Last month, for the second year running, we organised a special Boys’ Course, for boys aged 7 to 11. The corona measures meant that this year’s course was a bit smaller, but certainly no less successful. Around half the participants would like to continue with dance at professional level, and four of them will soon be doing auditions for pre-NBA and NBA 1. The boys did classes given by various teachers, in ballet, hiphop and world dance.
Marieke van der Heijden, responsible for pre-NBA, was one of the teachers giving class to the boys on four successive Saturdays. “Along with NBA teacher Dario Elia, I gave the ballet classes”, says Marieke. “The boys also did hiphop classes with ISH dancer Tyrone Mening and world dance classes with NBA teacher Iva Lešić. Ballet was completely new territory for some of the boys, whereas they really let rip in the hiphop classes. Others had never done hiphop before, so found that difficult instead. But whatever the case, the atmosphere was exceptionally good. The boys were very enthusiastic and eager to learn, and despite their differences in background they formed a real group together. In my first class, I had them jumping over mats. And in their break, they were all doing their own version of the exercise, jumping over each other’s spread-out legs”.
“We’ve noticed”, says Marieke, “that the Boys’ Course is a really good springboard for getting boys interested in joining the Dutch National Ballet Academy. At least half the boys said that they’d like to dance professionally. Some are still too young to audition, but the course has already generated two audition candidates for pre-NBA 1, one for pre-NBA 2 and one for NBA 1. So straight after the course ended, we decided to organise a new edition of the Boys’ Course for next year”.