The dance department at Codarts (formerly known as the Rotterdam Dance Academy) was founded in 1931 by Corrie Hartong and Gertrud Leistikow. Now it is one of Europe’s leading professional institutes for contemporary dance.
Each year, Codarts selects a few dozen talented dancers from hundreds of applicants from all over the world. These students will train in Rotterdam to become professional dancers or teachers. By emphasising excellence, Codarts aspires to educate highly qualified dance artists who can quickly find work in the international labour market.
In Codarts’ studios, in addition to our team of top teachers, there are always dance professionals from the Netherlands and abroad at work as choreographers or guest teachers. Codarts’ dance students gain ample stage experience by appearing in performances, theatrical tours and festivals. Codarts maintains close ties with well-known dance companies where students can gain practical work experience by doing internships. Students are also able to take part in student exchange programmes with other excellent dance schools in Europe and the USA.
Codarts has about 200 dance students in the professional programmes (representing 30 nationalities) and about 200 students in the preparatory programmes.
Codarts is a Rotterdam based mid-sized international university (about 1,000 students) that offers a very high level of professional arts education in music, dance and circus arts.
At the bachelor’s level, Codarts offers two degree dance programmes: the Bachelor of Dance programme and the Bachelor of Dance in Education programme.
Codarts also offers a masters’ programme: the Master in Dance Therapy.
To prepare boys and girls from the age of 9 years to study dance at a professional level, Codarts has a number of preparatory courses.
Our bachelors’ programmes
- The Bachelor of Dance programme will prepare you to become a contemporary dancer with a high level of training in both ballet and modern dance techniques. The programme lasts four years. You will take daily ballet and modern dance classes (different techniques and styles), given by our own teachers and a variety of guest teachers. In the fourth year you can do an internship in a professional dance company.
- The demend for well-trained dance teachers who can relate tot the continually changing metropolitan multicultural society is very high. The Bachelor of Dance in Education programme prepares you for this perfectly in four years. As a dance teacher you can set to work in primary and secondary education (including 'broad schools'), in community centres, in the educational department of a dance company, in ballet schools, with a youth theatre group - to give a few examples.
Contract education / Certificate programme
For organizational reasons, Codarts has decided to stop taking in students on a contract basis. The possibility to enroll in the third year of the Bachelor of Dance programme still exists (of course candidates must have an adequate technical dance level).
Our masters’ programme
The Master in Dance Therapy is intended to deepen the knowledge and professionalism of practicing therapists and to expand career opportunities for dancers, dance teachers, psychologists, movement researchers, physiotherapists and social workers. The Master in Dance Therapy offers a three-year programme (part-time) that begins once every two years. This is the first Master in Dance Therapy in the Netherlands.
Our preparatory courses
We have four different preparatory programmes: the Juniorenklas (for pupils 9 and 10 years of age), the A-klas (for pupils 11 years of age), the Schakelklas (for pupils 15 years of age and older), and the Havo/vwo voor Muziek en Dans (a secondary school, located in our building, that prepares pupils to study music and dance at a professional level).
The professional world
The education offered at Codarts is closely related to the professional dance world. Codarts maintains very close contacts with international dance companies and professional dance programmes. As a student, you will work with guest teachers, the artistic directors of dance groups, and choreographers from the Netherlands and abroad. You will also learn repertoire pieces from professional dance companies and choreographers.
In recent years, works by the following choreographers and artists, among others, have been performed: Hans van Manen, Jiří Kylián, William Forsythe, Nacho Duato, Regina van Berkel, André Gingras, Club Guy & Roni, Ken Ossala, Megumi Nakamura, Neel Verdoorn, Anouk van Dijk, Sascha Engel, Neil Ieremia, Dietmar Janeck, Xing Liang, Dylan Newcomb, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Michele Pogliani, Cathy Sharp, Ed Wubbe, Itzik Galili, Amy Raymond, Stephen Shropshire, Ton Simons, Rinus Sprong, Thom Stuart, Sjoerd Vreugdenhil, Mauro Bigonzetti, Václav Kunes and Padma Menon.
In the fourth year you can do an internship with professional companies and choreographers both in the Netherlands and abroad. Among others, the following groups and individuals offer internships: Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, Conny Janssen Danst, Introdans, Leine & Roebana, Nanine Linning, Ann Van den Broek, De Dutch Don’t Dance Division, The Forsythe Company, Kibbutz Dance Company, T.E.C.S. Cathy Sharp, Iceland Dance Company, Diversions, Bencha Theater, Aterballetto, Opus, Lonneke van Leth, De Stilte and Xynix Opera.
Common language: English
Most of our students come from outside the Netherlands; as a result, the common language at the dance department of Codarts is English. You must be able to understand, speak and read this language. Your ability to function in English will be tested.
Admission to Codarts’ bachelors’ dance programmes is only possible by doing an audition. Codarts holds several auditions every year, both in the Netherlands and abroad. To be admitted, you must be in possession of a Dutch secondary school diploma (havo, vwo, mbo level 4) or a foreign diploma at an equivalent level. At the audition, Codarts will look at your technical dance skills, your potential to develop both technically and artistically, and your motivation. Your health will also be evaluated as part of the admissions process.
Codarts’ preparatory courses also have auditions, in which both talent and skills are evaluated.
The Master in Dance Therapy has its own specific admissions procedure.
You can apply for an audition on this website (go to the page 'application' of the programme of your choice). Whether you are invited to take part in the audition is dependent on a preliminary selection that is made based on your experience and the order in which applications are received.
Codarts is located in Rotterdam, a young city with a young population. Every year, there are approximately 50,000 students enrolled at hbo/wo level. Rotterdam is also a world city: for hundreds of years, this port city has been a trading center with an international orientation. The population of Rotterdam is comprised of 160 nationalities and can accurately be called a melting pot. Rotterdam is also a city with a rich cultural life; there are dozens of theatres, cinemas, concert stages, orchestras, museums and galleries. The city also has much to offer in the applied arts and hosts a number of important festivals, such as the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Gergiev Festival, and the North Sea Jazz Festival. And thanks to, among others, Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, Conny Janssen Danst, Dance Works Rotterdam / André Gingras, Meekers, Dansateliers and the dance department of Codarts, Rotterdam is also a dance city.
We hope to see you at Codarts!