Young people discussing ideas for a hip hop theatre show at Starting From Scratch
Photo Credit – Owen Ling, Starting from Scratch

Entry Requirements

Academy Breakin’ Convention is for students who have a passion for hip hop culture and an interest to learn and develop as young hip hop artists and leaders in the hip hop sector. ABC celebrates diversity and welcome artists from all backgrounds and levels of experience.   

Candidates will demonstrate:   

  • The discipline and creativity required to successfully complete a level 3 course.  
  • A commitment to learning and developing as an artist and future leader.  
  • A passion for creating hip hop focused work with a desire to develop theatrically.  
  • Aspirations to pursue and sustain a career within the creative industries.

Students are expected to have 5 GCSES at grade 4 –9 including English / Maths (or equivalent).   

If a student does not meet these requirements but is an exceptional candidate, we will consider supporting a student who is dedicated and committed to obtaining this during their studies. This will be assessed on an individual basis. 

On the 31st of August, you will have to be aged 16, 17 or 18 years of age

ABC will have a committed pastoral support team who can provide relevant support in lessons where necessary. If shortlisted, you will be asked to provide details on your educational needs.

If you have an Educational Health Care Plan, we will review your documents to assess whether we have the support available to help you throughout your time at ABC, as we are very small Further Education provider, so we will need to assess required support on a case-by-case basis.

ABC does not have a catchment area, but we would expect students to live within a maximum 1-hour journey time by public transport from Stratford (Sadler’s Wells East), where ABC will be based. 

To apply to ABC, you need to have been a resident of the UK in the last 3 years and will need to provide evidence of British Residency Status. 

There is no fee to attend ABC. 

The Recruitment Process

Applications for Academy Breakin’ Convention open 17 October 2023.  

For more information on how to apply, please click here.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 31 January 2024, however we suggest you apply early.

We are looking for students who are ready to get involved in all aspects of hip hop culture regardless of experience. It’s all about state of mind, you will be able to specialise and focus on your interested career path during your second year.  

For your audition you will be asked to dance, emcee, create a piece of graffiti and interview.  

You will need to prepare for the emcee section in advance and there will be four pre-audition workshops to support shortlisted applicants between February – March.  

You must prepare both of the following: 

  1. A memorised rap to music between 30 seconds and 1 minute long.  
  2. A read/memorised spoken word piece between 30 seconds and 1 minute long.  
  • The rap can be written by you or an artist you like. 
  • The spoken word MUST be written by you using the question ‘Why do you want to study at ABC?’ as inspiration.  

*Please ensure the lyrics are age appropriate and with no offensive language* 


You will take part in a class learning a short routine including Breaking, Popping and Hip Hop Social Dance. You will also be given the opportunity to stand out from the crowd and perform the routine back in smaller groups, ending with your own flavour in a freestyle.   


You will perform your pre-prepared rap and spoken word piece to a small panel.   


You will get creative and design your own piece of graffiti, explaining where you would place this art and why. 


A chance to return to your first application questions and for you to ask any questions to the ABC team.   

We will begin announcing shortlisting from 6 November 2023. Shortlisting will include your invitation to pre audition workshops and your audition date.

We will recruit 20 students for the 1st year, then next year another 20, therefore, there will be rolling total of 40 students in the academy every year. 

Extra Information

We are holding two Academy Breakin’ Convention information evenings so you can get a feel for the course and learn what we are all about. We are holding an Information Session on Tuesday 12 December 2023 and an Open Evening on Tuesday 16 January 2024. If you wish to attend either of these session be sure to register here to secure your space.

With our new state of the art venue undergoing it’s final touches, ABC Open Days are not held at Sadler’s Wells East as the venue is due to open in Summer 2024.

Students studying on the Hip Hop Theatre course at ABC, will work towards a UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma*, in Performance and Production Arts, equivalent to three A-levels. *Subject to approval*  

ABC will be based at Sadler’s Wells East, 101 Carpenters Rd, London E20 2AR. This is a new state of the art venue opening as part of East Bank in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.