Children at the Dutch National Ballet Academy in fact follow two courses simultaneously: regular education and dance training. For this reason the Dutch National Ballet Academy works together with the Olympiaschool and the Gerrit van der Veen College; two excellent education institutes in Amsterdam with which the Academy of Theatre and Dance shares many years of experience in training young dancers.
Together these three institutes ensure that pupils not only become proficient dancers, but also attain their havo or vwo diploma. Many years of cooperation has resulted in dance and school rosters becoming well attuned so that available time is efficiently utilized without children becoming overburdened. The institutes are located near to each other. Many pupils are from out of town and spend the necessary time travelling to and from Amsterdam.
The course is built up as follows:
Group 7 and 8
The first two years of the course run parallel with groups 7 and 8 of primary education. The Olympiaschool is in charge of regular education while the Dutch National Ballet Academy is responsible for the dance component. Both dance and regular education are given at splendid premises in the Agamemnonstraat in Amsterdam Zuid. Ballet pupils are grouped together in separate school classes led by specialized teachers.
The children attend school from Monday to Friday. They start work at 8.30 in the morning and finish at 16.00 or 17.00 in the afternoon. The children have approximately twelve hours of dance lessons per week. Among other subjects, the curriculum consists of classical ballet, creative dance and historical dance. During periods when rehearsals are held for a final performance or for Nationale Ballet performances, the children are also busy during weekends or in the evening.
havo and vwo 1 and 2
Children following the first two years of secondary education, will attend the Gerrit van der Veen College for regular education and take dance lessons in the Agamemnonstraat, a five minute bicycle ride away. They begin at 8.30 in the morning and return home at around 17.00. In the transitional class, children are divided into special groups with pupils of the Amsterdam Conservatorium (music) and the Dansacademie Lucia Marthes (show and musical dance study course).
Pupils have between fourteen and fifteen hours of dance lessons per week. Among other subjects, the curriculum consists of classical ballet, pointe shoe technique for girls and jump technique for boys, caractère dance (Russian folk dance technique) and mime. The children attend school from Monday through Friday, but during periods when rehearsals are held or Nationale Ballet performances are scheduled,
they will sometimes need to be present in the weekends or during the evening.
havo and vwo 3 up to and including final exams
After their classes at the Gerrit van der Veen College, pupils attend dance lessons at the main premises of the Academy of Theatre and Dance located on the Jodenbreestraat in Amsterdam. Beginning in the fourth class, pupils follow a ‘Cultuur & Maatschappij’ profile. In addition, they receive between 15 and 17½ hours of dance lessons per week. They begin at 8.30 at the Gerrit van der Veen College and finish their dance lessons at around 18.30.
The dance curriculum consists of, among other subjects, classical ballet, pointe shoe technique for girls and jump technique for boys, modern dance, caractère dance, pas-de-deux, repertoire and Pilates. They do not participate in performances of the Dutch National Ballet. Commencing from the May holidays, they also rehearse on Saturdays in the build-up towards the final performance.