Jan Knoppers



Jan Knoppers


Jan Knoppers has been teaching dance since 1979. In 1983 he graduated from the Kunstfactor Dans course for folk dance teachers and between 1983 and 1989 he studied at the CoDarts school for the Arts where he graduated in 1989 in folkloristic dance, jazz dance, and tap dance.

His involvement as a dancer and in later years as a ballet master with the Bulgarian performance group Praznik, along with travels to Bulgaria, provided the basis for many courses and workshops in Bulgarian dance. The Apple Chill Cloggers led him to Appalachian Clogging. From his love and studies of tap dance and show-dance, further study of folklore styles such as Lancashire clogging, Canadian, Welsh, and Irish dancing arose. A broad experience of Armenian dance and the consequential teachings led him to his latest great love -- Asia and Central Asia. Variety and richness of these dances with the cultures they spring from provide a never-ending inspiration.

Jan teaches his workshops and courses Armenian, Asian, Bulgarian, Irish, and International Folk dancing in combination with singing (folk-repertoire and beyond) and voice-craft (he is a Certified Master Teacher Estill) at any imaginable level, mainly throughout Europe. He has been the artistic heart of Theatergroep Radost in Delft for over 25 years, where research and development of new folkdance styles is matched by his personal growth.

Jan has taught at many conservatories and dance Academies in Holland and abroad and worked with future dancers, singers, and teachers also within the musical Theatre field. As a choreographer he has created many dance works for amateurs and professionals. He was Co-director of the Internationaal Danstheater in Amsterdam and co-founder of the International Danstheater voor de Jeugd. There he created four productions and co-directed several other performances and created many dances for these productions.

Jan has always had a soft spot for teaching and teachers. Headmaster of four teacher training courses (Kunstfactor Dans), guest teacher of didactics, methodology, choreography, and group dynamics, he was part of the testing and examining committee for 14 years. Together with Bianca de Jong he created a teachers' program for outside Holland dancers and personally delivered the system in England, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.

His experience in dancing, teaching, and developing is obvious in his workshops and lessons. Speed, the constant linking of music and dance, joy in learning and growing, and discovering the wealth of cultural diversity through folklore, dance and music form the core of his work. Everything is undertaken with a great eye for detail and finesse and is doused with a great sense of humour.