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PNSD Rosella Hightower, Cannes-Mougins

A Regional and Mediterranean Institute in the South of France

The purpose of the Pôle National Supérieur de Danse (PNSD) Rosella Hightower is to prepare and train dancers for today’s international choreographic challenges by using the renowned and highly-reputable teaching teams of both schools. This mission is supported by the prestigious international ballet companies and their respective networking forums based in the same area: Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, le Ballet National de Marseille, Ballet Preljocaj, Monaco Dance Forum, etc… The combined curriculum offers integrated academic courses from secondary to university level leading to the French Diplôme National Superieur Professionnel de Danseur (DNSP) which is the equivalent of a 3 year bachelor’s degree program and affords the opportunity to obtain a full university degree from one of the partner universities in Nice or Toulon.


© Nathalie Sternalski

Since its creation in 1961 the PNSD has become one of the world’s most well-known dance schools. Each year, over 150 students from throughout the world (aged 11 to 23) are trained and prepared for careers in the world of dance. With its multi-disciplinary training based on ballet and contemporary dance the PNSD offers a wide range of courses from professional dancer / interpreter to teacher training.

In 1984 the PNSD’s junior ballet company, the Cannes Jeune Ballet, was created by Rosella Hightower in order to give the senior students the opportunity to perfect their performing and technical skills on stage, both locally or on national and international tours. Beyond giving a finishing touch to their dancer-interpreter training, the dancers get the chance to face the realities of working with acclaimed choreographers, giving them priceless experience that they can draw upon throughout their dance carriers.


© Nathalie Sternalski

The PNSD also offers international workshops open to students during the school holiday periods. Workshops include ballet, contemporary and jazz courses as well as a highly-renowned choreographer’s workshop program. In addition to the dance facilities, the PNSD campus also includes boarding facilities open 7 days a week all year long (50 double-bed bedrooms with private bathroom), a restaurant and classrooms for academic courses, all on the same grounds.

The PNSD’s training programs – under the direction of Paola Cantalupo – reflect the great lineage of the French school with many of its teachers coming from the Paris Opera Ballet. Along with this traditional training there is also a full contingent of contemporary dance teachers as well as dance history and music teachers. The school’s partnership with a local high school offers a flexible study program allowing students to follow their scholastic education while participating in a full time dance program.