Today’s professional ballet dancers are expected to be more versatile and adept at managing their own professional development than at any other point in ballet’s history. The Post-Secondary Program at Canada’s National Ballet School concentrates on the refinement of skills and the professional development of the dancer after the completion of academic high school. The program provides a supportive, flexible transition from completion of training to full-time professional practice. Graduates of the NBS' Professional Ballet Academic Program, and other students with a high school diploma who have reached an appropriately advanced level of training, may apply for this program. Students in the Post-Secondary Program are responsible for their own accommodation and meals, though meals can be purchased on site and some space may be available in a designated section of NBS’ Student Residence.
The full-time program runs from September to July. Attendance at Summer School is mandatory, except for students selected by the ballet faculty to participate in NBS’ Student Exchange Program. Students take a variety of classes including classical ballet, pointe, variations, pas de deux, as well as contemporary, repertoire and improvisation. Performance opportunities, (like the student-centred Open Stage presentations specifically for PSP students) may include a professional development component with dancers involved in the planning process. Reviewing career goals and developing a career plan, with the life skills to flourish, are priorities. Time spent in the program, usually one or two years, varies according to the requirement of the individual student.