History of the Hungarian Dance Academy

In Hungary, Dance artist training within the school system started just over seventy years ago. However, the achievements of the past sixty years are correlated with the Hungarian Dance Academy. The state-funded education of ballet students within an organized system began as early as 1937 at the Hungarian Royal Opera House which, in 1949, was supplemented by the Dance Artist School. In 1950 the State Ballet Institute was founded by unifying these two institutions. It has had its present name “The Hungarian Dance Academy” since 1990.
A primary and a secondary school have also been established within the boundaries of the institute, which was necessary because of the characteristics of training ballet artists of different age-groups. Today the general education, lasting 8 years, is pursued at the Ferenc Nádasi Secondary School of the Hungarian Dance Academy, although pupils in their 4th school year can still join the Academy. At the beginning, a student graduating from the Institute received a secondary-level certificate which was graded as an academic qualification in 1975. Then in 1983, the institute was reorganized into an academy.
For a long time the central premises of the Academy and its Secondary School were located in the 6th district in the former Dreschler-Palace, at 25 Andrássy Street. In 1976 new ballet studios were built in Kazinczy Street. In 1987, by adding a storey to the building, three more ballet studios were attached to the five existing ones. In 2001 the theoretical education as well as the management moved to 87 Columbus Street in the 14th district. In 2002 twelve brand new ballet studios were also built there. In the autumn of 2004 the dormitory of the institute also moved to the Columbus Street “campus”.
The founding director of the State Ballet Institute was György Lőrinc, who directed the institute until 1960. He was followed by Hedvig Hidas in 1961 and Zsuzsa Kún in 1972. During 1979-1991 Imre Dózsa was the head of the institute. After a year’s commitment of János Palovecz, Jenő Gál became the general director between 1992 and 1998. Between 1998 and 2006 Imre Dózsa led the Academy again. In 2006 he was followed by Zoltán Nagy Jr., who had a tragic and premature death in 2008. From May 2009 the institution was managed by Dr. Mária Jakabné Zórándi until her sudden death on November 7, 2010. In the difficult times after her death the academy was lead by György Szakály who received his appointment as rector on July 1, 2011 from the Prime Minister of the Hungarian Republic.