Skip to main content



Dames- en Juffersbond Onze Meisjes

In 1901, the ‘Dames- en Juffersbond Onze Meisjes’ circle was founded. This was a form of Sunday school with a sewing, drama and fencing department, as well as a ballet department to come along a little later. This dance group is considered the forerunner of the current ballet school.


Brabants School and the Dance group Brabants

In 1941, Jeanne Brabants founded the Brabants School and the dance group Dansensemble Brabants together with her father. The passion grew to evolve from private education to a professional school within the City Education of Antwerp.


Vlaamse Opera, Antwerpen, balletdansers

Ballet School of the Royal Flemish Opera

With the support of Mayor Lode Craeybeckx, Jeanne Brabants founded the Ballet School of the Royal Flemish Opera in 1951. The first school year there consisted of evening-only classes. One year later, the day school was founded for pupils aged 14 and over. At that time, they were not required to attend school anymore. The pupils aged 8 to 14 were given a full-time daytime education and dance classes three times a week during afterschool hours. The number of pupils in the programme rose to 825 in ten years, 28 of whom made it into the professional dance world as soloists or as members of a corps de ballet.


The school becomes independent of the opera

Ten years after its foundation, the school became independent of the opera. Alderwoman for Education Mathilde Schroyens increasingly involved the school in City Edcuation of Antwerp. The school combined dance and general education and the pupils received a legally recognised diploma. Since then, the final-year students, dance teachers and musical accompanists have regularly followed internships abroad.


The Ballet School of the Royal Flemish Opera becomes the Municipal Institute for Ballet

In 1964, the Ballet School of the Royal Flemish Opera became the Stedelijk Instituut voor Ballet (SIB) (Municipal Institute for Ballet). The three Brabants sisters all committed to ballet education in Antwerp. Annie Brabants taught the very youngest from 8 to 12 years old at Prinsstraat 24. The pupils aged 12 to 15 were taught by Jos Brabants in the Lamorinièrestraat. Jeanne Brabants trained the older pupils and guided them from the school benches into a dance career.


Leerlingen ballet in de Koninklijke Vlaamse Opera

The 20th anniversary of the ballet school

The 20th anniversary of the ballet school (1971) was celebrated with an exhibition and numerous performances at the International Cultural Centre in Antwerp. The icing on the cake was the book ‘20 jaar Dansen – Het Stedelijk Instituut voor Ballet’ (20 Years of Dance - The Municipal Institute for Ballet). Over the years, the school grew into an institution with 126 pupils, 12 dance teachers, 7 music accompanists and 20 teachers for general subjects.


Recital viering 20 jaar Brabants ballet cultureel centrum Antwerpen
Recital viering 20 jaar Brabants ballet cultureel centrum Antwerpen

Queen Fabiola visits the Royal Ballet of Flanders

In 1978, Queen Fabiola visited the Royal Ballet of Flanders. There she was also introduced to the entire Municipal Institute for Ballet (SIB). One year later, the SIB was included in the list of world-renowned institutes. Laureates of the Prix de Lausanne can choose an institute from that list where they can complete their education.

Koningin Fabiola, KBA, Jeanne Brabants, Jos Brabants, Ballet van Vlaanderen

The Ballet School celebrates its 40th anniversary

The Ballet School celebrated its 40th anniversary. The anniversary was celebrated with the magnificent Grand Ballet Gala with former students of the school.

That evening, Jos Brabants was honoured for her years of dedication as the artistic director.

The Ballet School cooperated in the Koningsfeesten in the Royal Palace in Brussels (with the Ballet School of Charleroi) and in the Antwerp Sportpaleis (with the Ballet School of Berlin). A premiere was organised in the Amsterdam Stadsschouwburg. This launched an exchange programme with the Amsterdame Balletacademie (Amsterdam Ballet Academy) and other major ballet schools abroad. The first International Dance Internship became a reality and has been organised annually from then on.

Viering 40 jaar balletschool

80th birthday Jeanne Brabants

On 5 February 2000, Jeanne Brabants celebrated her 80th birthday with a festive dance performance in the Bourla Theatre in Antwerp. Five dance institutes she founded all partnered up: the Municipal Institute for Ballet, the Royal Ballet of Flanders, the Higher Institute for Dance, the department of University College of Antwerp, Danza Antiqua and Jeugd en Dans vzw. Jos Brabants’ 75th birthday on 13 May was celebrated with a performance. During that performance, no fewer than four premieres were performed. The school participated in the Monaco Dance Forum for the first time.

In July, the school was granted the honour to bear the word 'Royal’ in its name


Voorstelling n.a.v. 80ste verjaardag Jeanne Brabants

55th anniversary of the school

In 2006, we celebrated the 55th anniversary of the school by organising the fourth Grand Ballet Gala. Her Royal Highness Princess Mathilde graced the school with her presence. The Royal Ballet School organised its second international exchange with the Royal Conservatory of Dance in Madrid. Vzw Saltatio set up the first sponsorship show.

Toenmalig prinses Mathilde en een balletdanseres in wording
Toenmalig prinses Mathilde met de leerlingen van de balletschool
Toenmalig prinses Mathilde wordt verwelkomd met een erehaag van balletleerlingen

Queen Mathilde grants her High Patronage to the school

In 2012, Her Royal Highness Queen Mathilde granted her High Patronage to the school. She attended the Grand Ballet Gala at the Flemish Opera, where graduate students from home and abroad ensured an unforgettable evening.


Royal Ballet School Antwerp will celebrate its 70th anniversary

In 2021, the Royal Ballet School Antwerp will celebrate its 70th anniversary as a dance institute.