Karen is a passionate dancer, choreographer and teacher, working as a Senior Lecturer in dance at the University of Waikato for over ten years. She is also chairperson of Waikato Contemporary Dance Projects Trust. Karen trained in contemporary dance at Unitec and now choreographs and performs regularly, including in site-specific performances. In teaching Karen combines contemporary dance techniques with yoga, improvisation, releasing and somatic approaches to moving to create empowering and enjoyable learning in dance. In 2011 Karen published her book Dancing across the page: Narrative and embodied ways of knowing and she regularly writes academic articles, stories and reviews as well as creating digital dance works.
Patti has been working in community and educational dance practice since 2003. She is the founder and director of Whaingaroa Youth Movement, a group of sixty, four to sixteen year olds. This Raglan based group focuses on nurturing creative self-expression, creative collaboration, personal well-being and performance skills. Patti is a passionate advocate for community and youth development and sees dance as a vehicle for a positive creative and healthy lifestyle, accessible to all. Her extensive experience in hospitality and small business has been pivotal in the skills required to produce and support arts events.
Mary was born and educated in Canada (Arts and Physical Education), beginning and ending her round-the-world trip in New Zealand. While the four Barbour girls were growing up in the King Country she taught and coached at Piopio College, specialising finally in gymnastics. This led to a position as National Development Officer for the New Zealand Gymnastic Association, then into health promotion with the Heart Foundation and Sport Waikato. Roles contained a mix of administrative and active participation, both nationally and internationally. Although not involved in formal dance, her involvement in the World Gymnaestrada brings a background of planning, preparation and performance that crosses over easily into WCDPT work.
Marie Hermo Jensen
Marie was born in Hammerfest, Norway, and now lives in Te Pahu. She studied dance at the School of Contemporary Dance in Oslo and London Contemporary Dance School (BA Hons). She works for Stellaris DansTeater (Norway), where she started her professional career in 2003. In 2004 she debuted as a choreographer and has shown work around the Barents Region and in New Zealand. Marie works as a dance artist through stellaris dance nz, and is a trustee with Waikato Contemporary Dance Projects Trust. Marie creates websites for dance related organisations connected to Stellaris DansTeater. In 2013 she celebrated 10 years as a professional dance artist. Marie is currently Artistic Director for DanseFestival Barents in Hammerfest, Norway. www.dansefestivalbarents.no