What is eurhythmy?

What’s the origin of eurhythmy? How is it used? A short introduction to this modern art of movement.

A list of UAS (Hogeschool Leiden) facilities.

A quick overview of services and facilities provided by our department and UAS.

Bart-JeroenKool (1974)

I first learned about eurhythmy as a child at a Waldorf school. I even selected eurhythmy as a dance subject for my final exams. After my finals, I went on to study social work, after which I started at the teachers’ training college.

 In my first year, I saw a performance of the Netherlands Eurhythmy Ensemble. It had such impact, that I dropped out of my teacher training course, and enrolled in the eurhythmy programme at the Department of Dance in Education. I started my BA in 1996 and graduated in 2001. I went on to work as a eurhythmist in a secondary Waldorf school in Zeist, where I taught for seven years. In 2007, I started as a teacher at the Bachelor Programme of Dance in Education.

It is a wonderful opportunity to combine my love of educational science with eurhythmy. To my mind, it is important to develop the educational quality of eurhythmy and to pass it on to students, in order to allow every student to develop his or her own view on teaching eurhythmy. Eurhythmy offers the opportunity to reveal and experience beauty that goes beyond mere physical beauty.

Magali Müller-Peddinghaus (1973)

In 1999 I graduated from the Eurhythmy Academy (the present Department of Dance in Education). I then worked for ten years with children from 0 to 12, teaching at Waldorf schools in The Hague, Delft and Court Saint Etienne (Belgium), working for                                                   ‘Het Koorenhuis’ (The Hague Centre for Art Education), teaching toddlers in playgroups and nurseries, and giving private courses and workshops at festivals.

All the while, I participated in artistic eurhythmy projects in various groups and programmes (both in the Netherlands and abroad), in Community Art Projects and I directed several children’s performances.

Since 2005 I have been teaching at the Department of Dance in Education. I want to contribute to the educational and artistic development of our students. I simply love to help them find their own drive to do authentic work with a new generation of children!

Baptiste Hogrefe (1956)

I have been a teacher at the Eurhythmy Academy in The Hague since 1980, which became the Department of Dance in Education at the University of Applied Sciences Leiden in 2013.

When I was 17, I took a eurhythmy class with Werner Barfod and one year later, in 1974, I started studying at the Eurhythmy Academy in The Hague. I graduated in 1978, and went on to take a two-year drama course at the Goetheanum in Dornach (Switzerland). Back in The Hague, I was part of the Netherlands Eurhythmy Ensemble for many years, with annual performances in the Netherlands and abroad.

For two years, I combined teaching at the Eurhythmy Academy with working at the Waldorf School in The Hague, and when I was in Switzerland, I organized several courses for children and young people with mental disabilities.

A central part of the programme is concerned with the use of eurhythmy as a means to communicate with children and adults through movement. Children are not trained in eurhythmy as such; you just create a space by moving – a space in which they experience themselves and gradually learn to push their boundaries. From this perspective, eurhythmy may play a central role in a child’s development towards independence and freedom.

Personal advice & open days.

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Structure of the programme

What does our BA programme involve? Part-time and full-time. What courses are offered? What support is available?

Our courses involve intense student-teacher interaction, and personal contact between tutors and students is important to us. Meet our teachers, and read about their backgrounds, who they are and what they do.

Afra Cnoops (1954)

The first time I ever saw a eurhythmy performance, I knew it: I was going to be a professional eurhythmist! I was 19 at the time I started my studies at the Eurhythmy Academy in The Hague, the precursor of the current Bachelor of Dance in Education degree programme. After that, I took advanced classes in the eurhythmic art in Switzerland.

Back in the Netherlands, I started teaching at Waldorf schools in Amsterdam and in The Hague, and I taught adults as well.

Ever since 1995 I have been working as a teacher with the Department of Dance in Education. In addition, I am actively involved in several groups as a eurhythmy performer, both in the Netherlands and abroad. I have danced and directed many performances for children.

To me, teaching is all about responding to what happens in the moment, especially when working with children. This challenge is my inspiration in teaching this programme.

