Anouk van Dijk Announces Unique Opportunity to Study Countertechnique Online

Anouk van Dijk. Photo by Sarah Walker, courtesy of van Dijk

This week Anouk van Dijk, creator of Countertechnique, has launched an online platform for dancers everywhere to experience her movement system while the world shelters in place. This is an unprecedented opportunity—there are only 32 certified Countertechnique teachers around the world with official approval to teach the work. Now is your chance to give Countertechnique a try from your own home.

From her home in Melbourne, Australia, van Dijk asks, "How can we stay physically engaged, inspired and connected to our bodies? How to feel part of a community, and how to stay engaged in training? Our online classes in particular will acknowledge these needs, and we have developed a special format that offers dancers a sense of ease, experience of space and enjoyment of movement, beyond the reality of confines."

The series began yesterday, free of charge (donations accepted if you are financially able), with seven sessions led by instructors from Australia, Greece and the Netherlands, including some by van Dijk herself. Classes are 75 minutes long; find the schedule and calendar here.

If new to Countertechnique, it is a movement system of set exercises and a toolbox of concepts to learn. This is subtle and sophisticated work for advanced contemporary dancers seeking new layers and approaches to the weekly technique class. In my own experience in Charles Slender-White's Countertechnique classes in the San Francisco Bay Area, we work on clarity and efficiency by focusing on directionality and body parts in motion. We create space in the joints and play with dynamic balances.

"Anouk is a force of a woman," says E'lise Jumes, who has recently joined the dance faculty at DeSales University and who worked with van Dijk during a residency at the University of Utah School of Dance. "She has the ability to laugh at herself and laugh alongside others. There is this feeling of 'we are all in this together' that you experience when you take class from her. She creates an incredible environment for dancers, one that is filled with compassion, support, autonomy and mindful risk-taking."
Teacher Voices
Photo courtesy Rhee Gold Company

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, there has been a shift in our community that is so impressive that the impact could last long into our future. Although required school closures have hit the dance education field hard, what if, when looking back on this time, we see that it's been an incredible renaissance for dance educators, studio owners and the young dancers in our charge?

How could that be, you ask?

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
Photo by Yvonne M. Portra, courtesy Faulkner

It's a Wednesday in May, and 14 Stanford University advanced modern ­dance students are logged on to Zoom, each practicing a socially distanced duet with an imaginary person. "Think about the quality of their personality and the type of duet you might have," says their instructor Katie Faulkner, "but also their surface area and how you'd relate to them in space." Amid dorm rooms, living rooms, dining rooms and backyards, the dancers make do with cramped quarters and dodge furniture as they twist, curve, stretch and intertwine with their imaginary partners.

Keep reading... Show less
Getty Images

Securing the correct music licensing for your studio is an important step in creating a financially sound business. "Music licensing is something studio owners seem to either embrace or ignore completely," says Clint Salter, CEO and founder of the Dance Studio Owners Association. While it may seem like it's a situation in which it's easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission—that is, to wait until you're approached by a music-rights organization before purchasing a license—Salter disagrees, citing Peloton, the exercise company that produces streaming at-home workouts. In February, Peloton settled a music-licensing suit with the National Music Publishers' Association out-of-court for an undisclosed amount. Originally, NMPA had sought $300 million in damages from Peloton. "It can get extremely expensive," says Salter. "It's not worth it for a studio to get caught up in that."

As you continue to explore a hybrid online/in-person version of your class schedule, it's crucial that your music licenses include coverage for livestreamed instruction—which comes with its own particular requirements. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about music licensing—in both normal times and COVID times—as well as some safe music bets that won't pose any issues.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.