In 1713, Louis XIV promulgated a decree officially creating a "Dance Conservatoire", reserved for the dancers of the Royal Academy of Music. But it was only in 1780 that the first regulations certified a school entirely dedicated to children, run according to principles that are still in force today: free tuition (as Louis XIV ordered at the outset), admission through selection, fees and salaries, and a professional framework for the school.
For over 300 years, artistic education at the Opera has fostered the direct transmission of knowledge from teachers to pupils: ensuring the continuity of the French School of Dance and the Paris Opera Ballet. The School – still known as the Opera Ballet School until quite recently – is closely linked to the Opera through both its structure and programme.
While the Dance School is the keeper and perpetuator of invaluable know-how on classical academic dance, young dancers also receive a broad, multidisciplinary education including classes on music, mime, acting, entertainment law, the history of dance, anatomy and gymnastics.