The Academy of Dance
The Nibenese believe that dancing was created in ancient times by the elements in order to communicate with men. People with an outstanding gift for dancing are regarded as chosen people of the elements and are often elevated to the status of teacher. A lot of teachers at the academy immerse themselves in elemental lore to better understand the elements and to try to get their bodies and movements in tune with these mysterious forces. As a consequence, quite a few teachers at the academy end up being elemental clerics as well.
The masters of dance at the academy believe that the elements do not see boundaries between people and that great dancers can come from any groups of society. They see dance as a bridge and as a basic human right to any Nibenese citizen. Therefore, nobles, free citizens, templars and slaves are taught at the academy. This does not mean that they all mingle in the same classes, although some of the more radical tutors would like to see this happen. So far, different groups of people are trained for different types of performances. Free citizens dance professionally in parades and other performances, slaves perform where/when they are told to, nobles dance for personal pleasure or at banquets and templars (who at higher levels of office receive their tuition by enslaved members of the academy at the Naggaramakam) never perform in public - only in front of the Shadowking.
In addition to the three major styles, the Nibenese have the Elemental Dances. These used to be danced to appease or master the elements. Some of this form of ritual dancing has morphed into the current traditional styles. While Nibenay himself has a soft spot for elemental worship (he sees it as a superstition, but also has a nostalgic fascination with it), he does not like elemental worship being performed as overtly in public as it would be if people performed these dances at public spectacles. So the elemental dances are only performed at rituals which usually take place outside the city or in closed locations. Elemental dances are taught by elemental clerics and can be learned at the Academy of Dance.
The Academy of the Arts
The Academy of the Arts is the place where architecture, sculpture and painting are taught - basically everything that contributes to the embellishment of the city. It is the usual practice that free citizens are taught how to design buildings/sculptures/murals etc. and slaves are taught how to execute them (nobles seldom have an interest in this career - they mainly act as sponsors by saying what they want done, for what purpose and what money or building materials they will provide).
The current leader of the observatory is a woman called Ranasi. She is a brilliant astronomer and has contributed to the improvement of navigation of Nibenese caravans. Ranasi fears that she will not be a free person for long. She has witnessed the disappearance of too many talented scholars by the hands of Nibenay. Ranasi does not know how much time she has left. While some people see it as an honour to be taken by the Shadowking, Ranasi has a strong desire for freedom. Unlike most of her fellow Nibenese, she is planning on leaving the city. She has made contact with the Veiled Alliance through an air cleric that she trusts.