Takarazuka Ongaku Gakkou (宝塚音楽学校): "Takarazuka Music School" or "TMS"

The school of music and dance that an actress must attend for two years in order to appear on the Takarazuka stage. Acceptance to the school is based on very competitive entrance exams, testing vocal and dance ability. Students are taught various forms of dance as well as acting theory, music, and etiquette.

To enter the school, applicants must pass two rounds of exams held in late March. Applicants must be between the ages of 15 and 18, and are tested in classical ballet and vocals, as well as an interview stage. The results are announced dramatically at the end of March (generally the 30th or 31st), and currently about 40 students are accepted each year. The entrance ceremony is in April.

In the TMS, students study various styles of Western and Japanese dance, a classical instrument (shamisen, koto, or piano), acting, vocals, English conversation, tea ceremony, and various other subjects. As with other Japanese schools, the first-year students (yokasei) are expected to help clean the school and each student has an assigned room or area to clean. Each class has two public performances — the Bunkasai — a big event held in the winter/spring before their graduation. They graduate in March and then begin rehearsals for their hatsubutai line dance.

Related Links:
Official TMS Site