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Teamwork + Confidence + Self-expression

The facts

• More than 80 dance, acting, gymnastics and musical theatre classes in the heart of Aberdeen
• AAPA began with 40 students and now welcomes approximately 400 each week
• It runs a dance and a musical theatre competition, has partnered with a professional ballet company to run a prestigious competition, and has a children’s casting agency
• Some children come five or six days per week, and some only one day. AAPA staff support whomever walks through the door.

The story so far…

• 2005: Dance, musical theatre and gymnastics guru Rachel started AAPA in a church hall in 2005 with a small Business Gateway grant for branding and a newspaper advert.

• 2008: AAPA was the first Scottish dance school to introduce acrobatic gymnastics under Scottish Gymnastics membership and is still the only Acrobatic gymnastics Club in the North East of Scotland.

• 2008: Mac the Monkey, a pre-school class teaching sports, gymnastics, ballet and musical theatre, was launched and took Aberdeen by storm teaching thousands of students over the years!

2009: AAPA got its own premises – and started offering birthday parties.

• 2011: The full-time performing arts college (the only one of its kind in the north east) was born.

• 2016: AAPA created its own dance competition where West End performers and choreographers judge performances at the Tivoli Theatre in Aberdeen

• 2018: Say hello to the children’s casting agency at AAPA! All of a sudden, our students were in TV series, Commercials and marketing campaigns for local favourites, such as Mackies of Scotland, Stewart Milne, Dandara and Aberdeen Inspired. Alongside alongside local companies our students can be seen on Apple TV, ITV and BBC and Netflix to name a few.

• 2019 : The full time College changed ownership and is now called Aberdeen College of Performing Arts (ACPA)

• 2020: The pandemic hit and the transition to online classes had an excellent take-up.

• 2021: AAPA was crowned a Gold winner at the International Dance School of the Year awards.

• 2022: Post-pandemic productions are back on stage, enjoying full and happy audiences!

• 2023: We launched the Dance Compete Achieve Associate Scheme in association with Pivitol Productions. We also took our first production to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and sold out all our performances before we even opened for the run! 

Keira's Story


I’ve made lots of new friends.  It’s so much fun learning new skills.  I really enjoy it and I hope you do too!






Merryn's Story


I have got more active.  Coming to AAPA classes made me feel confident and it has given me lots of friends from a very young age, it’s my home!


Khloe's Story

When I started AAPA I didn’t know anyone at all and now I have so many friends in all my classes and it’s so much fun !  I love doing shows and doing the Nutcracker Ballet and performing with my friends in front of so many people was amazing.  It was the best feeling EVER !  I can’t wait to do more shows.  AAPA is the best !


A truly unique approach to teaching that you can share with your family

“Working as a team to create something wonderful is at the heart of all we do. Confidence comes from having courage to step out of your comfort zone. A ready-made supportive team can ignite that fire in your child’s belly. And self-expression is encouraged – it comes naturally when youngsters can be themselves in a safe space.”

– Rachel Young, founder of AAPA