Jazz Dance

Jazz Dance

“To dance, put your hand on your heart and listen to the sound of your soul.” This sentence, as stated by Luigi, one of jazz dance’s pioneering representatives, already includes a lot there is to be said about this dance style. Typical for jazz dance: A rhythmic versatility conjuring much-evoked swing as well as the simultaneous isolation of individual body parts we describe as polycentric, and also playing with the beat and the off-beat. At the beginning of the 1960s, the film version of “West Side Story”, featuring Jerome Robbins’ choreographies, led to an upsurge in interest in jazz dance. Its origins can be found in Afro-American dance and music culture from the outset of the 20th century, including swing and the Charleston. Artists like Jack Cole and Katherine Dunham contributed significantly to the continued development of the dance while also influencing later works by choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Bob Fosse and Walter Nicks. With Gus Giordano, Matt Mattox and Luigi, regular “jazz dance schools” emerged that continue being taught today in combination with other dance styles like hip hop or modern dance.


Portrait Bridget Q. Fearn

Bridget Q. Fearn

Bridget is a longtime member of the teaching staff of tanzhaus nrw, as well as a working choreographer for german theater. She is the movement and dance trainer for the acting students at the Schauspielstudio at Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus. She has recently choreographed such productions as "Cabaret" und "Zauberberg" for Düsseldorf, "Liebe, Mord und Adelspflichten" for Krefeld, and "Shockheaded Peter" for Thalia Theater Hamburg. She has more than 35 years dancing, teaching, and choreographing experience. Her workshops and classes are characterized as well-rounded, fun, high-energy, and challenging. 

Portrait of Carlo Melis

Carlo Melis

Carlo Melis is among the most longstanding teachers at tanzhaus nrw. He has been teaching modern and jazz dance at the house since 1989, integrating influences from contemporary dance. “Contemporary dance’s freedom challenges standardised techniques in modern and jazz dance, turning the gaze inward.” Accordingly, Carlos’ classes focus less on learning a technique but rather on rediscovering a strategy we have been carrying within from our earliest childhood movements: Being curious, experiencing oneself and one’s body, feeling one’s own emotions. The participants work on movements, but also always on their origins. “We only start dancing when emotions drive movements.” Carlo entered vocational training to become a construction engineer for the sake of his parents, yet he has been fascinated by the arts early on in his youth, playing in physical theatre and in Living Theatre. Following a workshop with Bob Curtis, a pioneer in Afro contemporary dance, Carlo discovered dance: “I had never experienced such intensity. From that moment on, I knew that I wanted to dance.” So, he started studying classical ballet, modern and jazz dance in his homeland of Sardinia at age 26. Later, he also graduated with a degree in theatre and dance education from several Italian universities. During a dance scholarship at the Folkwang University of the Arts, Carlo received tuition by great Wuppertal choreographer Pina Bausch, an experience that influenced his subsequent dance works. He contributed to TV productions, worked with numerous companies and taught at Arnhem University as well as elsewhere.

Portrait of Colin Sinclair

Colin Sinclair

Colin Sinclair is a creative multi-talent. The Londoner is not only a dancer, choreographer and lecturer, he is also the designer for his own fashion label and the artistic director behind Theater Company Sinclair Arts. He was active as a model for name brands, later founding a creative talent agency. He also won a number of awards as a screenwriter and graduated from New York Film Academy. His most formative dance experiences were gathered in London underground clubs. He was selected by the judging panel at a Covent Garden dance event, and they invited him to study at the Urdang Academy of Ballet and Performing Arts in London. Following this, Colin worked as a singer and dancer in numerous TV shows and musicals, among them Peter Maffay’s “Tabaluga und Lili” with a stint from 2000 until 2003. As a choreographer, Colin also worked for one of the largest US-American broadcasting and film production companies. Colin now teaches throughout Europe and has been a tanzhaus nrw instructor since 2005.

Emma Valtonen

Emma Valtonen

Emma Valtonen studied dance and dance education in Finland and Portugal. After many months of performing her graduation work in Finland, she now works as a teacher and choreographer in Finland, Italy and China, among other places. She loves travelling and has trained internationally in various dance styles - always curious and connected with the desire to explore new, unusual paths and movement languages. Various dance styles from urban dance, modern and jazz dance as well as different bodywork techniques shape Emma's style. Her way of teaching is very approachable and open, and her participants are enthusiastic about her “creative, focused, loving and humorous way of teaching”. Emma herself says of her classes: “I want my students to be challenged without pressure or competition.”

