Andre is a professional folk dance teacher, and a trained primary school teacher from the Netherlands.
Over the past three decades he has taught International dances, and made many choreographies, in the Netherlands as well as abroad. He works with different age groups, accommodating all levels from beginners to highly advanced.
He specialises in dances from Hungary and Romania, as well as children's dances, which has been particularly useful in his job as a primary school teacher.
For many years he was the principal teacher of the Phoenix Folkdance Ensemble in Apeldoorn, and has set up school projects for the highly acclaimed professional Folkloric Dance Theatre in Amsterdam.
Andre completed the two-year Folkdance Teacher Training Course in Holland, and has since been Principal Teacher for the course, as well as a guest teacher for specialist Romanian and Hungarian classes.
In 1989, Andre initiated a plan to hold a similar (though condensed) course in Sydney. This course has been run at regular intervals ever since, with Andre as principal teacher and then as a guest teacher.
Outside the Netherlands, he has taught in Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Italy. He visits Australia every year, each time taking a fresh repertoire. He has held workshops for school teachers, school children, recreational folkdance groups, and been guest teacher at many many residential workshop weekends.
He has produced an extensive range of folkdance resource sets (music, booklets and video) for his Australian public.
Most of all, he believes that the process of learning to dance should be fun at all levels, at all times, for everyone. As such the focus is not so much on how to perfect certain steps, but rather to dance to the music and relate to the cultural and social aspects of the dance.
Several NZ IFD teachers find his annual collections a major source of great new dances, and three or four have attended his sessions in Australia. We are delighted when he includes a visit to New Zealand to teach the fresh repertoire, and to fit in some teacher training too.
Folk Dance Australia has a list of Andre's resources. Enquiries to Kaye Laurendet (Sydney): okaye @ optusnet.com.au