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Ballet Schools- Germany

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That is a good question... I assume there will be some sort of collaboration between artists in residence and schools. Not every ballet school has an artist in residence in place; I believe it is more about the development of these structures - I am sure Neumeier has an interest in being part of Tanzplan Deutschland.


There are two different strands, Tanzplan local (collaborations/projects) and Tanzplan Educational Programmes (improvement of training). Personally, I am more interested in the development of dance training and education. It is a huge step forward and will make significant structural changes in German dance education.

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DSL, correct me if I am wrong; from what I have heard and read of the Tanzplan Deutschland, it is geared mainly towards supporting contemporary dance forms.


What sort of improvements do you think will come about for dance-education?



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I am talking about the better integration of dance education into the university system and a certain move towards BA and MA degree programmes.


There will hopefully be some changes in terms of pedagogy/psychological approaches to dance education; also, the inclusion of more academic studies into the dance curriculum.


Are you based in Germany?

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After reviewing the Tanzplan Deutschland again, I find the following statement discouraging...with regards to making the move to Germany with my dd


Despite some excellent programmes, training for young dancers leaves much to be desired, and one or two creative spirits could profit from a more profound knowledge of the history (including the more recent history) of their own art form.



Why does the government feel the education offered is less that desirable? Is it the number of quality schools/educators or is it the actual teaching style or syllabus most ballet schools in Germany use. Skip mentioned the "late" introduction to certain aspects of classical ballet (regarding Mannheim) as well as the old-fashioned "dieting". Is this atypical in Germany or the norm?


I also wonder about Diane's interest in modern dance as the Tanzplan's focus. We are experiencing a large number of Modern Companies starting, but it is understood (to the best of my knowledge) that classical ballet training is the ONLY way to begin a true dance career, whether it be modern or even some jazz companies.


The road to professional dancing is complicated and difficult. The Tanzplan may indeed be a great way to spark new interests, increase the value of dance, and more importantly to me make dance education a priority! :shrug:

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Tanzplan Deutschland will cover all aspects of dance education, including contemporary dance, dance in the community and ballet.


German ballet education (at pre-professional level) was and still is very much limited to a handful of conservatoires who have strict selection criteria. I don't think that this issue is related to Germany only, but certainly it does apply to different countries. Getting enough (and correct) training in the English countryside might be difficult - thus ballet education is considered as elitist due to the fact that there are not many conservatoires and much more applicants than places. Tanzplan aims to develop structures in order to implement more/better training opportunities for young dancers.


I am not sure what Skip meant with 'late introduction', but it obviously depends on the teacher's philosophy as well. At LCDS at The Place (where I am based), ballet masters have different approaches; some weeks are dedicated to basic technique/core stability, at other times the focus is on artistry and/or new steps/combination. It is a mixture of different approaches to ballet education. Personally, I would not judge a school by its cover. You might want to talk to ballet teachers/director (Professor Keil).


I cannot really comment on dieting. Ballet bodies are certainly supposed to be thinner than 'ordinary people'. But again, this is not something typical German

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I second DSL- I think the bad dance education in Germany happens at the point where students transist from a amateur to a pre pro or pro school. The few professional schools in Germany are excellent and offer training on world level- however it is very hard to find good ballet training if you did not manage to make it to the few pre pro schools in time.

In Germany its basically (especially outside the bigger cities) like that: if you did not make it to the few pre pro schools you end up at dolly dinkle all your life and have absolutely no chance to advance. Also most private studios in Germany which should prepare kids for professional dance education cannot cater to it because they are just more or less dolly dinkle.

The problem is not on the professional level but sits on the lower levels- in all those schools that are supposed to send their kids to pro schools the education is just not sufficient!

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DSL, yep, I'm in Germany.


I had understood that the Tanzplan was _mainly_ to help the situation of contemporary / alternative / Tanztheater-like dance in Germany.

I will have to look for the passage where it mentions supporting ballet again. ;)


Yes, Shulie, I agree with most of what you write; the conditions at the home-town level leave much to be desired. This is largely due to the fact that it is near impossible to offer more than once or twice weekly lessons for kids/teens/aspiring dancers in smaller towns, as there would only be about three kids in each class. Economics strikes again.


There are some of us who try desperately to offer some sort of near-proper training regardless of economics, but we can only go as far as our directors / studio-owners allow. (they have to pay the rent...)


Kids going from the schools I teach at to a larger pre-pro program may have a problem, as the most they can have with me is three times a week at present. -sigh!!-

(the only one who tried got into a bigger program, but then changed her mind)


I honestly don't see how the Tanzplan will change any of that.

Though perhaps it will help the bigger, professional schools.


SilverPenny: don't worry about your daughter not getting a good dance education at Mannheim. I believe it is pretty decent there.

The students I have seen from there were quite good.

There used to be something like daily weight-controls; I don't know if that has changed or not. (this may be something to look into)

((will you be paying for this, or will the gov. pay? EU-citizens do not have to pay to go there, as far as I know. What about non-EU?)



