Close Me

" one just never stops learning "

I started ballet classes at the age of three, taking my RAD exams, in my hometown of Eindhoven in the Netherlands. I used to go to classes before school started at 7 o'clock in the morning! I joined the Bach ballet Group and performed in The Netherlands and toured around Europe in the holidays. After gaining my High School Diploma, I went to London at the age of 18 and was accepted onto the Teachers Training Course of the Royal Academy of Dancing. I graduated after three years and returned to the Netherlands to start teaching at my old ballet school. However, I missed dancing and returned to London where I joined the Stella Mann School of Dancing, to gain further qualifications. (Stella Mann, who started the school in 1946, still lives in Hampstead!)
I enjoyed dancing so much that I decided to audition and my first dancing job was in Birmingham with a company called Atmozphier Dance. We worked hard but also had a lot of fun. After that I worked with Paul and Judy Delme, danced on televison and spend time dancing in and organizing shows on cruise ships (the best time of my life!)
After performing for a few years I decided I wanted to teach and I started teaching at the Stella Mann College, West Street School, Royal Academy of Dance and directed the Youth Dance Theatre with my partner Linda Streat. After teaching for a few years I was asked to become an Examiner for the RAD and in 1996 I started a Degree course at Durham University (Dance and Contextual Studies). Whilst studying for this degree my daughter Anya was born in 1997. After the Degree I decided to take a PGCE in Dance at the Institute of Education, which I finished in 2005. So I've been studying a lot over the past few years. One just never stops learning!
At the present time I am still examining for the RAD and teaching at Stella's, the RAD, St Mary's and other schools, but am really looking forward to teaching you at the Royal School.

Erna Kuenen

Examiner of the RAD