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Teamwork + Confidence + Self-expression

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

The facts

• More than 70 dance, acting, gymnastics and musical theatre classes in the heart of Aberdeen
• AAPA began with 40 students and now welcomes more than 350 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.

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

• 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!

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 !