The Hardest Ballet Companies To Get Into

Becoming a professional ballet dancer is extremely competitive. Only the most technically skilled and artistically gifted dancers are admitted into the top ballet companies around the world. If you’re wondering which ballet companies are the most difficult to gain a coveted spot with, here’s a quick answer: The Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, the Paris Opera Ballet in France, and the Royal Ballet in London are considered among the hardest ballet companies to get into due to their prestige and rigorous audition standards.

In this article, we will explore what makes these elite ballet companies so selective, outline the intense audition process, and highlight what it takes to make it into one of these top-tier troupes as a ballet dancer.

The Bolshoi Ballet

Brief History and Background

The Bolshoi Ballet, based in Moscow, Russia, is one of the world’s most prestigious and renowned ballet companies. It was founded in 1776 and has since become synonymous with excellence in classical ballet.

Over the years, the Bolshoi Ballet has cultivated a rich history and tradition, attracting talented dancers from all over the globe.

Rigorous Russian Training

One of the reasons why the Bolshoi Ballet is considered one of the hardest companies to get into is its rigorous training program. Dancers who aspire to be a part of the Bolshoi Ballet must undergo years of intense training in the Vaganova method, a Russian ballet technique known for its emphasis on precision, strength, and artistry.

This training is known for its strict discipline and demanding physical requirements, pushing dancers to their limits.

Extremely Competitive Auditions and Company Hierarchy

Auditions for the Bolshoi Ballet are highly competitive and demanding. Aspiring dancers must showcase exceptional technical skills, artistry, and physical capabilities. The audition process often involves multiple rounds, including rigorous physical examinations and performances in front of a panel of judges.

Once accepted into the company, dancers face a highly competitive and hierarchical environment. The Bolshoi Ballet has a strict ranking system, with principal dancers at the top and corps de ballet members at the bottom.

Advancement within the company is based on talent, dedication, and years of experience.

The Paris Opera Ballet

Centuries of French Classical Tradition

The Paris Opera Ballet is renowned worldwide for its rich history and centuries-old tradition of French classical ballet. Established in 1669, it is the oldest national ballet company in the world. The company has been at the forefront of ballet innovation, producing iconic works that have shaped the art form.

With a repertoire that includes both classical and contemporary ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet continues to push boundaries and captivate audiences.

Entry Through Conservatory Schooling

Getting into the Paris Opera Ballet is no easy feat. The company has a highly selective audition process, and aspiring dancers must undergo years of rigorous training at the prestigious Paris Opera Ballet School.

The school is known for its rigorous curriculum, which focuses on developing strong technique, artistry, and versatility. Students at the school receive world-class training from experienced faculty and have the opportunity to perform in productions alongside members of the Paris Opera Ballet.

Only 20% Turnover Rate

The Paris Opera Ballet has a remarkably low turnover rate, with only around 20% of dancers leaving the company each year. This means that the competition for a spot in the company is fierce, and dancers must demonstrate exceptional talent and dedication to have a chance of being accepted.

The company’s dancers are known for their technical precision, grace, and artistry, and being a member of the Paris Opera Ballet is considered a prestigious achievement in the ballet world.

The Royal Ballet

The Royal Ballet is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious and sought-after ballet companies in the world. Based in London, England, it is the premier dance company in the United Kingdom and has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1931.

The Royal Ballet is known for its exceptional talent, exquisite performances, and commitment to artistic excellence.

Premier UK Dance Company

The Royal Ballet has long been considered the pinnacle of ballet in the United Kingdom. It boasts a roster of world-class dancers who have trained extensively in classical ballet and are known for their technical prowess and artistry.

The company regularly performs at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, showcasing a diverse repertoire that includes both classical ballets and contemporary works.

Getting into The Royal Ballet is a dream for many aspiring dancers. The competition is fierce, and only a select few are chosen to join the company. The rigorous audition process and high standards set by the artistic directors make it one of the hardest ballet companies to get into.

Focus on Artistry

One of the defining characteristics of The Royal Ballet is its emphasis on artistry. The company places great importance on dancers’ ability to convey emotions and tell stories through their movements.

In addition to technical proficiency, dancers are expected to bring a unique artistic interpretation to every performance.

The Royal Ballet’s commitment to artistry is evident in its collaborations with renowned choreographers and designers. By pushing boundaries and exploring new artistic directions, the company continues to innovate and captivate audiences around the world.

International Audition Process

The Royal Ballet attracts talent from all over the world, and its audition process reflects its international reputation. Dancers interested in joining the company must go through a rigorous selection process, which typically includes multiple rounds of auditions.

While the majority of auditions take place in the United Kingdom, The Royal Ballet also holds auditions in various cities around the world. This allows dancers from different countries and backgrounds to showcase their skills and compete for a coveted spot in the company.

For more information about The Royal Ballet and its audition process, visit their official website


Earning a position with renowned companies like the Bolshoi Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, or Royal Ballet requires incredible discipline, technical mastery, and artistic expression. The audition process is grueling, and competition is fierce even among candidates from the affiliated ballet academies and schools.

However, those gifted dancers who successfully land a job with one of these elite troupes have achieved one of the highest accolades in the ballet world and will be part of preserving and advancing cherished cultural institutions.

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