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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballet Schools- Germany

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  • BW


  • Dance_Scholar_London


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  • blballet




I can't thank you enough for your thoughtful answers. As BW stated, my dd is young, actually she is 14 but won't turn 15 until fall, so our options in Germany are more limited. We would live near the town of Landstuhl. My husband has to decide this week to accept the job!!!


We did investigate the ballet school in Munich, they do not accept students under 16. My dd is only a freshman in HS in a pure academic magnet program. She still dances 20 hours a week (this is obviously her love). We just recieved an email that the Cranko school did not accept her via video. We did not look at the school in Berlin because of her age. I wasn't sure about the boarding situation.


My thoughts on Mannheim after viewing the level she would attend next year is that it is solid instrution. My questions maybe answered by you that it is not the best place for her to launch a career. However, at this age she could continue one more year of high school (an abbreviated schedule) and have good ballet instruction in Mannheim.


She will fly over (if we take the job) in May to take some classes there and possibly auditon in person at the other schools. Her primary teacher is well respected in the world of ballet and danced in Hamburg. She is unclear about the Hamburg response concerning dd's feet, but will contact them this week to try to answer questions. I did like the facitilities in Hamburg, but would perfer out dd to stay home one more year. She also has acceptances to board in the USA...last choice for our family!


If you have anymore information about the graduates of Mannheim dancing professionally, or other answers for me, please continue this discussion. I do not have the capabilitie yet to PM or email, but I will try to get enough posts soon. I hate to just post for the sake of posting, but I will try to be thoughtful in my answers.


As I told DSL my daughter is a BA member and can answer questions via email or PMing...


BW should I give her name or let her contact them and see if they are interested? I am so new to this!


Thank you again everyone. This is a tough decision. My dd is one of three. The other daughters are excited as we have lived in Germany before. We just want to continue offering our dd the opportunity to dance until she makes the change...or she makes it!


Thanks :angry2:

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If your daughter is a full member here, just let her PM people on her own - putting something in the subject line to alert them that it's about German schools or whatever. She may also contact me via PM (even though I have a note up saying "No PMs"), if I can be of any help. :angry2:

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Mannheim is certainly not a big name like the Cranko School (Stuttgart), Neumeier School (Hamburg), The Ballet School of Berlin State Opera (Berlin) or Heinz Bosl Foundation (Munich).


Shulie: I do not agree somehow... What makes you think that Mannheim is not a big name?



Silverp: You might want to look into the Palucca school in Dresden. In the context of 'Tanzplan Deutschland' - 12,5 millions of funding for dance education in Germany - Dresden will get major funding to found a new dance ensemble. You might want to check this out.

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Here is a list of companies that have accepted graduates from Mannheim (since 1997)




Stadttheater Bremerhaven




Städtisches Theater Chemnitz




Landestheater Detmold




Semperoper Dresden




Aalto Theater Essen




Städt. Bühnen Esslingen




Landestheater Flensburg




Stadttheater Görlitz




Ballett Hamburg




Stadttheater Hildesheim


Karlsruhe Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe



Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern




Stadttheater Koblenz




Oper Leipzig




Ballett Staatstheater Mainz




Nationaltheater Mannheim




Südthüringisches Staatstheater Meiningen




Bayerisches Staatsballett München


München Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz



Deutsche Tanzkompanie Neustrelitz




Theater Nordhausen




Ballett Nürnberg




Stadttheater Pforzheim




Stuttgarter Ballett

Musical Theater Stuttgart




1. Vorpommersche Theater und Sinfonieorchester GmbH




Staatstheater Wiesbaden


Würzburg Mainfranken Theater Würzburg







Curitiba Ballett Brasilien




Oper Göteborg




Compania Nacional de Danca Madrid




Compania Nacional de Danca Mexico City




Landestheater Salzburg, Linz




Oper Warschau




Staatsoper Wien


Ungarn Staatsoper Budapest

Frankreich Cannes

USA Colorado

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Thanks for reassuring me that Mannheim produces professional dancers as well as teachers! I am unsure of the state supported university situation in Germany. I was impressed with the students in Mannheim, just not sure where the emphasis was placed.


