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What happened in 2016

Thirty years of Omscholingsregeling Dansers
In 2016, it was exactly thirty years since the foundations were laid for the Omscholingsregeling through a donation of one million guilders (€ 453.780) from Elco Brinkman, the Minister of Culture at the time. Since the actual starting date of the scheme in September 1986, hundreds of dancers have made use of it. In this period, more than three thousand dancers made appointments for advice about their career and over five hundred dancers received financial support.


In 2016, nearly 120 dancers made one or more appointments with the ODN careers advisors. Almost half of these cases concerned freelancers. As the interviews are free of charge, there is a low threshold for making an appointment.

In line with ODN’s principle of customisation, the interviews focus on the personal situation of the dancer concerned. Not all the interviews are necessarily connected with applications.
Sometimes, they concern exploratory talks and sometimes they are about a complete course of action for changing career. Or someone may ask for interim advice during their retraining or for information about allowances, residence status, tax matters or benefits, etc.

The decision to stop dancing has a profound effect on the daily life of a dancer. Dancers are not usually familiar with the bureaucracy involved in life after dance, so the guidance given is often very intensive.

New applications in 2016
A total of twelve new applications for a Study and Income Allowance were dealt with in 2016. This is nearly double the number in 2015, when there were seven applications. The number of this type of application differs each year and the long-range average is twelve. The number of new applications for a Contribution towards Study Costs (TS)was eight. This number is considerably lower than in 2015, when there were 19 applications.

The activities organised in 2016 for the thirtieth anniversary of the scheme focused mainly on content.
Goran Turnšek, an ex-dancer who has become a photographer with the support of the Omscholingsregeling, created the exhibition SECOND STAGE, yesterday’s dancers in today’s life.
Goran’s photos illustrate the transience of the art of dance and the career of a dancer. His work is very special, as he is ideally placed to put himself in the shoes of his subjects.

The exhibition was shown for two weeks during the Dutch Dance Festival in Maastricht and for three weeks during the festival Here we live and now in Korzo Theater, in The Hague.

Another anniversay event was the State of the Dancer in Korzo on December 15 about which we already reported earlier.

2016 closed with a positive balance of € 339,364. This profit was due to a positive investment result of € 155,498 and to the fact that the provision for the allocation of study costs and allowances turned out lower than budgeted for. The profit will be added to the Omscholingsregeling’s special-purpose reserve. ODN aims to provide a 100% level of funding in order to optimally guarantee the participants’ claims.

The board of the Omscholingsregeling comprises five members, based on equal representation. Two members are appointed by the union (Kunstenbond) and two members by the employers’ organisation the Dutch Association for Performing Arts (NAPK). The independent chair is appointed jointly by the board members.

In 2016, the employers were represented on the board by Toine van der Horst, business manager of Dutch National Ballet and Thomas Smit, business manager of Theater Bellevue in Amsterdam.
The employees were represented by Barbara Suters, ex-dancer and currently the owner of a production design agency, and Klaas Backx, ex-dancer and currently a teacher of classical ballet at the Academy of Theatre and Dance. The role of independent chair was taken by Ruud Nederveen.

The board met five times in 2016. With regard to good management and supervision, the board complies with the Code Cultural Governance in performing its tasks. See:
For their activities, the board members receive an attendance fee for each meeting, in accordance with the guidelines of the Kunstenbond.





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The Next Step

Interviews with former dancers who are in the middle of their retraining program or share their experiences afterwards.




"When as a dancer it is time for a change, a lot of feeling of insecurity arises. The Omscholingsregeling gave me financial support and self confidence to face these new challenges." (Jérôme Meyer)