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My Dance Biography
Since I used to trip over my own feet my parents thought that ballet lessons might help improve my posture and elegance. I think I first got curious because my favorite cousin had such a gorgeous stage presence and some of my fellow classmates impressed me in their performance as mice in The Nutcracker. I started taking lessons at creative center ‘De Terp’ in Waalwijk, and I am still grateful that teacher Agaath Verspeeten stimulated our imagination with creative improvisational assignments (who needs more than a tuft of cotton on their head to be a snowflake).
Then things became more serious.
When I was turned down for my first audition -they thought my hamstrings were too short- I decided it was nothing that diligent stretching couldn’t help. I returned the following year, and I was accepted into preliminary training at Dansacademie Brabant.
I studied mostly ballet and some modern at Dansacademie Brabant for 9 years: 5 years preliminary/ 4 years BA and participated as an intern for a project with Raz/ Hans Tuerlings.
Following graduation I did an internship with Djazzex/ Glenn van der Hoff, after which my focus turned more on modern dance and I became a guest-student at Rotterdam Dance Academy. After a project with Coup d’Amour/ Feri de Geus I was awarded a VSB grant and in 1994 I came to New York for the first time to do an independent research for 6 months.
Between 1994 and 1997 I regularly returned to New York for further investigation into various modern dance approaches (Simonson at Dance Space, Release through Movement Research, Cunningham at Cunningham Studio, Klein technique at Trisha Brown and Laban/ Bartenieff Fundamentals at LIMS, amongst others). Back in Holland I danced in a project with Cloud Chamber/ Ron Bunzl, participated in street theater performances with Close Act and especially learned a lot working with Wies Merkx/ Dansend Hart and Herman van Veen/ Columbine Danstheater.
Discovering the Muller-technique in Michael Jahoda’s classes was a revelation. This discovery intensified the desire to dance for a company with a theatrical nature. This led to the fortunate opportunity to move to NYC in 1997 to join Jennifer Muller/ THE WORKS.
The journey continued when I joined Susan Marshall & Company in 2000, the Tiffany Mills Company in 2004 and Jane Comfort and Company in 2010.
With these companies I still gratefully enjoy participating in the unique adventures of creation through improvisation and exploration and probably especially the focus, sport, artistry and –to me- spirituality of performance.
In NYC I am fortunate to be able to enjoy dance from all over the world. I get to see many shows and sometimes take Master Classes. I find inspiration in the performances I see as well as in observing life in New York, and in other places when I travel (a big hobby) and from nature whenever I get the chance to experience it.
In NYC I have further had the pleasure to perform for Mimi Garrard, Marisela La Grave, Isabel Gotzkowsky and Friends, Company Rindfleisch and Leda Meredith amongst others.
My dance teaching experience includes: various technique, repertory, composition and creative performance classes independently and for Susan Marshall & Company, Tiffany Mills Company, Jennifer Muller/ THE WORKS and for Dansend Hart (NL). I have recently enjoyed re-setting repertory by Susan Marshall at various colleges around the US and for some high school students and have assisted Susan with the creation of new work at The Juilliard in NY.
I have learned that the body never ceases to fascinate, teach and inspire.
Besides teaching dance I share the knowledge I have gained over these years, through my explorations of the body through dancing, in my holistic bodywork practice.