Hildegarde De Baets

Hildegarde De Baets teaches the Alexander Technique to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students of the Modern Theatre Dance department.

Hildegarde has had a connection to the AHK for many years. She graduated from the dance department at the Amsterdam School of the Arts and finished an acting training a few years later. She worked in the theatre field as a performer and participated in several theatre productions. But due to many injuries and a critical, judgemental attitude towards herself a stop was inevitable. This inspired her to look deeper into the causes of malfunctioning, which led her to a path of research that resulted in engaging in a three year Alexander Technique teacher training course. Alexander Technique is a method that has been recognised as an important foundation in developing the professional skills of an artist.

She works at the Modern Theatre Dance Department of the AHK, at the Music Department of Codarts, and at a private practice where she meets dancers, actors, musicians and people with many different backgrounds who are interested in the process of knowing themselves better and have the wish to move and live with more ease and lightness and to enhance their performance.

From 2011 to 2013 Hildegarde attended a post-graduate education in mindfulness to teach the classical eight-week mindfulness training course as developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts and further examined at Oxford University and Radboud University. She also teaches this 8 week MBSR training course at the MTD department.

Alexander Technique
The method used in the lessons at the MTD is based on the principles of the Alexander Technique. This technique is an educational method and is not a form of bodywork. As with any kind of education, the student is an active participant in the learning process. In the lessons the students are gaining knowledge and understanding about - 'good use of the self' - creating awareness of themselves and of how to work in a healthy way with regard to body and mind.

During their 3 years of training the students gain:

a. knowledge and insight of the historical context of the Technique and F. M. Alexander’s development of the ‘Principles’.
b. a deeper understanding of the principles: inhibition, directions, consciousness of habits, primary control, end-gaining, means whereby, faulty sensory appreciation.
c. experiential knowledge of personal habits and issues relating to their use in daily life and dance life, and learn to apply and maintain the principles of the technique to daily and dance life, like

  • directing in stillness and movement, in speaking and in more challenging situations
  • awareness of choice in how to respond in a given situation.
  • identifying habitual emotional responses to everyday stimuli through awareness of language and body language.
  • releasing tension and stress during performances.

d. Observing critically and analysing their own performance practice and that of others.

This leads to an embodied understanding and implementation of the skills that enhance their dance performance on every level.

Vulnerability and awareness are both important qualities for an artist to develop. Therefore it is important to create a safe environment where dancers can learn and be open to investigating themselves and the process they are engaged in. At the same time they have to be challenged to explore new fields of moving and being. To step into the unknown.

In the Alexander Technique lessons the dancers are stimulated in a safe environment to look deeper into their selves and to observe their patterns of behaviour so they are able to grow and develop and to refine 'their instrument' as an artistic and technical dancer and as a human being.