Cuban National Ballet School
The Cuban National Ballet School (Escuela Nacional Cubana de Ballet) in Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

, with 4,350 students is the biggest ballet school in the world and the most prestigious ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

 school in Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, directed by Ramona de Sáa. In 2002 with the expansion of the school, out of 52,000 students who applied to join the school, 4,050 were selected.


The school dates back to the Ballet School of the Sociedad Pro-Arte Musical de La Habana, founded in 1931, where the prima ballerina assoluta
Prima ballerina assoluta
Prima ballerina assoluta is a rank or title given to notable female ballet dancers. To be recognised as a prima ballerina assoluta is a very rare honour, reserved only for the most exceptional soloists, usually those who have achieved international acclaim....

, Alicia Alonso
Alicia Alonso
Alicia Alonso Martínez is the Cuban prima ballerina assoluta and choreographer. Her company became the Ballet de Cuba in 1955....

 and former husband Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso (dancer)
Fernando Alonso is a Cuban ballet dancer and ex-husband of Alicia Alonso.-References:...

 received their earliest ballet classes. In 1961 the state education of this specialty in Cuba begins, with the creation of the Alejo Carpentier
Alejo Carpentier
Alejo Carpentier y Valmont was a Cuban novelist, essayist, and musicologist who greatly influenced Latin American literature during its famous "boom" period. Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, Carpentier grew up in Havana, Cuba; and despite his European birthplace, Carpentier strongly self-identified...

 Provincial School of Ballet (Escuela Nacional de Ballet Alejo Carpentier). The following year, the National School of Ballet is created, like part of the National School of Art. The fundamental characteristic of this teaching institution is in its formation, sustained in the methodology of the Cuban school of ballet. Like all the Cuban educational system, the education of the ballet in the country is gratuitous, from a rigorous selection of its students based on the talent and the physical training conditions of its educandos.


The school counted with 900 students, it wasn't until the president Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

 who, in a visit to the school, suggested the idea of new workshops. After some exchanges of opinions, he proposed to raise the number of students that had been managing of 900 to more than 4,000 children and adolescents, for which he asked what conditions they would need. Director of the school, Ramona de Sáa recalls: "quickly we started doing the study: how many students per classroom, how many professors... and in a few days we were delivering the project to the president for the new social order of the school."

After that, the worked began to select 4,050 students out of 52,000 that were interested. Professionals from the National Ballet of Cuba, the Superior Institute of Art and the Elementary School of Ballet united into 35 teams to select the 4,050 students that would integrate to the school.

The school today

Many of the graduated students from the school are today eminent professionals of the dance, recognized in Cuba as internationally. Most of them happen to form part of the National Ballet of Cuba
Ballet Nacional de Cuba
The Cuban National Ballet is a classical ballet company based at the Great Theatre of Havana in Havana, Cuba. Founded by the Cuban prima ballerina assoluta, Alicia Alonso in 1948, it has become recognised as one of the world's leading ballet companies...

, one of the most important companies of the world, as well several worldwide ballet companies, primarily American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...


External links

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