Helena Verheyen is a vernacular jazz dancer and costume designer based in Ghent, Belgium.
Over the last 18 years she has explored many dance forms, from ballet to african dance, tango, capoeira, contemporary dance, theatre, samba & modern jazz dance. She bumped into lindy hop in 2009, and it was love at first sight. Ever since then, she has been attending numerous workshops in Europe and attended dance residencies in Montreal and New York.
Focusing on lindy hop and solo authentic jazz, she has created her own unique style which integrates the variety of the dance styles she studied previously. She is a bomb of energy on the dancefloor, surprising her partner with dazzling footwork.
She started her performing career with the Belgian authentic jazz and Lindy Hop troupe, the Dipsy Doodles and Swingzapoppin, who she danced with until 2012. She has been teaching since May 2010 with talented dancers like Joris Focquaert, Andy Spitz, Brecht Devloo, Sep Vermeersch, Erik Lenaers, Sander Versluys, Kris Bauwens, Mertcan Mert, Stoff Van Belle, Zelino Modesto Rocha, Joren Van Eyken and Philippe Lombaert .
The Lindy Hop is an American dance that evolved in Harlem, New York City, in the 1920s and 1930s and originally evolved with the jazz music of that time. It was very popular during the Swing era of the late 1930s and early 1940s. Lindy was a fusion of many dances that preceded it or were popular during its development but is mainly based on collegial shag, breakaway and Charleston. It is frequently described as a jazz dance and is a member of the swing dance family.
In these days, It's all about sharing, to be able to dance on music with a history, dance with a connection, putting past & present together, with personality.
Helena is teaching lindy hop since 2010, teaching with several dance partners, in Gent and international.
Picture by Eric Bobrie
Authentic jazz & slow drag
Authentic Jazz or Vernacular Jazz is a dance with african american roots, which was quite popular during the 20's and 40's. It is influenced by earlier african american dances (1800 cakewalk, black bottom,..), and has inspired later dance styles (ex. modern jazz, hip hop, break dance etc.) It is danced solo, usually on swing jazz or blues music (as well as similar genres) and is based on rhythm and improvisation.
Helena has been teaching and performing authentic jazz, slow drag, & charleston since 2010, in Gent, Brussels, Tallinn, Edinburgh, Stockholm, Paris, Zurich, Dundee, Lisbon, Athens, Ibiza ...
More to come!