Wanted: new host families for pupils and students

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If you’d like to contribute to the development of young dancers and you have space at home to temporarily house an enthusiastic youngster, the Dutch National Ballet Academy is urgently looking for new host families for the coming academic year. It’s a huge help to Dutch children who live too far from Amsterdam to commute every day and to foreigners staying here as guest students if they can live temporarily with a host family in Amsterdam or the vicinity. One of our host parents at the moment, Marcia de Korte-Bugar, says, “If you can possibly make space, then do so. It’s so great for a talented young ballet dancer to be able to live in a nice, safe place near to the academy”.

Even before their son Olliver (now an NBA 2 pupil) was accepted for the Dutch National Ballet Academy, Marcia de Korte-Bugar and her husband Peter knew that they wanted to sign up as guest parents. Marcia says, “We live in Diemen and we’ve always been open to the idea. If you’ve got an empty room, then why not?”
Marcia comes from a real ‘dance family’. Her mother danced with Nederlands Dans Theater for seven years and her brother for thirteen years, and she was a dancer herself with Dance Works Rotterdam and the Internationaal Danstheater. It was at the latter company she got to know her husband, who came from Slovakia to dance in our country. “So for us it’s natural that you accommodate dancers coming to the Netherlands from ‘Timbuktu’, if at all possible”. She adds, “But even if you haven’t grown up with dance or have nothing to do with it, I can still recommend it. You’ll be living with a child who’s extremely enthusiastic and disciplined. It’s a really nice way to get to know the dance world and discover everything that’s involved in choosing for the dance profession at a young age”.

Yes, yes, yes!
Marcia’s son Olliver is now twelve, and she has another son aged ten. “Over the past two years, they’ve both really enjoyed Linora coming from Hengelo to live with us for a couple of days a week. It clicked straight away between Olliver and Linora, and it was wonderful that they could share their passion, but my youngest son also thought it was great to have a ‘big sister’ for a while, even though he’s not involved in dance”. The contact with Linora’s parents was very nice as well, says Marcia. “Of course, it feels a bit strange at the beginning for everyone; for the ballet pupil and their parents, but also for the host family, as after all you’re taking a stranger into your home. But there isn’t much work involved. The children get back from school late, have their dinner and do their homework – and then it’s time for bed”.
Linora has now chosen to go to a different school, but Marcia would like to put herself forward as a host parent again. “We discussed it in the family, and immediately everyone said enthusiastically ‘yes, yes, yes!’ We’ve really enjoyed it”.

Would you like to sign up?
If you’d like to know more about what’s involved in becoming a host parent, please contact our education assistant Wendy Tadrous-Paulusma by sending an e-mail to wendy.tadrous-paulusma@ahk.nl or calling 020 527 78 43.

Here are some things to take into account:
•    Arrangements are made between the host parent(s) and the parent(s) of the pupil/student about the financial compensation for being a host parent.
•    A bedroom is available for the pupil/student, and the host parent(s) can offer him/her a family situation where he/she is not responsible for providing meals, etc. In other words, it’s not like renting out a room, where the pupil/student has to look after himself/herself.
•    A pupil from abroad must be able to register as living at the host family’s home address, in order to get a citizen service number (BSN), for example.
•    Host families are invited twice a year to the performances in which their guest pupil/student is performing.