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Cuban National Ballet School: Map


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National Ballet School on Paseo de Prado, Havana.
The Cuban National Ballet School (Escuela Nacional Cubana de Ballet) in Havanamarker, with 4,350 students is the biggest ballet school in the world and the most prestigious ballet school in Cubamarker , directed by Ramona de Sáa. In 2002 with the expansion of the school, out of 52,000 students interested to join the school, 4,050 were selected.


The school dates back to the Ballet School of the Sociedad Pro-Arte Musical de La Habana, founded in 1931, where the prima ballerina assoluta, Alicia Alonso and former husband Fernando Alonso received their earliest ballet classes. In 1961 the state education of this specialty in Cuba begins, with the creation of the Alejo Carpentier Provincial School of Ballet (Escuela Nacional de Ballet Alejo Carpentier). The following year, the National School of Ballet is created, like part of the National School of Art. The fundamental characteristic of this teaching institution is in its formation, sustained in the methodology of the Cuban school of ballet. Like all the Cuban educational system, the education of the ballet in the country is gratuitous, from a rigorous selection of its students based on the talent and the physical training conditions of its educandos.


The school counted with 900 students, it wasn't until the president Fidel Castro who, in a visit to the school, suggested the idea of new workshops. After some exchanges of opinions, he proposed to raise the number of students that had been managing of 900 to more than 4,000 children and adolescents, for which he asked what conditions they would need. Director of the school, Ramona de Sáa recalls: "quickly we started doing the study: how many students per classroom, how many professors... and in a few days we were delivering the project to the president for the new social order of the school."

After that, the worked began to select 4,050 students out of 52,000 that were interested. Professionals from the National Ballet of Cuba, the Superior Institute of Art and the Elementary School of Ballet united into 35 teams to select the 4,050 students that would integrate to the school.

The school today

Many of the graduated students from the school are today eminent professionals of the dance, recognized in Cuba as internationally. Most of them happen to form part of the National Ballet of Cuba, one of the most important companies of the world, as well several world-wide ballet companies, primarily Americanmarker.


Paseo del Prado e/ Trocadero y Morro
Havanamarker, Cubamarker

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