How the Stage Education was initiated
Since 2018 I am a PhD student at the University of Babes-Bolyai in Cluj-Napoca (UBB) and I am writing my dissertation in Romanian about the education of the ballet dancer: “Theory and Practice: a Study of Elemental Foundations and Developmental Strategies in Nurturing Creative Personality for Young Ballet Dancers of Today ”.
During the qualitative research work, my old knowledge and experience as ballet student, principal dancer, teacher, mentor, director, juror and not at least as mother of two children, merged unexpectedly creatively with the newest gained data and my mind started to imagine a new set of possible outcomes and metrics for training young dancers. They had to be structured, tested, evaluated, not only theoretically, but put in practice, not only through my own personal experience and observation, but through different insights of other ballet dancers, teachers, coaches and choreographers coming from different countries and cultures.
The pandemic times of 2020 encouraged my thinking and inspired action, and it evolved that the best solution in developing new learning strategies was to run first a pilot project in a clear timeframe, to test how my new ideas could eventually be implemented in a ballet educational system. Of big relevance was the acknowledgement if there would be a target market for them.
This is the how Noja-Nebyla Stage Education was born! It came to life in Vienna, a city I call home for the last 25 years, as a pilot project for developing strategies of learning, improving and experimenting the key skills of the stage experience, important assets for a successful career as professional ballet dancer. Complementary to them, individual trainingsprograms for dancers were created by my team and their objectives have met surprisingly well the needs of all dancers involved. The ultimative goal of the pilot is to implement those strategies which survived the testing phase, in a training program that bridges the gap between dance education and professional dance life.
I had known that ballet is beautiful from inside out as a ballet dancer for more than 20 years and meanwhile, I´ve known it from outside in through the mentoring mind for almost 20 years. Though, giving a deep thought and a sensitive approach to the world of ballet from different perspectives, exploring it through the lenses of the scientific research, using different tools and frameworks, it meant for me discovering a new universe! It was a revelation of classical dance, of inner splendor, fragility, exclusivity, power and more than anything else, the revelation of its hidden resources to change people’s lives.
For me, the classical dance was from the very beginning, and remained over more than 40 years, an agent “of evolution and learning”( P. Anderson and D. Salomon, 2010) and will always be the “pattern that connects” (G. Bateson) on a rewarding journey of self-discovery.