For Martine van Santen (1982), an internationally renowned dancer, choreographer and instructor, art allows her to express the essence of her existence in this world. Although she has inspired countless audiences on stages around the world, she felt a desire to give back through her artistry, experience the emotion that comes with dancing for a cause, and help others find their voices through movement. She enrolled in a master’s program at the Utrecht School of the Arts while teaching dance at Transvaal College and completing an apprenticeship with Young in Prison. Little did she know that working with these groups in tandem would provide her with the insight and experience to establish Dance in Art, a center for dance, art education and performance training. Ms. van Santen encourages her performers to research various modes of art to actualize their full potential and find their artistic points of view. She developed this learning model while working on her master thesis, which focused on dance expression and art methodologies for young offenders and young adults with severe psychiatric disorders. Applying what she learned through her research, Martine has helped dancers from various backgrounds find their unique styles and develop their personal abilities.
Ms. van Santen has more then 10 years of experience in choreography, having recently become the artistic and business director of Dance in Art. As an organizational expert, she juggles many tasks, from serving as the artistic director and choreographer of the studio, as well as overseeing scheduling, handling finances and teaching.
Looking back, Ms. van Santen attributes her success to her education and her experiences working in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and New York. She became involved in her profession through a natural chain of events stemming from her prior experiences in the field. Since graduating with her bachelor’s degree, she has worked as a dancer, choreographer and teacher for several freelance art projects and modern ballet companies. In 2006, she became the artistic director of the Contemporary Dance Company, ‘Dansgroep Haarlem,’ and in 2008 she was appointed as the European development coordinator and assistant to the director with the New English Contemporary Ballet.
Ms. van Santen received a Master of Education in Arts from the Utrecht School of the Arts in 2012, as well as a Bachelor of Performing Arts in contemporary dance and choreography from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, where she graduated with honors in 2004. In years to come, Ms. van Santen would like to expand the company and incorporate different types of art into the company’s performances.
Dance & workshop experience: a.o. William Forsyth, Nederlands Dans Theater 2, Henri Oguike, Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company, Random Dance Company, Trisha Brown, Scottish Dance Theatre and ‘Rite of Spring’ Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, New York, United States.