The Student Room Group

1 year Drama School intensives/HNC/ Foundation/Gap year courses in Musical Theatre?

Hi guys! So I'm in my final year of college/sixth form studying towards my level 3 qualifications - Btec Performing Arts (Acting), Btec Media Production and A-level English Lang&Lit (combined). After much thought, I am really looking to go into the musical theatre and acting industrys as a performer and so am preparing for drama school auditions. Although I have a fair amount of acting experience, I have very little dance experience. Of course, I am trying to develop my dance skills as fast as I can and find a tutor who can help me build a solid foundation of dance ability however so far, this is still a work-in-progress situation. Although I am a strong singer and actress, I know my dance ability is really holding me back - I have experienced this lack of skills first-hand through several auditions (once embarrassingly alongside a lot of very capable 10-year-olds). Knowing this, realistically I know that my chances of getting onto a BA degree programme are slim. I am looking to study at a conservatoire/drama school and not a university as I feel drama school will provide me with the best opportunities to learn and hone my craft. (Feel free to try and convince me otherwise but currently that is my stand-point as due to the financial burden going into further education is going to cost me, I want to make sure the training I get is from a reputable source with strong links to performance careers in the industry). Aside from BA courses, I am also researching other options such as HNCs, Foundation years/Gap year courses and other one-year intensive courses and I wanted to know if anyone has any recommendations for me to check out? The school doesn’t have to be well-known as long as the training is good quality and will be able to help someone like me improve their triple threat elements in order to ready them for a BA course at a reputable drama school/conservatoire. I’d love to know your thoughts so please reach out asap! 😊
Reply 1
Hi there, I would check these out

Emil Dale - does Gap Year course which is basically a foundation

I've heard good things about SOTE - https://schooloftheatreexcellence.co.uk/sote-birmingham/ - I think they will focus on getting dance skills up to scratch and seem to have good progression (can see on their website)

Also GSA, Arts Ed and Mountview (new this year) now have funded foundations (doesn't affect getting student finance for 3 year BA)

https://www.mountview.org.uk/courses/course/certhe-musical-theatre-2/

Also Trinity Laban, LIPA, Italia Conti all do MT foundations

Post in the 2024 UK drama school auditions at that tends to be more active and crosses over between acting and MT

Good luck!
Reply 2
Original post by Beelizzy
Hi there, I would check these out

Emil Dale - does Gap Year course which is basically a foundation

I've heard good things about SOTE - https://schooloftheatreexcellence.co.uk/sote-birmingham/ - I think they will focus on getting dance skills up to scratch and seem to have good progression (can see on their website)

Also GSA, Arts Ed and Mountview (new this year) now have funded foundations (doesn't affect getting student finance for 3 year BA)

https://www.mountview.org.uk/courses/course/certhe-musical-theatre-2/

Also Trinity Laban, LIPA, Italia Conti all do MT foundations

Post in the 2024 UK drama school auditions at that tends to be more active and crosses over between acting and MT

Good luck!

Thanks so much for your advice and recommendations! I will repost in the 2024 UK drama school forum too 😊
Reply 3
Hey - I'm on a foundation MT course at Trinity Laban and it is absolutely incredible. I went in with very little dance training and I've just finished my first full term and it has been the best decision I ever made. I cannot recommend it enough - it is a fab uni with student loan funding and halls of residence too which was a huge factor for me as i live far from london and cannot afford privately funded schools! If you have any questions let me know and maybe see you at an audition!
Reply 4
Original post by eloisejoy
Hey - I'm on a foundation MT course at Trinity Laban and it is absolutely incredible. I went in with very little dance training and I've just finished my first full term and it has been the best decision I ever made. I cannot recommend it enough - it is a fab uni with student loan funding and halls of residence too which was a huge factor for me as i live far from london and cannot afford privately funded schools! If you have any questions let me know and maybe see you at an audition!