I will look into the Dresden school. Do you know if it is classical ballet? I have old friends from Dresden so perhaps they can help there.


Again thank you for your time. My dd has questions that I hope you don't mind answering. She will PM you this week, as well as Shulie to get more information. We haven't given up on Hamburg as we think the video must have not shown, or shown her feet in a light that wasn't characteristic of the way they are described by her primary teachers. I wold perfer her in Mannheim as it is only a short train ride from where we would live, but having more than one option is always helpful.


I appreciate anyone's insights. Different countries certainly have different ways of approaching ballet education. I have become much more aware of these differences in this research.

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Federal funding (Tanzplan Deutschland) will certainly bring some changes over the next five years in the German dance education system. The project provides funding until 2010. It is a great chance for restructuring the system and it will open up many new possibilities.

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Well I did not say Mannheim offered bad education- just that schools like Neumeier, Cranko, Berlin, Bosl and the like are more famous and if she can get into one of those it certainly would be better than Mannheim- just because of the PR :thumbsup: because those big schools are worldwide known big names- Mannheim is known within Germany and Germans but not much on the outside as far as I know.


Compare it to somebody having the choice between attending SAB or a local ballet academy like for example Cary Ballet Conservatory in Carolina- both offer good training and produce professional dancers but SAB is just the bigger name.

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I've auditioned in Mannheim 4 years ago by taking 2 classes. At that moment, I thought that the training was very solid and the students were quite strong. Although I have to admit that they were late with introducing some steps. I was taking class with first college year and they were just working on pirouettes en dedans with fouette action and on sisonnes fermées. I was already working on those steps 4 years before that. After all, after the 3 years of college (if I remember correctly, it was 3 years), they are ready to audition in the professional world, so apparently, it has no significant meaning.


Next to the training, I have to add that they are an old-fashioned school concerning food-intake. But I'd rather don't want to go into that further here in public, but I'm most certainly willing to explain my point of view after being there.


I've read that you've been there as well and maybe things have changed since I've been there. It's not that I want to bring the school down, but just share my experiences and point of view!



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Boarding is available in Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden (how could I forget Dresden`s Palucca School!), Munich and Cranko in Stuttgart.


Just found out that Cranko does offer the students to make their "Abitur" as well- just like Berlin.

Seems more and more professional ballet boarding schools are getting on that track- which is very good!


I believe that all those schools have preparation classes for younger dancers- I do not understand why they only take people from the ages of 16 up!

Cranko offers a so called "Grundausbildung" (basic training) for younger dancers from the age range from 10-16. It consists of 6 dancing days a week á 120 minutes each day. Students are trained in classical ballet, pas de deux, character & folk, historical and modern dance.

I believe they accept younger students from outside. It in addition will be much easier to get into the full program later at the age of 16 if you are already a member of the ballet school.


I believe all other schools mentioned have a similar structure- the preparation levels up to the age of 16 and the full program from the age of 16 on. Just ask for the preparation levels!


Yes, Mannheim has produced professionals- no question- but most companies people got in DSL mentioned are smaller local companies.

(except for Viennese state opera, Dresden, Leipzig, Mainz, Munich and Stuttgart which are big names)

The problem currently in Europe is that most theaters close down or significantly reduce their ballet companies- especially if the theaters are more local. Dancers lose their jobs and the overall job situation as a classical dancer gets worse every day- unless you managed to get into a bigger and more famous company. (even they get reduced but not as drastically as the smaller companies)

Being trained at a school with a big name affiliated with a famous ballet company is one more stepping stone towards a long occupation as a dancer as the big companies primarily accept people trained in their schools as apprentices. Dancers trained at other schools have it harder to get into the company.


Plus as I said Cranko and Berlin Opera School offer the Abitur- which in my eyes nowadays is important for a dancer to have as a backup.

Dance careers are so fragile- the physical aspects- how many dancers had to quit their jobs because of chronic injuries? And how many dancers get fired just because the theaters reduce their company sizes to save money?

