This paper provides an opportunity to share experiences and perceptions of the first 5 years of a degree programme for professional dancers. A partnership developed in the mid-1990s between the UK's Birmingham Royal Ballet and the University of Birmingham, Westhill (now School of Education), to provide a part-time, post-experience, flexible study programme for full-time Company dancers. This is the first 'company customised' higher education programme to dovetail studies around rehearsal, performance and touring schedules. Methodology is based on a narrative by the author, informed by ongoing internal and external evaluations, in-depth interviews with dancers and Company managers, documentation and secondary sources. Outcomes indicate that the programme has made a positive difference to the Company, to the dancers and to the wider education and dance/arts world.