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Dancers and dance teachers are strongly focused on developing their dance and body. But is physical training enough to be a good teacher? And what if your body lets you down due to an injury or fatigue, or if you have to teach for six or seven hours a day and simply aren’t capable of dancing with your class the whole time?

Conscious, accurate use of language and your voice can work wonders and take your work as a dance teacher to a higher level. It is a gift both to yourself as a teacher and to your pupils. When and how do you use helping texts and warnings? How can you adjust your tone of voice to evoke a certain atmosphere? How can you use your voice powerfully without straining it? Which words have what influence on a group or an individual? Often, ‘less is more’ is a useful rule of thumb for your verbal instructions, and this workshop will explain how to do that.

Evelien Maes in dance pose

Who is Evelien Maes?

Evelien graduated from Fontys Academy of the Arts (Tilburg) as a dance teacher in 2013, adding an MSc in Dance Science from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (London) in 2017. As a dance teacher and scientist, she is always searching for ways to make the science of dance usable in practice, as well as making this knowledge more accessible to other dance teachers.

Why did Anne-Lore invite her to give a workshop?

I discovered the power of language and my voice by teaching children who “didn’t understand me” because they spoke a different language at home. They didn’t understand my words, but they did know what I meant with my intonation, volume, silence and so on. I also see many dance teachers struggling to find ways of coaching their group with words, warnings and helping texts. Becoming more aware of how you can use these tools really helps to give both children and adults the feeling that they are dancing very early on, even if they are still in a learning phase. Evelien is my partner in crime for teacher training at Danspunt. She is fascinated by the knowledge and foundations of every method and technique she uses and also really motivated to help dance teachers find what they are looking for.

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