So having the Abitur as a backup is a great thing- which I would recommend to any aspiring dancer, no matter how talented he or she is. Better to be safe than dancing on a thin line!


One of my ballet mistresses (she is american, too!) graduated from Royal Ballet Academy and Princess Grace Academy and started a promising career in several german companies. When she made it to demi soloist she got a severe ankle injury. She had to quit her stage career forever and the only option open to her as she did not have any other graduation than her dance diploma was that she went into teaching.

I would prefer (if I had kids) my child to have all opportunities open- if she/he makes it as a dancer- fine- but if she/he does not make it, then she/he can study whatever she/he desires. Getting into dance medicine, costuming, acting, whatever... which is impossible or much harder to get into without the "Abitur".

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The problem currently in Europe is that most theaters close down or significantly reduce their ballet companies- especially if the theaters are more local. Dancers lose their jobs and the overall job situation as a classical dancer gets worse every day- unless you managed to get into a bigger and more famous company. (even they get reduced but not as drastically as the smaller companies)



This is one of the (main) reasons why 'Tanzplan Deutschland' was set up by the state(Bundeskulturstiftung): 12,5 mio Euro to restructure the German dance education system.


Having solid academics is certainly important and many dance academies have or are currently revalidating their programmes to convert them into Bachlor of Arts degrees.


I don't want to defend and/or prioritise Mannheim over other schools; however, I don't think that Mannheim is second league. It is as competitive as the other conservatoires in Germany and produces dancers that get into major companies. The list that I provided is in alphabetical order, I don't think it is necessary to point out that the lists shows all major ballet companies in Germany.


Mannheim offers excellent performance opportunities; this might not be given to the same extent at other conservatoires. Again, also, have a look at Palucca School in Dresden in prospect of the founding of a new ballet company.

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Here we go again. I have a very lengthy post somewhere in cyber space that my cat sent..I can't find it so I will start over! :pinch: If this is a repeat, so sorry.


Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful information regarding the ballet schools in Germany. Many questions have been answered and now comes the waiting! I have been reassured that dd's dance education will NOT be hindered by attending the Mannheim school (or others in Germany). It will be quite a change in style and of course the language of corrections, but I don't think dd will suffer from the move. In fact based on everyone's information, I think she may benefit from the change, as well as coming to Germany with the "Tanzplan Deutschland" in place.


I will check out the schools in Dresden and Berlin as I didn't know there was boarding available. I would like my dd to stay home one more year and in Mannheim she can. That would give her the opportunity to finish one more year in an American High School. As will most dancers I have met through dd's dance journey, she is a strong student. I would like her to contiunue putting education as a priority. Lets face it...she is only 14 and a lot can happen! :grinning: I am also concerned that dd doesn't speak German. Spanish is her second language course. There is a Goethe Institute here in the DC area. We have hopes she can pick up some before she goes away for 5 weeks this summer to her Summer Intensive.


I appreciated the posts by DSL, Shulie, and Skip. If there is anything else you would like to add, or anyone else out there, please. The move doesn't take place until summer, and we are always open for new options. Skip I am a bit concerned with your comments on the "old fashioned ideas" of body image. My dd is certainly fortunate to not have any concerns now (she is finally tall enough), but would like to know what have experienced. Based on the dancers I saw in Mannheim, the bodies were very athletic looking and strong, not at all on the overly thin side. Shulie, I understand what you mean by "big names" vs "good names". It is easier to be noticed if you have the big name school in your resume. I think Mannheim, based on her acceptance, is the only sure choice right now. I feel better knowing that she could continue her solid training at the ballet school in Mannheim.


Again, thanks to everyone. I would love for this dialouge to continue!

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Thanks for sending this in English. My German is rusty at best. I wish the American Government would also see fit to make such an enormous effort to keep dance alive. I believe this year alone three very nice reputable companies have folded in America Wih more money and effort from the government this may not have happened.


It sounds like many cities in Germany are sharing the wealth. When it was mentioned :"artists in residence" is this more of a school performing group starting? I think Hamburg was one listed. Would this be related to Neumier?


Thanks again for the information. I intend to keep a close watch on the changes.



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