Gabriela Santos im Porträt

Gabriela Santos

Gabriela Santos holds a BFA in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, where she was able to dance numerous works by American choreographers such as Bill T. Jones, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor and many more. Gabriela also taught at the Ballet Academy East in New York, gave numerous workshops, and took every opportunity to complete internships with prominent teachers while dancing in professional projects. Beyond New York, Gabriela worked as a dance teacher, choreographer, and dancer in Peabody Preparatory of Dance in Baltimore. Very soon after completing her studies, Gabriela was contracted as a stage dancer by TUI Cruises Mein Schiff 1, where she performed daily in several theatre productions. She is currently working towards her master’s in dance pedagogy at the Palucca University of Dance. Gabriela has been teaching dance in Germany since 2019.

Iván Keim

Ivan Keim

Iváns Unterrichts besteht aus einem technisch anspruchsvollen Training, welches den Teilnehmer*innen ermöglicht, ihren Körper und ihre Bewegungen zu „Kontrollieren und gleichzeitig loszulassen“.

Iván hat seinen Jazz Dance Kurs für das tanzhaus nrw online angefangen, im Lockdown im Januar 2021. Wie harmonisch sich die Gruppe unter diesen Umständen entwickelt hat, macht ihn sehr glücklich. „Diese Motivation und Leidenschaft zu erkennen berührt mich immer! Es gibt viel positive Energie, die jede*r einzelne in den Kurs mitbringt.“

Iván ist in Mendoza, Argentinien, geboren und aufgewachsen. Er erhielt seine Ausbildung zum Tänzer in Buenos Aires. Ballett, Jazz und Contemporary sind die drei Stationen seiner Tanzkarriere gewesen. Auf sein erstes Engagement beim Argentine National Ballett, folgten weitere als Tänzer in verschiedenen Bereichen und Stilen: von Modern Dance Companies, über TV-Shows bis zu Werbeaufnahmen. Nach seinem Umzug von Südamerika nach Europa tanzte Iván u.a. für die Deutsche Oper Am Rhein, die Oper Köln, das Theater Bonn und die Oper Dortmund. 2018 gründete er die Tempecy – Modern Dance Company in Estland, mit der er als künstlerischer Leiter und Choreograf eine neue professionelle Seite des Tanzens kennenlernte. Heute arbeitet Iván hauptsächlich als Tanzdozent und Choreograf und folgt dem Credo: „Ich habe das Bestreben meine Expertise im Tanzbereich stetig weiter zu entwickeln.“ 

Porträt Joseph P. Cooksey

Joseph P. Cooksey

Dance educator Joseph P. Cooksey deploys Zena Rommett Floor-Barre Technique®, modern dance, modern ballet and jazz in his classes. He taught at the Juilliard School, at the Dance Theater of Harlem, at the Alvin Aily American Dance Center and at the Philadelphia College for the Performing Arts. He is a certified Zena Rommett Floor-Barre Technique® teacher as well as a Master Teacher at their respective annual certifications.

Porträt Moris Cardone

Moris Cardone

Moris arbeitet seit mehr als 25 Jahren als Tanzdozent und hat bereits in zahlreichen europäischen Ländern unterrichtet. In den Urban Styles umfasst seine Arbeit Hip Hop, Street Jazz, Commercial Dance (Pop / Show / Girly), sowie Afro/Latin. Zu seiner Profession zählen technische Stile wie Jazz, Contemporary, Modern und Lyrical. 2018 gründete er zusammen mit Iván Keim die Tempecy - Modern Dance Company in Estland, wo er als Choreograf für die Produktionen „Dreams“ und „#TALKTOME“ arbeitete. Seit 10 Jahren arbeitet Moris mit der in Estland gegründeten Kompanie Tartu Tantsuuakademia zusammen. Sein Unterricht ist voller Energie, Kreativität und Inspiration. Seine Leidenschaft für Tanz, die er mit seinen Schüler*innen teilt und vermittelt, spiegeln sich in seinen kraftvollen und ausdrucksstarken Bewegungen wieder.

Svenja Schulte

Svenja Schulte

Svenja Schulte received her dance education at A.M. Rodriguez’ ballet school. Since then, she has been active for numerous productions, among them ones for German TV channel ZDF. As a coach and choreographer, she has been working for Movie Park Germany, Part Six, Toyota and many more. She has been employed as a dancer and singer at Cologne’s Scala Theater since 2010. Svenja received further education at several schools, among them the Iwanson School in Munich. She enjoys being able to pass on her love for dance while teaching and seeing her students’ development throughout her courses.

Tamara Rahil

Tamara Rahil

In this course participants will be introduced to various contemporary dance techniques mixed with urban elements. The elements learned will be combined and linked to choreographies to modern songs. This will help the children to establish a dance foundation for themselves. Let's dance, have fun and learn together!