The Dutch National Ballet Academy
For 35 years, the Dutch National Ballet Academy has been training students to become classical, performing dancers who, thanks to their technical dance skills, personality and creativity, can flourish in leading ballet ensembles in the Netherlands and abroad. Graduate students have been taught a working method that promotes sustainable physical and mental fitness and well-being. The practical experience that students gain during their studies is of great importance. Students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy regularly perform in Dutch National Ballet productions. In addition, they do internships with large ensembles in the Netherlands and abroad.
It takes many years to train a ballet dancer and lessons start at a young age. That is why the Dutch National Ballet Academy offers dance education in combination with regular education in Dutch for children aged 10 and older. From class 1, students participate in major productions by Dutch National Ballet, including the Nutcracker (in which the children play a key role), Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake and Giselle.
The preliminary training lasts seven years, after which the students qualify for an audition for the full-time higher professional education course. The preliminary training focuses on the basic technique of classical ballet and also offers various other (dance) subjects. A good preliminary training is vital for the Dutch National Ballet Academy. Students who audition for the HBO program from other schools will have to have a comparable standard. However, the Dutch National Ballet Academy prefers to train its students from a young age itself.
Scouting for preliminary training takes place through an annual audition tour, workshops, special courses for boys and other school and company events. Physical talent is the first starting point for young dancers who want to start the preliminary training, after which coordination, musicality, dance feeling and understanding and the ability to make corrections are further examined.
From day one, pupils, students and teachers are at the center of professional practice, surrounded by dancers and employees of a very high professional level. Depending on their preliminary training and their secondary school diploma, the students start at the age of 16/18 within the HBO on the Associate Degree (AD) of the Dutch National Ballet Academy and graduate at the age of 18/20. The HBO phase in the form of an AD is therefore the crowning achievement of an intensive study and the starting signal for a professional dance career.
In addition, the Dutch National Ballet Academy offers a one-year course for selected international guest students. A certificate of participation will be issued at the end of the course. Guest students follow the same program as students in higher vocational education without the AD theory lessons (music theory, dance history and anatomy & injury prevention).
Since the start of the 2022-23 school year, the NBA has been offering a Bachelor of Dance (BA), with the differentiation Teacher Classical Ballet . This is a nice addition to the already existing AD program and a good example of “Life Long Learning”. With this new BA, the NBA facilitates the possibility to train the next generation of classical ballet teachers for the Netherlands and the international field.
Students can enter from the AD phase or only much later after a career as a professional dancer.