POST-SECONDARY BRIDGE PROGRAM
The Academy holds designations from the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB), and the EQA (Education Quality Assurance), both under the umbrella of the BC Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training and recognized globally as symbols of quality education and consumer protection.
Year 1 is 38 weeks in length and dancers train approximately 30 hours per week. Year 2 and Year 3 of the Bridge program are 41 weeks each in length and dancers train up to 35 hours per week. Classical ballet is the primary discipline of technical training along with a very strong focus on contemporary dance. Once the current year has ended in June, students generally return home on their summer break or acquire summer jobs in the Victoria area.
As a Bridge student, you will be encouraged to explore different aspects of professional dance life through the extensive program curriculum. Besides classes in ballet, pointe, classical repertoire, pas de deux, and contemporary, you will also benefit from training in a professional environment, explore varied methods of the choreographic process, observe guest artist’s projects, as well as, receive classes in academic modules containing anatomy, ballet history and various personal development subjects such as career exploration.
Individual advising and collaboration with knowledgeable and experienced VAB faculty and guest choreographers connect students to avenues in the dance industry. As a graduate, you will be fully prepared for the next step on your career path.
Bridge Program graduates are fully prepared for the next step on their career paths. Graduates become professional ballet dancers in classical ballet, contemporary ballet, and contemporary dance. They may also become dance teachers, choreographers, adjudicators and/or examiners. Graduates may work in live theatre in a variety of capacities both onstage and off; in the fields of kinesiology, dance/sport physiotherapy, massage therapy, nutrition, dance/sport psychology, Pilates instruction, and in the Gyrokenisis/Gyrotonic Method.
Language Proficiency & Prior Learning Credit
The Academy is an English speaking school with ballet studies taught using the universal French ballet terminology. VAB assists students whose first language is not English. In order to facilitate success for the academic course work, Bridge students may do research in their native language and request oral assessments using an interpreter (both at the expense of the student). Some classes, if required, are conducted using an interpreter at the expense of the institution. Using a variety of assessment methods, students work towards acquiring the depth of knowledge required to be successful in the academic portion of the VAB Bridge Program.
VAB takes into consideration courses taken at a recognized, accredited or otherwise equivalent postsecondary institution and compares them to the offerings in the Bridge Program. Transfer credits may be applied to the first year of the program provided that they meet and are relevant to the requirements, curriculum and hourly duration of the program.
VAB provides Custodianship services for international students as required by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. All students studying in Canada for 6 months or longer and are under the age of majority (19 years) require a custodian.
Auditions & Admissions
Applicants should be 19 years of age, or possess a complete Grade 12 Diploma or equivalent. Applicants under 19 must have parent or legal guardian’s consent and be able to demonstrate the maturity and technical ability required for the Bridge Program. Admission is through a successful audition, interview and print application.
Applicants provide an audition package including:
• Documentation of a student’s dance and training history (résumé/CV/summary)
• Confirmation of advanced technical ability and performance level via audition(s) in person, through video, Zoom, and/or a short-term trial process
• Demonstration of potential to become a professional dancer as well as reaching a high level of ballet technique acceptable to the Program Director.
• Must keep a valid passport and, for International Students, also an updated study permit.
The audition may be done in person, via Zoom, or by the submission of a video link that follows standard ballet criteria and protocols. Acceptance into our programs is ongoing and auditions are accepted at any time. Applicants are notified in writing in a timely manner. VAB does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, gender or sexual orientation.
Health & Wellness
VAB takes a holistic approach to teaching dance with a focus on both the physical and emotional wellbeing of each student. To achieve their potential, each dancer is taught to understand the necessity of maintaining a healthy body, attending to injuries and being aware of the nutritional needs of elite athletes. Students need to recognize the importance of emotional health. Because dancers require such intense motivation and focus to help them participate in the rigorous daily schedule necessary for their chosen career, they must have emotional support available. These topics are covered extensively in the Bridge Program curriculum.
I was immediately drawn to the Bridge Program when I first visited VAB and saw the versatility and skill of the post-secondary students. The dancers were clearly well-trained in both classical and contemporary work, and I felt that this balance would greatly benefit my own training. As a proud VAB graduate, I know that this program is truly exceptional.
At VAB, international and domestic visiting students in the Bridge Program may opt to live with carefully selected and screened host families. The support and understanding of a caring host family provides a smooth transition to a new culture and a demanding dance schedule. VAB host families are chosen for their ability to provide a warm and supportive home environment, and for their willingness to treat each visiting student as a member of their family. Students who are at least 19 years old may choose their own rental situation. Apartment costs vary depending on if they are furnished or unfurnished, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, where it is located within the city, if it located in an apartment building or if it is a suite in a private home, etc. VAB Student Services can assist students with housing.