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The objective of the dance courses at the Lyon CNSMD The full-time four-year dance courses at the Lyon CNSMD consist of one preparatory year followed by a three-year main course. Their objective is to train high level professional performers who are capable of making an authentic and significant contribution to their art, of breathing life into the repertoire and of stimulating creation.

Since 1987 the dance teaching at the Lyon CNSMD has been promoting each student’s artistic development according to his or her aspirations and capabilities. Although the aims of the courses are technical mastery and artistic development, it is the alchemy of all the teaching offered that brings to light, by enhancing their physical, mental and artistic potential, students’ true performing talent as dancers ready to commit themselves to a demanding career. In short, the teaching aims not only to transmit savoir-faire but also to develop an awareness of what it means to be a dancer.

Internal and external projects are singularly important and there is constant cross-fertilisation of skills and specialisations, notably through interaction with other departments of the CNSMD. The teaching staff are assisted by an administrative and technical support team of about sixty.

In accordance with the policy of the conservatory, priority is placed on giving students the tools of their trade that will able them to perform works.

The dance department has fifteen permanent teachers and a great number of guest teachers, many of them choreographers. All of them contribute to maintaining the quality of the teaching of an art that is in a constant state of evolution. Active partnerships with the professional world illustrate the dynamic attitude of the department and invite its members to reflect constantly on the act of transmission

Professional objectives

By the end of the course dancers should have acquired a high degree of technical skill, together with maturity and artistic awareness. All this will have been proven and will stand them in excellent stead for their future careers as soloists, creative choreographers and members of dance companies.

The courses revolve round a variety of subjects and activities (choreographic work, cultural subjects and other skills), all of which appear in the official list of skills required by dancers, and aim to give students a mastery of the base techniques of classical and contemporary dance and develop their ability to:
- do personal work successfully
- adapt to a substantial diversity of choreographic texts
- share the experience of movement
- take an active part in a process of creation
- criticise when necessary and justify their own work
- undertake teaching tasks
- devise and present a project.

At the end of the course the dancer should also possess an in-depth awareness of choreographic culture, knowledge of music, history, anatomy and physiology, together with a basic grasp of the technical, administrative, legal, cultural, political and economic aspects of the profession. The courses as a whole are designed to prepare students for their future professional careers as choreographers, performers, teachers, and so on.

The network of partnerships with other higher education institutions, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA Lyon), the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture (ENSAL) and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Techniques du Théâtre (ENSATT), has developed in parallel with a large number of joint cultural projects with the Centre National de la Danse, the Maison de la Danse (Dance Centre), the Toboggan Cultural Centre in Décines, the Musée des Beaux-Arts, the Biennale de la Danse  and the Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art.

These invaluable partnerships allow students to perform both inside and outside the conservatory before they even join the jeune ballet and to develop their own professional network during their studies.

Through their contact with audiences, cultural and technical personnel and the experience of the seasons of events they perform in, dance students at the Lyon CNSMD are prepared to make their own artistic contribution to contemporary society.