The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)
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Information: Nicolaas "Nico" Hilferink, teacher of Romanian and ballet dances.
Nico is a Canadian citizen who was born and raised in Amsterdam, Holland, where he began folk dancing at the club Terpsichore. While he was performing with their demonstration group, he decided to improve his technique and enrolled in ballet and jazz classes at the Scapino ad Nel Roos dance Academies. Later he studied in New York at the Harkness School for Ballet Arts and performed with their training company. He also studied at the Juliard School.
In 1964, while working as a principal dancer with the Internationale Folkloristisch Danstheater, he met Theodor Vasilescu, choreographer for Rhapsodia Romana of Bucharest, Romania. Since then, Nico has worked regularly with Mr. Vasilescu and has also done his own research in Romania, having returned to that country every year for more than 30 years.
In Toronto, Nico danced with the National Ballet of Canada and Ballet Ys before traveling to Amsterdam for a return engagement with the International Folk Dancers. On his return to Canada, he founded the International Dance Ensemble and served as artistic director and principal choreographer. With the opening of the International Dance Studio, he also taught ballet, jazz, and character dance. He has danced in an choreographed performances for the Ottawa Dance Theatre and the National Arts Centre of Canada. His position at the latter was unique in that he performed as a dancer and choreographer and served in other positions as well.
Nico receives the full support of the Romanian Ministry of Culture and Education when he travels to Romania. In 1981, his study tour was funded by the Canada council.
Nico has been dancing, teaching, and doing choreographies since 1977 for folk dance groups throughout Canada. In 1984, he was invited to teach at Mid-American Folk Dance Conference, and since then Nico, with his wife Maki Kabayama (a well-known dance instructor in her own right), has been invited to teach all around the North America and several foreign countries.
Nico has also taught at the Asia Folk Dance Camp in the Far East and both Hong Kong and Taiwan.
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