About – backup

Photograph: Lovisa Bengtsson

My name is Raphaël Verstraeten and I am a dance teacher student. Originally from Belgium, I have been living in Sweden since 2014. I have a background in folk music and bal folk dancing, which led me to a one-year education in Swedish folk dance in Tobo, Sweden, and then to the dance pedagogy program at DOCH.

Besides folk dance, my main dance subject, my practice also includes contact improvisation as well as modern and contemporary dance. I have met these genres during my dance education journey and have been really interested in them, both for what they give me as a dancer and for how they relate to and differ from my folk dance practice. Social dancing is an important aspect of my practice when it comes to folk dance and contact improvisation. One of the topics I am most interested in at the moment is the use and significance of touch in dancing.

I have also developped an interest in choregraphy, particularly when it comes to deconstruction and exploration, and the relationships between different dance genres. I also see dance teaching as a choreographic situation, and try to include choreographic methods in my classes.

As far as teaching is concerned, I want to give my students tools to appreciate, criticize and further develop their own dancing. I see experimentation and communication, both between students and with me, as important teaching principles. I am mostly interested in teaching adults.

My interests besides dance include music (I play the violin), backpacking and the outdoors in general.

Photograph: Henrike Wesp