Balance 1 – About us and the foundation of the Academy of Dance in Berlin

The vision

In the 80s and 90s of the last century, there were very few opportunities in Germany to study dance on a professional basis. Those who did not make it to one of the state universities for Dance often quickly gave up on the beloved but seemingly unrealistic dream.

Berlin based dancer Miriam Drechsler was also dissatisfied with the prevailing situation at the time. She felt compelled to deepen her knowledge abroad, because only there she saw the possibility to develop optimally as a dancer. Thus, the desire to change these circumstances in Germany arose in her early on.

When Miriam applied for her student visa to deepen her dance studies at renowned dance institutions in New York City, she was asked why she wanted to come to study dance in the United States. She replied that she wanted to learn from the best and greatest in the dance world so that she could later fund her own highly qualified Academy of Dance in her hometown Berlin. Apparently she had a very convincing effect at her young age since she was offered a lifetime visa: “We need young people with high visions like you in the US.”

Foundation and the first magic Balance 1 Graduates

In 1993 the BALANCE DanStudiOne was founded by Miriam nevertheless in Berlin. The time began when internationally renowned guest lecturers found their way to “BALANCE” in Berlin and gave rousing workshops for dancers. Professional classes were offered and the studio became a residence for dance companies.

There was a spirit of optimism. Therefore, the foundation of the Academy with the targeted dance education program, was not long in coming. In 1996, the Academy of Dance finally opened its doors to young dance students. They were attracted not only from Germany, but also internationally to Berlin to the newly founded Academy, which was quickly officially approved by the Senate of Berlin.

The first graduates to celebrate their graduation in 1999 were so successful from the start in their various steps into the professional dance world that they were nicknamed “the first magic Balance 1 year” in the professional scene. This proved to be a good omen: since then, the Academy of Dance Balance 1 has held a leading position among the officially approved dance educations in Germany.

Balance Dance Villa

The home of the BALANCE DanStudiOne, as well as today’s Academy of Dance, is a charming industrial villa in Berlin-Tempelhof, also affectionately known as the “Balance Dance Villa “. Even the first professional dancers who found their way from America to the Dance Villa in Berlin felt at home right away. The atmosphere reminded many of Martha Graham’s villa in New York at that time. The beautiful 3-story villa, surrounded by the skyscrapers of New York, was the creative place of the “Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance” from 1952 until the death of the famous modern dance legend in 1991, where she developed some of her most famous choreographies and trained many renowned dancers and choreographers. Her beautiful Upper East Side Villa, which Miriam was also privileged to know, always gave a warm and familiar feeling to all the dancers who trained there. When the villa was sold in 2000 and torn down to build a huge apartment building on the same site, it was a great shock to all who learned and trained there.

At Balance Dance Villa, too, the atmosphere between school management, lecturers and students is one of family and respect.

Fortunately, however, the Balance Dance Villa in Berlin continues to be tinkered with to this day. Since October 2019, dance students have been training on  Harlequin sprung floors and dance carpets. Harlequin Sprung Floors and Harlequin Vinyl Floors were specifically designed for use by stage dancers to minimize Joint stress and provide a much gentler experience for professional dancers.

Our Balance Dance Villa has become a home for many dance students since the Academy of Dance was founded.

Our mission

We believe that every dance student has the right to learn and train in a safe environment, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
Therefore, we distance ourselves from any form of discrimination, racism, bullying, violence, anti-Semitism, as well as all forms of abuse.
The cultural roots of our academy are based on respect and open-mindedness.
We are always committed to creating a welcoming, friendly and safe environment. This is the only way to create a place where different cultures and backgrounds can intermingle. To learn from and with each other and to develop together in a curious and creative community. Both as a person and as an artist.

Our core values are based on:

  • equality
  • diversity
  • inclusion
  • curiosity
  • open-mindedness
  • self-motivation
  • dedication
  • self-reflection
  • generosity
  • mutual respect

Balance 1 partners and memberships

UFER_STUDIOS collective dance spaces


Uferstudios_collective_dance_spaces_logoOur Dance performances are presented with the cooperation of the
Uferstudios collective dance spaces in Berlin.


International audition director Cristina Perera

Dancer, choreographer and dance teacher Cristina Perera, also traveling worldwide for dance workshops,
holds international auditions for admission to the dance education.






International Dance Counsil CID, the United Nations of Dance

Balance 1 is a member of CID (Conseil international de danse). The International Dance Council is official partner of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Dance education students have the opportunity to be awarded the International Certification of Dance Studies, the official validation of teaching all over the world.




Eurasia Dance Project International Network

We are partner of the EurAsia Dance Project International Network, directed by Stefano Fardelli, which has more than 20 EurAsia Partners in 18 countries all over the world through Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa, Pacific States and Central America.

EurAsia Dance Project International Network is a Non Profit Association legalized by the Italian Government.

One of the missions is to enable young dancers and choreographers of any origin to study abroad and spread out their culture. This is why EurAsia Auditions are also on tour in the poorest and most dangerous countries of the globe. It allows these young dancers to take auditions for the biggest academies of Europe without flying abroad. The students selected during the EurAsia Auditions win a 50% / 80% scholarship for all the 3 / 4 year professional dance programs.


ZTB Zeitgenössischer Tanz Berlin (contemporary Dance Berlin)

Balance 1 is a member of the ZTB, Zeitgenössischer Tanz Berlin.
The association Contemporary Dance Berlin represents the interests of artists and institutions active in dance.
The ZTB is the sponsor of the Tanzbüro Berlin, the central consulting and marketing office for dance in Berlin.