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CNSMDP, Conservatoire Nationel Superior, Paris

Derin's Mom

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My DD (13) will audition for CNSMDP (National Conservatoire Superior de Paris) in March. She is currently training full-time. She has auditioned for POB last year and was selected up to the final level. But could not make it. They also adviced her to try CNSMDP.

Do you have any experience there?

- what is the audition level?

- they require B1 but she may not receive it, but she can get an A2 then. Are they flexible in this?

- how is dormitory?

- any idea about the graduates' selecting companies afterwards?

Your input will be very helpful.

Thank you

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  • Administrators

Hello Derin's Mom, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers.

I moved your post from the Young Dancer Forum (which is for 13 to 19 year olds only), to the Parent's forum.  (Please check out the various forums in terms of their intent and which members are eligible.  Most of the forums are available to almost everyone, but there are a few which are restricted to either parents or students or teachers.) :)

There are forums for Pre-professional schools, Summer Intensive Programs, etc.  I could be wrong, but I don't think we have previous information on the school you are asking about. If we get some reponses here, I can create a topic on CNSMDP. 


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Thank you. I am hoping to hear responses as well. CNSMDP follows POB school in terms of educational level .  Their teachers are mostly from POB.

But France seems much closed to abroad compared to other European countries, even Russia.

That is why I wanted to hear some, either from students or from alumni.

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Derin's Mom --

I'm curious to hear about your experiences, as we are a French/american family living in the US.  I'm glad I saw your post because I had always thought CNSMDP was for college-aged kids only -- just my own impression from living in Paris, confirmed by their website mentioning of "undergraduate" in English.  But when I clicked through past the site to the poster in French, it says aged 14-17!  


So my long way of saying: I'm no help here but I do hope you share your experiences (it's too late for my daughter to audition in March as the registration ended last month).  And, I'm not thinking living in Paris is the right thing for her now, but maybe in the future.  

good luck to you and your DD!!!

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Thank you. Yes, it is a bit tricky to understand the proper age limit to start the school. But turning 14 is the requirement for the auditioning. They say it is a difficult audition but who knows, she may make it. Her current training is in vaganova which will be her greatest challenge I suppose.

We do not live in Paris either. We are from Istanbul. But hopefully she may make it there on her own, with our support.

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  • 3 months later...


I am back for an update.

My DD (13) auditioned to CNSMDP last week. And yes, she is accepted to the Conservatoire. Most probably she will be the first Turkish girl being accepted to a French school 🙂

The audition was only for 1 day; first elimination after a semi full ballet class and then enchainments taught by a teacher in an hour and performed in front of a jury one by one. Then a variation performed, and then a small conversation with the jury.

She really liked the teachers she worked during the audition, she said they were very much engaged to detail, which is very important for her.

DD is also been accepted by Berlin and Zurich. Now we are at a choosing point.

She enjoys the French style and wants to grow into a ballerina in that but Berlin is a strong option as well, since she is very much used to Vaganova technique.

I will be more than happy to hear your opinions and thoughts.

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Congratulations! Those are three brilliant schools that she has been accepted into. I don’t envy you your decision making!

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Thank you very much. We are very much excited about it.

It will not be easy in any way but this is her chance to grow into an international dancer. So, we support her fully.

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Definitely congratulations to you and your dancer!!! It looks like she will be trained well at any of the 3 schools she goes to. But which school? It is hard to tell what will happen to a 13 year old when it comes to puberty as their bodies change and if her interest in dancing will continue at a later age. But for now, she knows for what feels right to her and sometimes this is the only thing you can go on is her gut reaction to the audition.( Besides reading the literature/talking with the school and if you are lucky, talking with a parent of a dancer already in the program.) Just know that there is nothing wrong if you have to move  her to another program if the first one doesn’t work out. You really don’t know the program and how well she will acclimate to it until she gets in there for a few months. Also, I am thinking really long term here and just throwing this out, but this reminds me of a lesson we learned when we took our American 17 year old to her first audition for a job and not knowing a thing about Europe. Our dancer is 5’8”. She auditioned for a job in Berlin where the dancers are tall, then in Zurich where the dancers are shorter and then in Amsterdam where the dancers were very tall! So if your dancer would want to stay in France after her 4-5 years of training, would she fit into a French company height wise? Those dancers tend to be on the shorter side. Of course there are exceptions but generally, the French are shorter as a population. Also consider that there are fewer companies in France and basically only one classical company in Switzerland. Both countries have contemporary companies as well. Germany has many large classical companies and lots of smaller companies. This doesn’t mean that she is stuck where she is training. Dancers in Europe move to countries, different from where they trained all the time, but if she wants to stay because basically her teen years will be in one country and it’s her “home:”; it might be something you might want to consider. So much can happen on that ballet journey, Good luck with your decision and above all, enjoy the ride with her. 

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Isu, thank you.

All your words are important. And trust me, we have been thinking of each, ourselves at home as well.

My DD is on the petite side, she is from the shorter ones amongst her classmates. She is slim and looking long but petite actually. But of course, years will tell how she will become as a young woman. her training in her current school is actually very good but to give her a chance in Europe we have decided to move her there for the high school years.

A few French teachers and ballerinas suggested that she fits in a French style so this is why she tried CNSMDP as well, and some family members live there which I assume is a big advantage for her not to feel completely on her own.

But as you say, we have to be open and ready to change if needed in time.

Good luck to DD and us...


Edited by dancemaven
Removed full quote of immediately preceding post.
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  • 6 months later...

Hello Isu,

To have an update, my daughter has started in Paris. She really struggled and still does since it has been only one month.

The ballet hours she is training now is less compared to her previous school and this has pulled her a little back in strength. Language is a big barrier but she is a clever determined young girl and doing her best to adjust. She says the jazz, modern, anatomy classes are very productive and she is excited about them but classical is for the moment not satisfying enough since the style is different and she cannot receive enough corrections.

But yet, both she and us (from away) still try to understand the environment.

Do you have opinions/experiences about German schools in that sense?

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Unfortunately my daughter started as an apprentice at her German company so we have no experience regarding the schools there as she is American trained. I have contacted a friend who might be able to give your some advice on the German schools and hopefully she will respond to you. If not hopefully others will respond. One thing I forgot to mention that helped my daughter tremendously was enrolling her in language classes to help her assimilate into the culture. She will tell you that this was the best thing she has ever done and has made her feel more comfortable in whatever country she has worked in. The benefit is that she is fluent in German and French and now studying her current country’s language. Yep she is a ballet nomad. The language classes in her current country are free because she took their “citizen” class first. So if she can squeeze in a language class it may help. The second thing is that one month is not nearly enough to see if this is training that works for her so I am guessing you are looking at other alternatives in case things don’t work out down the road?   

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Exactly. It is yet too soon to say it all. We just want to be open and alert for further steps.

She is going to a French college as well, this is obligatory. So she is learning almost everything in French. It is a shock but in a way has been thrown into sea to learn swimming. She knows already a bit but cannot speak for the time being.

I appreciate your help and interest. My DD is still young, only 14. So, I think everything is a big experience for her. She is gaining her confidence that she may do things on her own.

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Okay Derin’s Mom! At 15, my daughter’s old boyfriend did the same thing, only he spoke Bulgarian and had to learn German at his German school. He said that It took him 3 months to master the language and his grades suffered a bit but he managed to do well despite having to learn the language.  

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