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While visiting Neumeier ballet school and the University Ballet school in Mannheim, we had a chance to see other ballet opportunities in the area. We came to the conclusion after visiting two "ballet" schools, the choice was clear. If my daughter wanted serious training (she currently dances 15-18 hours of pure ballet per week with a very good teacher) the only option was one of the mentioned schools. When we lived in Germany before, my dd and her older sister had ballet classes. The first was in Heidleberg with Bristish and Australian trained teachers. The second was Ballet Schule Vieru. I saw virtually no older dancers. (my daughters were only 5-9 during the period living in Germany). I don't remember thinking it was bad training, just limited. Of course at this time I had no idea one of the daughters would make ballet her life so I didn't pay close attention.


I am certain that dd will have solid training in Mannheim. I wish it was closer to where we will live, but at least she has the opportunity to attend. Diane, would you tell me where you teach? While visiting Germany at one of the local ballet schools, I met another American who was desperately searching for quality ballet training. The dancer (age 14) spent two weeks in Mannheim "auditioning" but was found not to have the ability to continue with professional dance as an option, so they did not take her. (She had a tendon problem). I watched her dance and she obviously had been trained well. I have the email and would like to help her find something! :)

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I forgot to add (upon rereading) to Diane, that yes, we have been told dd will not have to pay because she was selected for the highest level before the "university". There was some question as we are non EU, but that will be the case. The younger classe of the junior school pay a small stipend. This is a BIG plus for us. :yes:


Also I will email Professor Neumeyer in Mannheim soon. I will certainly add the question about daily "weigh-ins" to my list. I find this practice truly appalling. DD is very slender, but is still growing and who knows how her body will change through this year. It appears she has begun another growth spurt based on her eating habits and height gain. I am sure she would be fine, but I do want to know before we go.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is my first post so hopefully I'm doing it correctly. I happened upon this wonderful sight quite by accident while looking for any other possibilities in Germany!


My daughter is 14 and was in a pre-professional company in the states. We moved to the Kaiserslautern area in September and much to our dismay have had a very difficult time finding good ballet training within a reasonable traveling distance. We've visited over 10 private and government sponsered programs. My dd attended Mannheim for 3 weeks but was denied admission due to a physical problem in her ankles. ( Her demi plie is very shallow.) On their advice we have seen doctors and physical therapists who have helped her significantly. I asked her if she wanted me to send the medical reports to the Mannheim Academy and ask them to review her case once again. She does not want to go back there. She felt it was too militant. I think they produce a beautiful corps de ballet because they are so strict. On the other hand, there was no room for expression.


Having said all that, she's been taking an adult "hobby" class in Kaiserslautern and we've been driving an hour to Heidelberg twice a week for her to take classes from a British teacher. The teacher there has been excellent for correcting some basic technical bad habits but she has informed me that she cannot keep her to the level she's already been trained. Therefore, I've been giving her private lessons in a raquetball court at the base gym. Needless to say, this has been a very frustrating year.


She tried a class in Mainz and the teacher there recommended Dr. Hoch's Konservatorium (sounds like an traveling medicine man). That will be our next try. Do any of you know any information about this? The teacher is Olga Alexandrova. The link is www.dr-hochs.de .


We're not ready to send her to a residential program although that isn't out of the question in the future.


Another big question? Any suggestions for summer programs in Europe? Do they offer intensives like in the states?


Her teacher in the states has hire Finis Jung for a summer program there. If I can't find her anything here I think I'll let her go back home.


Whew! I know that's a lot of information but any insight is more that welcome!




Silver Penny...Let's keep in touch. You still have our e-mail so let me know when you're coming so these girls can meet!

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Welcome to the discussion board, blballet and a very nice job on posting, too! :offtopic:


Take a look through the FAQ and General Topics forum on the Summer Intensives forum - as well as the 2005/06 SI forum where individual programs are listed. I know there are several topics that list some summer programs, the concept of European programs, etc. Those particular forums are alphabetical so that should offer some help. :wub:

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I don't know anything about the konservatorium, but Olga Aleksandrova and Dmitrij Simkin are the parents of Danill Simkin. He won a lot of ballet competitions like Varna and is very talented. His mother gave him private lessons. You can find Danill's personal homepage here...Daniil Simkin Check the video section..That is the family homepage: Family Simkin

Some basic information about Olga Aleksandrova and Dmitrij Simkin...

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Welcome to the discussion board, blballet and a very nice job on posting, too! :offtopic:


Take a look through the FAQ and General Topics forum on the Summer Intensives forum - as well as the 2005/06 SI forum where individual programs are listed. I know there are several topics that list some summer programs, the concept of European programs, etc. Those particular forums are alphabetical so that should offer some help. :wub:


Thanks so much. I went there and WOW what a wealth of information. I'm so glad I've found you all.

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