Last March, Stichting Dansersfonds ’79 awarded scholarships to three students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy: Diede Schuur, Aafke Wolles and Wisse Scheele. The students were selected during a public class, given by Han Ebbelaar, former principal dancer and – together with his wife Alexandra Radius – founder of the Dansersfonds. Besides Radius, the jury comprised teacher and former principal dancer Karin Schnabel, international ballet teacher Marian Sarstädt, dancer Bonnie Doets and former dancer and dance critic Ine Rietstap.
Every year, the Dansersfonds organises one of these public classes, for which the Dutch dance academies can submit their best students. During the class, the expert members of the jury assess the students’ quality and potential, and award scholarships to the most talented youngsters. This year, they included Diede Schuur (NBA 6), Aafke Wolles (NBA 6) and Wisse Scheele (NBA 7). Han Ebbelaar and Alexandra Radius said, “The three of them were remarkably good. You can clearly see that they have been trained by excellent teachers”.
The scholarships each amount to 1500 Euros, to be spent by the winners on their further dance development. Ebbelaar says, “It can be spent in various ways, but we encourage them to take courses and do apprenticeships abroad. Hopefully, that will be possible again before too long. Facing up to international competition is something that all dancers benefit from”.
Since its foundation in 1979, the Dansersfonds has awarded over a hundred scholarships. The foundation also presents annual Incentive Awards and Merit Awards. This year, if circumstances permit, they will be presented on Monday 16 November in DeLaMar Theater in Amsterdam, at the annual Dutch Ballet Gala, held by the Dansersfonds.