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Tanz Academie of Zurich

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anyone have any information about this school?

If they allow students to audition during school year

and how long their school year is?

Any information will be appreciated!!! :)

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Hi there! This is the link to their website http://www.tanzakademie.ch/index_d.cfm On the left hand side you will find a link to the english version. It says on their site that it is possible to audition individually during the year but you have to ask them first. I think you have either to write them or to call them to ask for the lenght of the school year then! I hope I could help :)

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  • 8 years later...

Any recent feedback on this program? I have looked over the website extensively and could not find any details about the academic offerings i.e. if students earn the equivalent of a high school diploma. 

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The academic schooling (Grundschule) is done... in German... at the  Kunst- und Sportschule Zürich, or a local high school. However, the Tanz Akademie also have arrangements with the Spanish, the German, the Japanese and the French private schools.  Of course this all adds up to a fair bit of cash.... I could elaborate a bit on how Swiss public schooling works (in general--my child doesn't go there), if you are not deterred by the language barriers. 

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Scameron, thanks for the info. Does your child attend Tanzakademie Zurich, or has done so in the past? I couldn't tell from your post.

My daughter is bilingual English-French already so that would be less of an issue. I guess I should research private school options. Are the students given time to attend school in the mornings or full days? Any idea what the boarding costs would be? It appears to be tuition free, if you are able to pass the audition. Is that correct?

Would it be safe to assume that many of the international students complete their high school studies via an online program?


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Speaking generally: In Europe for this kind of training (in elite sports as well as ballet), there are generally arrangements for school students to attend a school which accommodates the intensive hours of something like ballet training. Most European students study for the Baccalaureat (Bac) or the Abitur (Abi), which are generally considered (as are UK A Levels), to be equivalent in standard to the Freshman year of a US university/college - so above the level of a standard high school diploma - nearer to high school AP classes, I should think.

But maybe your specific questions would be better answered by the school itself? Ballet Talk for Dancers members can't speak for the school, only members' experiences or first-hand knowledge of it. Most Swiss people speak excellent English (I find often better than native speakers!)

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No, my daughter doesn't attend, but we live in Switzerland (French side), and since it's a very small country, we've have had some contact. I definitely liked the vibe when my daughter tried out their 3-day "taster days" years ago.  I asked them questions about schooling etc. mainly because I'm nosy that way!   Just to warn you, I wished I'd had more German because although the Swiss tend to be fantastic with languages, the two admin ladies I spoke with weren't 100% comfortable in English (this is 5 years ago)... I didn't have the easiest time making myself understood. They gave me that "what-IS-she-saying" look a couple of times, so I stopped pestering!

I'm not sure what age your child is, but the tuition is only free for their "trainee" stream (16 or so to 20ish -- I haven't checked the ages). For younger kids, it's 1050chf per term. Which is cheap for Switzerland! It must be heavily subsidized. They do offer housing--an easy and safe 20min commute away. The website says the price of boarding is discussed on an individual basis, probably need-based.

On to schooling, about which I know much more! In most of German Switzerland, public school ends around 2:00. The Tanz Akademie classes start around 3pm. The Tanz Akademie have worked out scheduling problems with a few local private schools (which tend to end around 4pm otherwise). One of these schools is the Lycée Français de Zurich, so that's lucky!

Homeschooling is pretty rare in Switzerland, and for ballet schools, the most common track is to go to a public school with a sport-art-étude stream (or that specialized school if in Zurich). Once the kids hit high school/age 15, school is no longer compulsory in Switzerland, and many dancers would start some kind of vocational training that complements the dance training. Switzerland's more established big ballet school in Basel (Zurich's is relatively young) encourages the kids to continue their studies at an institute that trains them in non-doctor medical fields (physio, dental assistant, paramedics etc.) Some do go for the full Swiss Matura, but since it's harder than the IB (which I assume you're familiar with?)  this is quite a challenge. (The level of difficulty varies a bit from canton to canton, but rumor has it that Zurich's is one of the hardest, comparable to the "Fédéral / national one that private schools & homeschoolers have to write).  It's an excellent & VERY thorough education! But more than you need if a North American university is the ultimate goal.

Since your daughter speaks French, have you looked into the Ecole Rudra Béjart in Lausanne, Cannes, or Princess Grace (Monaco)? I'm going to assume you already know about the Paris Opera, heheheh. 

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10 hours ago, Scameron said:

the most common track is to go to a public school with a sport-art-étude stream (or that specialized school if in Zurich).

Yes, this is what I've seen in both France & Germany (member of my French family was an elite ice-skater). It works well.

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Thanks Scameron & Redbookish for your replies. That definitely clarifies the academic piece but it sounds like I should contact the school.  Since we are American and my daughter may attend college in the US we need to make sure she has the required HS diploma or equivalent.  The other schools you mentioned would be great as well so I guess I need to get to work really researching them.  My daughter is just about to turn 15 and is a high school sophomore so the timing for auditioning at Tanzakademie Zurich this winter would be right if she were to start at age 16. 

Hoping someone with recent experience at the school, especially a non-Swiss student, might reply as well.

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My dd attended the school for a short-term stay while she was deciding which ballet school she wanted to attend.  What she did notice while there was that the kids were super busy. Classes started early.  It's been a few years but I think they started around 9:00 and the kids didn't get back to the apartments until after 7:00. For some reason, I remember the train ride being closer to 45 minutes each way. This was for the academy level.  It seems that most students in Europe tend to be done with their schooling by age 16.  So, the Americans and others who still had high school were expected to get it done on their own.  They gradually ease the students into living life independently.  The first year, food is prepared for them in the school apartments and their laundry is done for them.  In the second year, they are required to prepare food a certain number of days/week.  By year three, I believe they're mostly independent.  Hope that helps a little.


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8 hours ago, Supermaman said:

ince we are American and my daughter may attend college in the US we need to make sure she has the required HS diploma or equivalent.

Most European matriculation qualifications (Abi, Bac. A Levels) are more than enough for US colleges. They're generally of a level of achievement nearer to US college Freshman studies. So she'd have little difficulty of returning to the US system if she were to undertake a Swiss matriculation qualification. 

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  • 6 months later...

Supermaman, do you have any updates on Zurich dance academy? My son got an invitation to study, he is going for a week long stay first. I am looking for more information and insights.

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I don’t have any new information to share. How exciting that your DS will be going for a trial week! I’d love any info you can share as this program is still of interest for us although DD’s current school is working out better than expected (this is her first year there). If you don’t mind sharing, how old is your son? 

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He is 15, will be 16 soon. I ma not happy with the admin contacts, they are clearly not understanding that international travel can not be arranged in 1 day and if for their formal reasons "he does not have to come for week, one day is enough" is not really acceptable since he would like to see the school/boarding house/try the classes/see the teachers and students as well before agreeing to sight up for 3 year program! 

The directors are very attentive and following through though, we were very happy with this part so far. I will post in May how the visit went and what his impression was. 

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