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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 Julia Wassink, Student, National Ballet Academy, Amsterdam

National Ballet Academy, AmsterdamMy name is Julia Wassink. I am studying at the National Ballet Academy of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

I have been dancing since my third year and I was nine when I entered the academy. I was very young when I started dancing so I cannot remember of course why I began so that was probably my mother’s decision.

When I was six I went to see my first real performance which was The Sleeping Beauty of the Dutch National Ballet and I really enjoyed it. A few years later I saw The Nutcracker again of the Dutch National and in that production they have quite big roles for children. So the first thing I said to my mum: I want to be one of them too!

So when I got accepted to the academy I did my first and second year The Nutcracker and I was also chosen to dance the role of the little Clara which was really amazing to be with all the great adult dancers and dance a solo on such a big stage totally alone. I still remember that as a drive to go for it and aim for my goals!

On our academy we do not have a residence or anything like that. I travel already for eight years every day one and a half hour from my home to the academy. It is quite a long journey but I am so used to it that it doesn’t matter me.

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