and unique skills into the classroom and studio. They can actually do what they are teaching you to do! The tutors are complemented by a whole host of well-respected and talented industry professionals and consultants who take time out of their busy schedule to share their skills, lead workshops and shape productions.

MGA has a long list of consultants who are on hand to offer advice and support for projects and performances, maintaining strong links to the professional world of performing arts. Students get to learn all about the ‘ups and downs’ of a career in the industry from the people who know it best.

Dancer, choreographer, musical theatre performer, singer, actor, director… no matter what you want to do on the stage, MGA wants to help you do it successfully, professionally and lucratively. With the support of a network of casting, management and production contacts, you really will be hard pressed not to make a success of your career after graduating.

ISTD teaching qualifications

As an Approved Centre for the Imperial Society for Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), MGA is one of the few schools in Scotland that offer full-time students the opportunity to gain teaching qualifications alongside training. We run a Diploma in Dance Education course (Level 4) in Modern Theatre and Tap Dance and full-time students can opt to take individual units or the full Diploma on a part-time basis while training at MGA on one of our degree courses. More information on the course is available here or discuss with a member of our Dance Faculty at your audition to find out more.

Entry requirements

Applicants should be aged 16 years or over.

Entry onto all our courses is by online registration – auditions are currently being held online and applicants will be contacted within two weeks of receipt of a submission.

You must be a UK citizen to apply for MGA’s professional full-time training courses and be able to provide proof.

Natural aptitude, potential and attitude will be key considerations throughout the application process.

Academic progression

Students who pass the BA (Hons) Degree course are eligible to apply for postgraduate study, such as a Master’s Degree.

Tuition fees

The MGA Academy of Performing Arts is the only accredited Council for Dance and Drama Education and Training college in Scotland. We are also the largest independent SQA Approved Centre running professional training courses in Scotland. All tuition fees are kept to an absolute minimum but do reflect the expertise of the teaching staff, quality of facilities, small class sizes and sheer number of contact teaching hours offered.

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information and read the fee notes carefully or contact us to arrange a consultation.

Are there any other course costs?

There is a reading list and a kit list of important items that students need to purchase before the first day of term. This can be discussed during the interview at the audition stage and will be issued on acceptance of a place. Advanced and third-year students must also pay to join the Spotlight Casting Directory and become a member of Equity before their second term.

We run a Professional Expenses Account on behalf of our student and the costs of this are communicated during the audition process.

Is there any funding available?

SAAS funding may be available to Scottish students and you should contact your Local Education Authority for advice on other sources of funding for full-time training for which you may be eligible.

Several charitable trusts exist that help finance Performing Arts students – information on these is available online.

Full-Time Auditions

MGA is currently in Phase 2 of applications for entry in September 2021 – ending Friday 30th January 2021.

Applications are taken all year round, until course places are full – so the earlier in the year you apply, the more places will be available.

We have adapted our application process in this time of change: all auditions are in video format and all files are submitted online. A member of our team will be in touch within two weeks of submission to take you through the process. Apply now »

If you are unsure which course to apply for, please get in touch admissions@themgaacademy.com and the MGA Team will be happy to discuss it with you.

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