Archive for September, 2009

by Julia Wassink, Student, National Ballet Academy, Amsterdam

A Day in the Life at the National Ballet Academy, AmsterdamAn average day on my academy always starts with a classical ballet class in the morning of one and a half hour.

Afterwards we have pointe class and classical repertoire. Then we have sometimes contemporary Graham class, Caractère or Pilates. Then we have different kind of workshops or we rehearse for a performance.

Last year for instance we were doing a workshop with a ex-dancer of the Nederlands Dans Theater and we learned Bella Figura by Jiri Kylian. Later we used that in our end performance of the year which was really nice.

So our day starts normally half past ten and ends approximately at five.

When you ask foreigners the first thing they say about Amsterdam is drugs, red light district and canals.  But of course there is a lot more in Amsterdam. I really like the city because it is so international and really fun to have your school there. Our school is really in the centre of Amsterdam and during the breaks we often go out to get a coffee. On the roof of our school you can see the whole city and when the weather is nice it suddenly looks like a beach up there because everybody is laying and enjoying the sun, really fun to see!

Five minutes walk from our school is the Music Theatre where the Dutch National Ballet is located.


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by Imre van Opstal, Student, Rotterdam Dance Academy, Codarts, Netherlands

A Day in the Life at the Rotterdam Dance AcademyI love to go to the Academy. Of course not always, but most of the time. The people in school are fun and it’s good to be around them. I like to come home totally exhausted and the feeling that you did something.

The only problem for me at the end of my day is the theoretical part. I don’t like theory so much and after I finished my high school, I don’t know how to do homework anymore.

Anyways the courses I have, I really like. Ballet is important to me, but modern dance is what I love the most. Also, improvisation is something what I always do, even if it is just 10 minutes in the hallway. With Pilates at 9:00, I often fall asleep and with Modern-Jazz you have to move like crazy, which feels great.

A day at Rotterdam Dance Academy is:

Go to the Academy
09:00-10:30 Cardio
10:45-12:15 Modern

12:15-13:00 Lunch
13:00-14:30 Ballet
14:45-16:15 Improvisation

Other days also include Pilates/ Drama/ Modern-Jazz

16:30-21:00 rehearsal time (this is different for everybody, it depends what and how many pieces you are in)

My schedule was often till 20:00 or 21:00 for instance:

16:30-18:00 rehearsing school pieces
18:30-20:00 rehearsing pieces from the choreography department
20:00-21:00 own work

going home
seeing friends/ internet/ television

About the Netherlands:

It’s a really rich, small and modern country. The Netherlands is known for its windmills, tulips, clogs, cheese and bicycles. As you know drugs are legal here, which is also one of the reasons for tourists to come to Holland.

Amsterdam is the capital, with the famous red light district. There are a lot of nice clubs, events and places to hang out with friends. The Netherlands is great with a lot of freedom! Except the weather…

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by Clemens Fröhlich, Student, John Cranko School, Stuttgart

A Day in the Life at the John Cranko School, StuttgartSo, my day begins at 5:30 a.m. when I stand up! I take a shower and have breakfast. My breakfast consists of 2 rolls, muesli and orange juice. Then I head to the John Cranko-School. I have to take the bus and the train. It takes 1 1/2 hours to get into Stuttgart. I live in a small village (Mönsheim).

At 8:15 a.m. I am in the school. Then I do my warm-up stuff. At 9 a.m. till 11 a.m. my classmates and I do ballet class. Then we have Pas de deúx or Improvisation or rehearsals for the performances. In the morning, just Academy A and B take the classes except on Saturdays.

At 12:30 p.m. we have lunch. At this time the other pupils come back from the school. They take the classes after lunch.

After lunch we have the theoretical subjects (dance history, dance theory, German, English, anatomy, social studies). Once in the week we have one of these subjects from 2 p.m. till 4 p.m, except for German. We have German all day.

After the lesson my classmates and me have a break. In the rest room we stretch or do our workout.

Then we have Spanish dancing from 5 p.m. till 6:30 p.m. Sometimes the whole school have till 8 p.m. rehearsals for performances. Sometimes during the rehearsal or lessons I have to go to the Stuttgart Ballet for some rehearsals or in the evening for performances.

When I am finished I go home. At first I eat something when I am at home and then I take a shower. When I am really tired I sleep right after the shower but mostly I watch TV or read a book! When I am finished sooner I stay with my friends or go home and spend time with my family.

My life in the John Cranko-School is sooooooo much fun! I am really proud to be on the John Cranko-School… I’ve been there for 8 years and after the vacation will begin my last year on this school. I will never forget my time in the John Cranko-School.

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by William Bracewell, Student, The Royal Ballet School, London

A Day in the Life at The Royal Ballet School, London7.15 – I wake up to eat breakfast and get ready for school.