Geesiena Stradmeijer (1956)

As my father loved his work as a teacher, I grew up feeling that working in the educational field is pleasant and worthwhile. This was confirmed when I switched to the Geert Groote School in Amsterdam (a Waldorf school) after spending some less than happy years at the Barleus Gymnasium. For the first time, I had found an educational system that addressed me as a complete person, and here I was introduced to eurhythmy and speech/drama. After my finals, I hesitated between speech and eurhythmy, and I ended up studying speech/drama in Stuttgart and Dornach.

However, eurhythmy stayed part of my life: after my studies, I started working as a speech teacher at the Eurhythmy Academy in The Hague, and from there it was but a small step to start studying eurhythmy after all. After my graduation in 1987, I was asked to join the teaching staff and I spent several years teaching young people on their path to becoming eurhythmy professionals, who in turn started teaching eurhythmy.

In 1995, it was time for a move: I wanted to look beyond the walls of the Eurhythmy Academy. After spending several years in Dornach, I took a course in eurhythmy therapy in Stuttgart and started working as a eurhythmy therapist. In these years, in addition to my therapeutic work, I taught in many different settings: groups of toddlers and children, amateurs in intensive courses and seminars, and colleagues who were looking for additional training.

I returned to the Department of Dance in Education in 2005, with a wealth of experience in how to use eurhythmy to inspire, vitalize and move young and old alike.

Helga Daniel (1950)

The first time I ever saw eurhythmy was in 1972. It was a eurhythmy demonstration by London students. I was incredibly impressed. To me, everything came together in this demonstration. I saw ‘truth’ in movement.

Six weeks later, I started training to be a eurhythmy teacher and I graduated in 1976. I worked as a eurhythmy teacher at various schools, for five years in Hannover and then for nine years in Tübingen. In addition to teaching at schools, I taught several amateur courses and eurhythmy classes for all ages, from toddlers to the elderly.

In 1990, I started working as a teacher at the Department of Dance in Education, where I set up and developed the eurhythmy in education courses.

In addition to my work for the Bachelor programme, I frequently teach other classes, both in the Netherlands and abroad. I am also invited to lecture about eurhythmy and educational science. Over the last few years, I have specialized in counselling new teachers at schools and in secondary education.

In addition, I have written a number of books:

Zin in Bewegen (Bewegt ins Leben): eurhythmy for children from first to fourth grade

Übung macht den Meister: eurhythmy for grades 5 to 8

Sein oder Nichtsein: eurhythmy for grades 9 to 12.

The reason I love teaching as much as I do, is that it is wonderful to guide people in their development.

 

Martje Brandsma (1983)

I was born on 3 July 1983 as a daughter of Jan Brandsma, the painter, and Gerrie Wolsink, a nurse. When I was a little girl, I loved to dance. Anything, from ballet, ballroom and jazz ballet, to salsa and tango. Later on, I added modern dance. But most of all, I loved dancing freely in our living room to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

I attended Waldorf schools, first in Venlo and later on in Nijmegen. After my finals, around my 18th birthday, I found a job as a ballroom instructor at a dancing academy in Venray and went to a private dance academy to become a ballroom teacher. I had turned my passion into a profession. I loved teaching and learning to teach, and giving Latin dancing shows. I did, however, miss artistic freedom, so I decided to start studying eurhythmy.

Shortly after my 21st birthday, I started at the Eurhythmy Academy in The Hague (the present Bachelor of Dance in Education programme at the University of Applied Sciences Leiden), where I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in 2008. I went on to do the eurhythmy performance training at the Goetheanum in Switzerland (run by Elsemarie ten Brink and Rob Schapink).

In addition to teaching, I frequently take eurhythmy master classes and post-graduate courses, for instance with Carina Schmid, Werner Barfod, Margrethe Solstad, Gia van den Akker and Hans Fors. I like to engage in dance improvisation as well.

I have been working as a teacher at the Bachelor of Dance in Education department since 2010, and in addition, I contribute as a freelance performance artist to various projects, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Finally, I also teach workshops at secondary schools and training colleges.

For me, performing and teaching are connected, and both play an important role in my life. My artistic work inspires my teaching, and vice versa. One cannot blossom without the other.

www.martjebrandsma.com