The SNDO seeks to support the student in connecting to their sources and interests as an artist and in finding their contribution to the development of dance and performance as art forms. The school guides students in such a way that they are able to work independently and professionally both when they decide to work as singular author or collaboratively. The school aims toward graduates being able to sustain their work and professional career as choreographers. The programme is developed for students with previous (dance) training, who have started developing their own work or have had some performance experience.

The emphasis of the courses is on the making of choreographic work through a balanced programme of theoretical and physical classes.

An important element of the SNDO programme is the development of performance work with attention to curating and curatorial decisions when presenting work. On Fridays there are SNDO Friday Afternoon presentations of studies, drafts, open rehearsals and other formats in which students share and test their artistic propositions.

The programme is built in a delicate interplay between timelines, the dramaturgical coherency of the programme and needed space for changes and renewal in the curriculum.

The programme’s study load comprises 42 hours a week (in total 1680 hours per year) and consists of face-to-face instruction, in which the student attends lessons and related sessions (with teachers/guest artists, mentors, advisers, etc.) and self- study hours when the student is expected to study independently (writing, reading, rehearsing, undertaking research, internship, etc.). 

Technique studies draw on a balance of movement research and analysis of diverse contemporary dance methods and somatic approaches. The goal is to develop physical skills needed to independently research, direct and transform movement material in the compositional process.

Choreography is the study of the processes and constructions of movement materials and how they can communicate to contemporary cultures. Choreography classes depart from analyses of the human body and movement research, performance issues and the theatre, music, and stage technology. 

Theory provides students with conceptual and practical understanding of the cultural, aesthetic, historical and social contexts of dance/performance making, and a further means of relating compositional strategies and methods to performance making.