Bianca de Jong

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Bulgarian
Bulgarian, Turkish, international

Bianca de Jong

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Bianca de Jong has been teaching folk dance since 1977. In 1981 she qualified as a folk dance teacher, officially recognized by the Ministry of Culture in the Netherlands.

In 1987, the Ministry graduated her on the level of the Dance Academy in the Netherlands with the so-called "Benoembaarheidsverklaring." The same year, Bianca passed the examination for the degree of Doctorandus in the Sciences of Education, mastering in Orthopedagogy at the University of Amsterdam. After that she qualified post-doctorate as a health care psychologist. At present she works in the field of youth care as an advisor, researcher, and developer of youth care programs and interventions.

From 1978 on Bianca studied Bulgarian folklore and traveled to Bulgaria. She visited amateur and professional ensembles, researchers, and village dancers.

From 1983 to 1990, she visited Turkey to study folklore.

From 1981 to 1995, Bianca organized folklore tours to Bulgaria and once to Turkey.

Bianca is active in several aspects of teaching folk dance. Besides Bulgarian folk dance, she teaches folk dances from different countries on all levels. She has taught in Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Australia, Canada, and England, as well as Belgium, Finland, Hong Kong, Israel, Sweden, Taiwan, and the United States. She has taught at the dance academy in Tilburg (Holland) and Koupio (Finland) and is still a guest teacher for folklore dance techniques at the professional "Het Internationaal Danstheater" in Amsterdam.

Bianca is actively involved in training folk dance teachers. Teaching folk dance is a great passion of hers and she considers the teaching as an art and craft in itself that brings a lot of fun to her students! Her basic philosophy in teaching is that it should be done in such a way that you can describe it as "learning by dancing."

She has been head of the teaching staff of a two year part-time education session in Holland and was involved as a guest teacher for Bulgarian and Turkish folk dance and the subject of group-dynamics as well as a member of the examination committee. Invited by Tineke van Geel, Bianca taught folkdance teaching techniques several times to Japanese folk dance teachers during study trips in the Netherlands. In collaboration with her colleague Jan Knoppers, she developed and executed a one-year training session for recreational folk dance teachers in Switzerland.

She is member of the teaching staff of a three-year education series for teachers of Sacred Dance on the subjects of folkdance and it's teaching techniques. Bianca leads several workshops for folk dance teachers in Holland as well as abroad.

From 1979 to 1985, she performed with the Dutch group Praznik, specializing in Bulgarian dance, and from 1987 to 1991, she performed in the Turkish group Tozak. She was the co-founder of both groups.

Bianca has published articles on Bulgarian folklore and teaching techniques in The Netherlands and abroad. She has choreographed for amateur performing groups in Australia, Holland, and Hong Kong as well as for "Het Internationaal Danstheater." She has been member of several juries at folk dance festivals.

In 1994 she produced a compact disc: "Movements in Bulgarian Folk Music."

Recently Bianca choreographed some dances based upon her experience in Balkan dancing. The most well known are: Telefonski Čoček, Čumajle, and Ashun Daje Mori.

Dances Bianca has taught include: Danec, Džinovsko, Koičowata, Mama na Stojan Dumaše, Puštonu Ludo i Mlado, and Veselinovo Horo.