That sounds amazing! I've actually been looking into Trinity but wasn't sure because when I read other posts on here or elsewhere online, people were complaining about how impersonal the whole thing felt and how expensive it was and I was worried that they may not have students best interests at heart. But hearing your take on the foundation gives me more confidence in it as it does look like a really good school. Still a little worried about my dancing, I've managed to get myself into some new group weekly ballet classes in my town so I'm making progress slowly but I've heard Trinity is quite a dance-y school? How did the audition experince go like for you? Were the dance calls quite intimidating or more accessible? Also what are your favourite modules on the course? Thanks so much for all your help <)
Reply 5
Original post by StormyAttic
That sounds amazing! I've actually been looking into Trinity but wasn't sure because when I read other posts on here or elsewhere online, people were complaining about how impersonal the whole thing felt and how expensive it was and I was worried that they may not have students best interests at heart. But hearing your take on the foundation gives me more confidence in it as it does look like a really good school. Still a little worried about my dancing, I've managed to get myself into some new group weekly ballet classes in my town so I'm making progress slowly but I've heard Trinity is quite a dance-y school? How did the audition experince go like for you? Were the dance calls quite intimidating or more accessible? Also what are your favourite modules on the course? Thanks so much for all your help <)

I completely get why people say it’s expensive - I paid £50 for my BA and foundie audition but that’s regular for all conservatoires unfortunately. Believe me, I’m not a dancer, I have never done ballet or anything before going into auditions but I found that they focused on performance over technique in the dance audition! In the dance audition they did about 8-10 exercises from the corner and then a routine which was so fun and taught at a good, slow speed. Since starting my dance has improved so much, ballet is my favourite dance lesson (2x a week) and jazz (x3 a week) and tap are fab too! I’m an actor/singer and that’s what the school mostly focuses on so it was the right fit for me. Also very accessible as I have a heart condition and they were so understanding :smile:
Original post by StormyAttic
Hi guys! So I'm in my final year of college/sixth form studying towards my level 3 qualifications - Btec Performing Arts (Acting), Btec Media Production and A-level English Lang&Lit (combined). After much thought, I am really looking to go into the musical theatre and acting industrys as a performer and so am preparing for drama school auditions. Although I have a fair amount of acting experience, I have very little dance experience. Of course, I am trying to develop my dance skills as fast as I can and find a tutor who can help me build a solid foundation of dance ability however so far, this is still a work-in-progress situation. Although I am a strong singer and actress, I know my dance ability is really holding me back - I have experienced this lack of skills first-hand through several auditions (once embarrassingly alongside a lot of very capable 10-year-olds). Knowing this, realistically I know that my chances of getting onto a BA degree programme are slim. I am looking to study at a conservatoire/drama school and not a university as I feel drama school will provide me with the best opportunities to learn and hone my craft. (Feel free to try and convince me otherwise but currently that is my stand-point as due to the financial burden going into further education is going to cost me, I want to make sure the training I get is from a reputable source with strong links to performance careers in the industry). Aside from BA courses, I am also researching other options such as HNCs, Foundation years/Gap year courses and other one-year intensive courses and I wanted to know if anyone has any recommendations for me to check out? The school doesn’t have to be well-known as long as the training is good quality and will be able to help someone like me improve their triple threat elements in order to ready them for a BA course at a reputable drama school/conservatoire. I’d love to know your thoughts so please reach out asap! 😊


Hi there!

I'm Rose and I'm a third year actor-musician at GSA. Speaking from experience, and from experiences of my friends on the musical theatre course, feeling that you are weaker in dance does not hinder your chances of getting into drama school! There are many people on the musical theatre and actor-musician course (we train in the same disciplines as musical theatre but just with instruments as well) who have had little to no dance experience at all before coming to drama school, but their strength as singer-actors is what gained them a place. GSA is also a great place to consider for its BA (Hons) and foundation course, as it has funding through the University of Surrey therefore you are able to have tuition and maintenance loans.

Hopefully this puts you at ease a little about auditioning for BA programmes, I'd say just go for it and see where you go! Best of luck with it all :smile:

Rose Warburton (she/her)
Actor-Musician, 3rd year

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