Dutch National Trainee Program

The Dutch National Trainee Program is an advanced pre-professional course for selected national and international students age 15 to 19. Supervised by Jean-Yves Esquerre, Artistic Director of the Dutch National Ballet Academy and the Dutch National Summer School, the Dutch National Trainee Program is an independent educational program in partnership with the Academy of Theater and Dance.

Led by Artistic Coordinators Olivier Wecxsteen and Christiane Marchant with a faculty of international pedagogues, the Dutch National Trainee Program offers a variety of classes in academic ballet, pas-de-deux, pointe work and men’s brio, classical and neo-classical repertoire, Forsythe technologies, Dawson style, as well as seminars on choreographers like Bournonville, Balanchine, Neumeier, Christe, Béjart or Pite. This intensive program also provides body conditioning and Pilates classes and is supported by a team of medical doctors and sport therapists.

Besides its 10-month intensive training, the Dutch National Trainee Program offers in-house performances and touring programs throughout the Netherlands and abroad. Dancers also participate in the large productions of the Dutch National Ballet. It is the perfect stepping-stone to top international professional major and second companies such as the Dutch National Ballet Junior Company co-directed by Ted Brandsen and Jean-Yves Esquerre and coordinated by Ernst Meisner.

Auditions are held internationally and this elite group of dancers has welcomed students from prestigious schools such as Paris Opera School, San Francisco Ballet School, The Royal Ballet School, English National Ballet School, La Scala de Milan School or the National Ballet School of Canada. The Dutch National Trainee Program is a partner of Prix de Lausanne as well as Youth America Grand Prix.

Some of the Dutch National Trainee Program alumni have recently joined companies such as Mariinsky Ballet, Finnish Ballet, Zürich Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Mikhailovsky and Stanislavsky Ballet, Bavarian Ballet, Béjart Ballet Lausanne and of course the main Dutch companies, Scapino Ballet, IntroDans, Nederlands Dans Theater and Dutch National Ballet.