The activity of PNSD Rosella Hightower is in many ways internationally-oriented, and has been since its creation in 1961 by American Principal Dancer Rosella Hightower.

PNSD Rosella Hightower welcomes many foreign students for long-term studies (+30%) or during international intensives offered during term breaks. More than 15 nationalities are represented among secondary school and undergraduate students. PNSD Rosella Hightower regularly organises auditions across Europe and offers scholarships for recipients of international competitions such as Prix de Lausanne and Youth America Grand Prix. Services at PNSD are adapted to welcome non-French-speaking students. All staff members at PNSD, whether teaching or administrative, are bilingual in English and Italian, enabling them to respond to most requests and issues. Special assistance is offered for visa applications for students coming from non-European countries. To facilitate the integration of school and undergraduate students on campus, French classes are delivered by a certified teacher from the beginning of the school year. For students enrolled in the French academic system, a minimum A2 level of proficiency is required.

A distinctive feature : International Intensives : PNSD Rosella Hightower organises dance intensives under the supervision of its permanent teachers, as well as international guest teachers during school holidays. The entire campus, including the boarding house and catering services, is dedicated to accommodating interns. Extra activities are offered, particularly in the summer, to enable interns to discover the area and form new friendships. Situated in the heart of the Côte d’Azur region, PNSD Rosella Hightower campus is an ideal place for stays dedicated to dance and leisure.

The teaching staff at PNSD includes many foreign artists or French artists who have pursued an international career. The artistic and educational projects are supported by the contribution of international choreographers and artists regularly invited to PNSD.

At the beginning of the 2000s, Rosella Hightower created The International Encounters of Junior Ballets (Rencontres Internationales des Ballets Juniors), as part of a wider professionalisation process which began in the 1980s with the creation of our junior ballet. The International Encounters bring together the Cannes Junior Ballet Rosella Hightower alongside other international junior ballets, and constitute a continuum in our curriculum aimed at developing dancers’ experience and supporting them through their early professional engagements. The encounters take place every other year. Over the course of one week, the junior companies collaborate with Cannes Junior Ballet at our Cannes-Mougins site, under the supervision of our permanent teachers and company directors. The hosting capacity of our school and its campus allows us to accommodate, cater to, and schedule both classes and some rehearsals, providing an ideal working environment. For aspiring dancers, such encounters offer an opportunity to share and exchange experiences in preparation for their future careers. By exploring different staging, technical, educational or cultural approaches, and by meeting dancers from their generation alongside company directors, young dancers begin to form, in Cannes, their own international and professional network.

PNSD Rosella Hightower works within a network alongside other international schools to share ideas and reflections, confront perspectives, and create collaborative projects. The school is part of the network of partner schools of the Prix de Lausanne and of the International Assembly initiated by the National Ballet School of Canada.

A broad professional network of over 80 dance companies worldwide welcomes PNSD students for internships, offering them their first contract. One of the main objectives in the PNSD holistic strategy is professional insertion, which unfolds across Europe and the world.

Beginning in 2015, the discovery trip had several editions before it was put on hold by the health crisis. We renewed the project in the autumn of 2022. Organised by one of our teachers in the higher cycle, it involves a one-week visit to several professional companies in the Netherlands. The host companies welcome our students for a class, a specific workshop, and a privileged meeting with their dancers, members of the direction, and répétiteurs. Companies visited in 2022 included the Dutch National Ballet, NDT, Scapino Ballet, Conny Jansen, as well as two schools – CODARTS and the Royal conservatory in The Hague. Such an immersion in the lives of different companies over a period of time represents a real eye-opener for DNSP2 students. It participates in their being prepared for the upcoming internships and helps them refine their professional goals.

In 2018, PNSD chose to apply to the Erasmus+ Charter for Higher Education. Membership of the Erasmus+ Charter was a necessary step in the evolution and institutionalisation of our school through an opportunity to finance student and staff mobility, thus expanding our professional competency in a growing network. Various inter-institutional cooperation agreements have been signed with our partner schools in Europe, and creative projects emerged thanks to this exchange programme. PNSD can now offer its students and personnel a European experience in connection with its curriculum. It also regularly welcomes incoming mobility of personnel or students who stay for periods ranging from a few days to several months.