The Royal Ballet School of Antwerp attaches great importance to the physical and mental well-being of its students. To this end, the management and teachers work together with a multidisciplinary team of experts. Student counselling is responsible for psychological guidance and supports students with learning issues and other problems. The nutritionist helps with a healthy and balanced diet. The physiotherapists are charged with physical, largely preventive supervision.
Our education puts high demands on our students. The Royal Ballet School aims to train young people up into world-class professional dancers. Great demands are placed on student to achieve this objective. In addition to intensive training in dance and the development of one’s artistic identity, it is equally important to support our students physically, mentally and cognitively.
It is crucial to know your own body, know how to prevent injuries and/or how to become stronger physically.
However, it is equally important to learn to cope with performance pressure, to showcase the necessary mental resilience, to know yourself and to be able to reflect on your own well-being.
Finally, it is critical that students develop the necessary skills to know their own learning process and be able to make adjustments where required and utilise key strategies to reinforce and improve the learning process.
In addition to the fact that our students need these competences in the pursuit of a professional dance career, these competences are also of great utility in the general education of our young people who pursue their studies after their education here.
We pursue the following objectives in our coaching programme.
- We arm our students mentally in a foundational way, ensuring they become more resilient and experience stronger mental well-being. Emphasis is explicitly placed on the positive aspect; we wish to shape resilient and self-assured students so they have the tools to succeed in the world of dance. This also includes the process of independence, discipline and knowing how to present themselves and behave in the world they enter after their education. We pay continuous attention to developing mental resilience in our students.
- With a healthy portion of knowledge, attitudes and skills, we prepare students to make daily healthy choices for their physical well-being and truly empower them. Individual follow-up and advice in a structured manner are the starting points for our preventive approach.
- We optimise student learning and the learning process by supporting and developing learning and study skills in a fundamental way.
- We support our students in their curriculum in the broadest sense of the word. Students explore their talents, interests and skills.
Physiotherapy can prevent physical complaints (preventive) as well as treat physical complaints (curative).
Our class physiotherapists work preventively and organise individual consultations to this end: they screen students, assign targeted exercises to strengthen particular muscles and joints and monitor the healing of injuries. Each student goes for an individual consultation once every month and receives an invitation via Smartschool. The physiotherapists also organise monthly classroom workshops.
In the case of treatment for injuries (curative), we distinguish between the 1st grade on the one hand and the 2nd and 3rd grade on the other. Our physiotherapists treat 1st grade students when they have a valid medical prescription and if the class council judges that treatment of the injury is necessary for the training programme. Because of our limited resources, we ask 2nd and 3rd grade students to find an external physiotherapist. The class physiotherapist follows up on the exercises assigned and communicates about them with the dance teacher(s).
All students, from the 1st to the 3rd grade, are obliged to inform us of external consultations.