Last month, Stichting Dansersfonds ’79 awarded scholarships to three 16-year-old students of the Dutch National Ballet Academy: Eva Bakker (Bachelor’s programme), Isa Vreeman (NBA 6) and Noortje Willemse (NBA 7). The girls were selected during a public class – given by Han Ebbelaar – where they were assessed by a jury comprising Alexandra Radius (co-founder of the Dansersfonds with Han Ebbelaar), former principal dancer Karin Schnabel and dancers Bonnie Doets and Floor Eimers.
The Dansersfonds – founded in 1979 by Radius and Ebbelaar on the occasion of their twentieth anniversary as a dancing couple – organises a public class every year, for which the Dutch dance academies can select their best students. During the class, the professional jury assesses the students’ quality and potential, and awards scholarships to the most talented youngsters. This year, three scholarships went to students from the Royal Conservatoire The Hague, two went to pupils on the preliminary course at Codarts Rotterdam and three went to students from the Dutch National Ballet Academy. The eight young dancers each receive a sum of 2,250 Euros, to be spent on developing their dance talent, preferably through international training sessions and courses.
The jury concluded that the standard of the students was exceptionally high this year. Ebbelaar says, “We were really impressed. All three academies had sent along extremely talented pupils. And it was very nice to see that the young dancers not only focused on their technique, but also on what dance is all about as regards meaning and emotion.”