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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Training: Pre pro in Europe

Victoria Leigh

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The following post is by Cosette. I split this part from another section which I put in YD 17-22.



I'm more a classical/neoclassical ballet lover than a contemporary/modern dancer. In the future, I would like to be part of a company that would mix classical ballet repertory with neoclassical or contemporary ballet (contemporary with pointe shoes). And I think these are the schools that would prepare me better for that:


Nothern Ballet School, Manchester

Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary

Central Ballet School

Royal Conservatory of Scotland


The Conservatory of the Hague

École Superieur de Rosella Hightower

École National Supérieur de Marseilles


And then, some in Germany:


Palucca School Dresden

The Balletfoundation Heinz Bosl (Munich)

The State Ballet School of Berlin (A-level courses – 3 anos) Max: 19 anos

Manheim University of Music and Performing Arts


Still, I'm not really sure about the ones from Germany, such as Palucca, for instance. Could you give me some details about the schools? And what are the ones you think would suit better my dance tastes?


Finally, I would like to find a way that I could have the best of both worlds. Which means I could have train ballet without sacrifice my studies. I know there are some science colleges in USA with ballet/dance programs, but I'm not sure if we have that in Europe. Or I could take an online course, but I'm not sure how it works. Do you have any ideas? Or alternative ways?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am not sure where Cosette is, but her best bet would be to write to the schools she is interested in and ask about their costs, their audition processes, and - if at alll possible - go and visit them.


I am unaware of any universities (here) with science programs which also have dance-programs which are capable of preparing dancers for anything remotely involving future employment as a dancer.


I know mainly about the ones in Germany, but have no direct personal experience with these schools as they are now.

(former students of mine were at some of the schools, etc.)


The competition to get into the schools is tough.


All are good, though, and can prepare a dancer well, if the dancer is open to the training /methods; and is lucky to get through the years without too many problems - injury and other-wise.

There is of course no guarantee of employment after graduation!


There are pros and cons to every academy.


Some schools are better for some types of dancers/personalities/ etc. than others.


Without seeing Cosette it is - of course - impossible to say with any degree of seriousness what would suit her better.



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  • 1 month later...

Hi, I'm happy to find that Cosette has a similar goal to mine. I love both classical ballet and contemporary, although I've not trained contemporary professionally. But I know i have a natural talent in the flow, musicality and understanding of contemporary dance. I start professional ballet training late (trained at a studio semi-professionally until 16 before I travel to US for fulltime training, ps I'm Asian). I am not the naturally turn out and flexible type, just average, and I know it's very competitive in the ballet world to not have the ballet body. However aside of not having the ballet body, I believe my technique is not bad and I definitely have something that stands out, for example I have a very good balance and jumps. my turns are the slow type ones and controlled. My teacher always encourages me to continue on with dance as my career because they see something very special in me when I perform, as in artistry. Of course, I also love dance very much and wish it as my career. However, like so many other dancers, it is a difficult choice between dance and study.


I'm sorry for talking so much but not getting into my questions and queries which I really hope someone could give me some advice and help me out. I am actually very interested in the contemporary ballet in Europe. (it's my dream to get into NDT or Hamburg but i know it's just a dream :\) Just in 2012 fall, I was training in Pittsburgh ballet and now I'm in a prepro company in Canada (not paid). I'm planning ahead for next year but I do not know if I should continue training perhaps in trainee programs in U.S (e.g. Ballet Austin, Nashville Ballet, etc.) or to try out schools in Europe which as more focus on contemporary (while also training ballet). I heard that I must be in a school in Europe if I want to audition for companies there. I am already 18 this year so it's very difficult to get into schools there since i know most of them have an age limit of 18. École Superieur de Rosella Hightower is one that accepts 18-21. I am planning to travel there to audition for their DNSP program this summer. Of course I'd also wish to have other alternatives in France and Germany. (Personally UK is too expensive for me to afford). Does anyone know if any schools in France or Germany or other European countries accept students of 18 years old? An advice if I should further train in Europe? My goal in the long term is to get into a small regional company which is more of neoclassical and contemporary ballet. I know there are a lot in Europe that's why I'm thinking of going there. Thanks very much!

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  • 4 months later...

My DS has been accepted at the Palucca School in Dresden, Germany. What I know about the school is that tuition is fully covered; there is a small foreign student fee and room and board costs. The training is split between classical, contemporary, and improvisation. They have close ties with Semperoper Ballet in Dresden. By the way, my DS is 16, he will turn 17 this summer. I would love to hear from someone currently attending the school.

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A lot of schools state their age limit as 18 but it is actually flexible and some students start at age 18 or 19, even 20 already when they enter the program. So, kdance,you don't need to automatically give up on schools because of their age limits; they might be willing to make exceptions.

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My DS is starting at National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam this September and he is 18

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  • 2 months later...

Thank you everyone for your replies,


I auditioned this year for Northern Ballet School but I didn't get in.

At the moment, I feel that it was impossible for me to get in the time I auditioned because I was just not ready for that. However, I did alot of improvements and I hope next year I'll get in.


Palucca School looks like a really good choice as well, but I had some problems while asking for informations about the degree because of the language barrier. The National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam seems to be also a great choice. I wonder if I can audition by DVD.

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