The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)
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Information: Thea Huijgen, teacher of folk dance.
CURRICULUM VITAE by Thea Huijgen, 2000
Thea Huijgen received her B.A. in Dance in 1972. She danced with the Internationaal Folkloristich Danstheater in the Netherlands for four years. She left the ensemble to study folklore in Bulgaria with a scholarship from the Ministry of Culture. Upon her return, Thea moved to Eindhoven. She first became a teacher and later director of the School voor de Danskunst offering ballet, jazzdance, and folkdance classes for children and adults. She was co-founder and artistic director of the amateur folk dance ensemble Droezjba founded in 1975. Between 1974 and 1984 she was a folkdance and jazzdance instructor at the Vrije Academie in Venlo; a teacher at the dance department of the SKVE, Art Education Institute of Eindhoven; a dance project teacher for the Scapino Ballet Company; as well as a free lance dance teacher for many dance projects throughout the Netherlands. Additionally, between 1982 and 1984 Thea participated as a dancer in the D-3 Dance Company, which performed mainly for elementary schools; and in folkdance ensemble Praznik with its solely Bulgarian repertoire.
In 1984, Thea emigrated to the United States. In California she soon became involved in dance projects and classes for elementary schools, folkdance groups, and community colleges. In 1987 she moved to Washington State where she currently resides. It didn't take long before Thea taught creative movement for pre-school and elementary school students. She became a teacher, and later department head at the Northwest School in Seattle, teaching folkdance, ballet, modern dance, and creative movement to grades 7-12, and English as a Second Language (ESL) to international students.
She currently is a dance instructor for the cities of Redmond and Kirkland in their Parks and Recreation Department programs, teaching creative movement, ballet, tap, and Stretch and Relax classes to children and adults. She is a folk dance instructor for the Northshore Senior Center, and directs a Senior Folk Dance Troupe, which performs for nursing homes, retirement centers, folkdance festivals and other venues. Thea has also taken on the Artistic Direction of the Hilltop Heritage Dancers, a children's folkdance ensemble consisting of eighty elementary school students from 1st to 6th grade. In addition, she conducts folkdance workshops in Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, and Canada.
As a dancer during her residence in the United States, Thea has performed for various folkdance venues in California, Washington, and Utah.
Denise Hagopian created an Armenian solo for Thea; Gao Li Ting choreographed a Mongolian couple dance and was Thea's partner for the piece; and with long-time partner, Jaap Leegwater, Thea performed a number of Bulgarian duets.
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