Most people in our team are volunteers. Some people are hired on a project-base.
FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT
French from origin, Aurélia lives in Zurich where she has worked in various roles for large multinational companies, mostly in the field of leadership and organisation development. She now is working as a freelance presence and public speaking coach.
Initially from a Literature and Business academic background, a career break gave her the opportunity to make a dream come true: bring an artistic and philanthropic project to life. Passionate about dance, the topic came to her very naturally.
“The What Dance Can Do Project was born from the belief that dance can change lives. And that more people should know about it. Dance is empowering in so many ways, it can play an active role in driving positive change at individual, community and society levels. Dance programs are not a cost; they are an investment in the future of humanity.”
Seasoned professional in the areas of brand management, strategic marketing and business development, Marie is based in Paris.
Being fascinated by visual arts, including photography and opera, Marie has discovered ballet dancing with Aurélia as an introduction to the What Dance Can Do Project. Realising how much she was herself moved by the poetry and energy of dancers made her grasp the power of dance. She therefore found herself aligned with the What Dance Can Do goal to promote dance as a change-maker for young people.
Marie is supporting the project from Paris where she aims to create events and develop the What Dance Can Do network.
Jean-Baptiste is a French journalist, digital consultant and social media strategist. Former political journalist for a national radio, he now works for cultural institutions (such as Fondation Louis Vuitton), fashion brands (such as Saint Laurent) or non-profits (such as Fraternité Générale) to help them find their way inside the thrilling and infinite digital world.
Jean-Baptiste is deeply convinced that social media and the Internet should not only be considered merely as communication tools but as real media, digital spaces, or even digital stage (as it is for the “3e scène” of the Opera National de Paris with which he has been collaborating for the last couple of years). Jean-Baptiste is a huge fan of ballet & dance in general (also being an amateur ballet dancer) and believes in the power of dance, movement and music to change lives.
Akram Khan is one of the most celebrated and respected dance artists today. In just over fifteen years, he has created a body of work that has contributed significantly to the arts in the UK and abroad. His reputation has been built on the success of imaginative, highly accessible and relevant productions such as DESH, iTMOi, Vertical Road, Gnosis and zero degrees.
An instinctive and natural collaborator, Khan has been a magnet to world-class artists from other cultures and disciplines. His previous collaborators include the National Ballet of China, actress Juliette Binoche, ballerina Sylvie Guillem, choreographers/dancers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Israel Galván, singer Kylie Minogue, visual artists Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Tim Yip, writer Hanif Kureishi and composers Steve Reich, Nitin Sawhney, Jocelyn Pook and Ben Frost.
Khan’s work is recognised as being profoundly moving, in which his intelligently crafted storytelling is effortlessly intimate and epic. Described by the Financial Times as an artist “who speaks tremendously of tremendous things”, a recent highlight of his career was the creation of a section of the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony that was received with unanimous acclaim.
Khan has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career including the Laurence Olivier Award, the Bessie Award (New York Dance and Performance Award), the prestigious ISPA (International Society for the Performing Arts) Distinguished Artist Award, the Fred and Adele Astaire Award, the Herald Archangel Award at the Edinburgh International Festival, the South Bank Sky Arts Award and six Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. Khan was awarded an MBE for services to dance in 2005. He is also an Honorary Graduate of Roehampton and De Montfort Universities, as well as University of London, and an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban.
Khan is an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells, London and Curve Leicester.
Photo: JL Fernandez
Kevin is the Artistic Director of the Royal Ballet. He was born in Yorkshire and trained at The Royal Ballet School and, through an exchange programme, with Royal Danish Ballet. He began his performing career with The Royal Ballet’s sister company Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, and stayed with that company as a Principal during its transformation into Birmingham Royal Ballet. During this time, Kevin performed extensively in the UK and internationally, including as a guest artist with many leading companies. His repertory included all the leading classical roles, such as Prince Siegfried (Swan Lake), Prince Florimund (The Sleeping Beauty), Albrecht (Giselle) and Romeo (in BRB’s first performance of Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet). O’Hare worked with many leading figures in the ballet world, including Ninette de Valois, Peter Wright, Frederick Ashton, MacMillan and David Bintley, and created several roles, including Amynta (Bintley’s Sylvia). He also produced many galas and choreographic evenings.
O’Hare retired from the stage in 2000, entering into a traineeship in company management with the Royal Shakespeare Company. This led to the post of Company Director with BRB in 2001, and in 2004 he joined The Royal Ballet as Company Manager. He was made Administrative Director in 2009 before being appointed to his current role. In 2013, he was appointed to the board of Dance UK.