8.15 – I arrive at school to warm up for class.

I walk to school in the morning as I live only 5 minutes away in a flat with 2 other students.

9.00-10.30 – On Monday and Wednesday we have ballet first and academics second.

11.00-12.30 – Tuesday, Thursday and Friday we have ballet first and academics second.

We have a choice of 6 subjects, and there are also options for students who do not have English as their first language.

2.30-1.30 – This is our lunch break, most of us walk across the bridge connecting our school to the Royal Opera House, and eat in their canteen/cafeteria.

1.30-2.45 | 3.00-4.15 | 4.30-5.30 – These three time slots consist of different classes, which include: Contemporary, solos, repertoire, character, pas de deux, body conditioning, pointe work (for girls), upper body (for boys) and coaching.

At the end of the year we come off timetable to rehearse for the approaching performances.

5.30-6.30 – When our choreography competition is near, this is the time we have to work on our pieces.

After this we are free to go home to eat dinner, relax and get ready for the next day.

London is an extremely busy city with lots to do and see such as amazing art galleries, many shops and numerous historical buildings. Covent Garden, where our school is located, is perfect for dancers as four ballet shops and countless theatres surround it. It’s a great privilege to be situated so close to the Royal Opera House and the Royal Ballet, where we are able to see so many amazing productions and dancers!

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by Andreas Kaas, Student, Royal Danish Ballet School

A Day in the Life at the Royal Danish Ballet SchoolI get up at 7:15 and eat breakfast and am ready to go at 7:45. I take a bus, a train and a subway, so I’m at the theater after an hour of traveling time.

Then I have an hour to do exercises and prepare for the morning class (9:00-9:50) and then my second morning class starts at 10 and lasts till 11:30.

There may be some samples of performances from 11:40-14:15 o’clock and after that – finally lunchtime!

Then we start some samples of performances again at 14:50 and lasts till 16:00. 16:15-17:55, afternoon class, and then I take the metro, train and bus home again. I’m home by 19:30 o’clock.

‘A day in the life’ and that was it!

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by Erin Brennan, Student, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School

A Day in the Life at Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet SchoolAt 6:30 am my alarm goes off and it’s time to get up. I gather my things, eat some breakfast and walk the short ten minutes from my apartment to the ballet. Once at the ballet, I get ready for class and warm up for about an hour before morning ballet class at 8:30-10:00. Then we have a 15 minute break before our second class, which is either pointe/variations or pas de deux.

Our second class goes from 10:15-11:15. Depending on the time of year, we either have our lunch break at this time, or show rehearsals until about 12:30. At this point, many students go to their academic schools for the afternoon, however because I am a high school graduate already, I stay at the ballet.

At 1:00-2:00pm senior students who do not have school take a repertoire class in which we learn choreography or quite often have things choreographed on us. The next couple of hours are generally ours to work on our own or see physio, etc, but during heavy show times it is sometimes used for rehearsals.

Around 4:00, we have an afternoon class of either modern/character or other rehearsals. These usually finish by about 5:30 and we are finished for the day. After classes are over, I walk back home, make a good supper, relax for awhile and try to get to bed in decent time. 6:30 am rolls around and it starts all over again!

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by Sara Coffield, Student, Canada’s National Ballet School

A Day in the Life at NBSHi everybody!

Here is a look into a day in the life of a student at Canada’s National Ballet School.

Since my family lives in western Canada, I live in the residence, which is about a two-minute walk from the main facilities on Jarvis street. That two-minute walk is great because it lets me sleep in until 7:30 in the mornings. However, there are students who live in the Toronto area at home and commute daily to the school.

After waking up and putting on my academic uniform, I walk over to the Jarvis facility for breakfast. School then starts at 8:25. Once you’re in grade 10, you begin to choose some of your own school subjects. We then break for lunch at around 12:30 till 1:15. We then have another school period and then begin our dance schedule. This schedule is for most senior students, although depending on your grade, your dance class times vary throughout the day.

Our ballet class starts at 2:30 and is two hours long. Afterwards, we go into our various after-school classes. For males, this includes allegro, variations, and an upper body strengthening class. For females, the classes include pointe and variation classes. We also have modern, contemporary, improvisation, historical, and character classes. Depending on the time of year, we will also have rehearsals for a show such as our Annual General Meeting performance, our annual Gala Performance, the Spring Showcase, and the Year-end Presentation. We also have a regular Saturday ballet class and sometimes rehearsals. Our school also has a physiotherapy program and a Dancer’s clinic, which is available throughout the week.

At the end of the day which is usually around 6:30 or 7:00, I head back to the residence to complete my homework and spend time with my friends. On the weekends, it’s easy to go out and do things such as shopping or going to the movies because our school is right down town Toronto!

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