CHIEF SAFEGUARDING OFFICER
Nolwenn Guibert is an international lawyer. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Paris X Nanterre, an LLM from Washington College of Law, and a DESS from the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas. She started her career as Human Rights Officer with the OSCE in post-conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina. She then served as a legal adviser to international judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia for 12 years and for shorter periods at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the International Criminal Court, and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. More recently, her legal practice shifted to international civil service litigation, conduct, and ethics, working as a disciplinary Officer for the United Nations Department of Field Support in New York and currently as Senior Legal Officer in Geneva. Her ballet training shaped the lawyer she has become and her passion for ballet and human rights has drawn her to further her research on the interactions between the two. She is the co-editor of a book on the topic (Art and Human Rights: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Contemporary Issues) which publication with Edward Elgar Publishing is forthcoming in May 2023.
Ludivine discovered her passion for ballet at 8 in her hometown: Lyon, France. Even though she has been dancing as a hobby, ballet has always been a great way for her to connect with people. In the past twenty years, Ludivine has lived and taken ballet classes in Stockholm, Paris, Dubai, Munich and London. In Dubai, she took part to the organisation of Ballet Galas with dancers from the Paris Opera.
Ludivine used to work in communications, events and social media in the fashion/luxury industry. Lately, she decided to dedicate herself to her long-term passion by joining the team of What Dance Can Do.
Oriane is a French business lawyer, located in Luxembourg. After various experiences in law firms and corporate entities in Paris and Singapore, she has launched in Singapore a start-up specialised in online corporate services.
A culture lover, and a long-time friend of Aurelia, she is delighted to join ”What Dance Can Do”, hoping to be of any help for this beautiful and generous adventure.
As Chief Compliance Officer, Oriane will ensure that the main activities of the association are compliant with laws and regulations and monitor and mitigate any compliance risks.
Selma is both a pharmacist and a ballet dancer. She also is the artistic director of “Studio ElHouma”. She trained in private schools for 15 years and followed dance and teaching courses in France, at Rosella Hightower School and at the Opera National de Paris.
In parallel with her studies in pharmacy, Selma obtained the state diploma in artistic and sports dance in Tunisia and for ten years taught ballet in state and private structures. Her experience at the regional conservatory of Monastir was one of the most enriching, because it allowed her to share her passion with children from diverse backgrounds.
In 2018, with her friend Abdelmonem Chouayet, they decided to adapt for the theatre Daniel Keyes’ book “Flowers for Algernon”. In 2019, she opened a cultural space to enable access to dance and art in general.
“Dance everywhere and for all” is her slogan. What Dance Can Do can only be an organisation she feels close to.
Immersed in the world of classical dance from a very young age, Dorothée Blacher has built her professional path around this art. After a career as a professional dancer in various ballet companies such as the Paris Opera and the English National Ballet, she decided to discover a new aspect of dance joining the brand Repetto. For more than 15 years, she built up marketing and commercial skills until she headed the dance department of Repetto. Aware of the emotional impact of art, Dorothée wishes to share dance-connected values through a vision that she has shaped throughout her career. To invest in the association « What Dance Can Do » is for her an obvious way to give a new meaning to her commitment with the ambition of transmitting and revealing the artistic, cultural, and educational dimension of dance to the younger generations.
Camille di Fiore
Caroline de Chantérac
Caroline is a Parisian who has always believed in the power of the Arts. For this reason, she worked in the music industry for 10 years as an artists manager.
She believes in the extraordinary ability of artists to touch people by emotions. That’s why she is now working to make the cultural sector evolve on social and environmental issues, so that artists may help us to build a better world.
She also dances every week and is a ballet fan: she wouldn’t miss for the world a ballet in Opera Garnier or in Bastille.
Rodolphe Fouillot studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris and California Institute of the Arts of Los Angeles. He danced for 23 years in national and international companies. He also is a certified dance teacher.
Along the years, he has led dance projects aimed at a vast range of people, among others elderly people, people in prison serving long sentences, living with disabilities or terminally ill.
Among other pieces, he choreographed the danced parts of the opera “Le petit poisson d’or” from Youli Galperine and those of “Hansel et Gretel” and of Strauss’ “Chauve-Souris” for the Paris Opera. He also has worked as rehearsal master.
Since September 2016, he choreographs for the Paris Opera Academy. Since 2019, he is in charge of an artistic project involving people living with disabilities and teaches at the CRD of Gennevilliers.
A documentary film, “De rage et de danse” (2019), documents on his recent work.
Anne-Laure, professional dancer and dance teacher from Belgium, started dancing at the age of five. She followed a professional dance education at S.E.A.D (Austria). After her graduation, she became a member of the company’s school, Bodhi Project, and toured internationally.
Since then, she has worked as a free-lance dancer and performer with among others the Liz Roche Company (IE), the Opéra de Paris (F), Kyung-a Ryu Ecointhedream Cie (BE/South Korea), La Monnaie Opéra (BE), Bud Blumenthal/Cie Hybrid (BE/USA) and as an intern for ROSAS/Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (BE).
Anne-Laure is a passionate dance teacher, who for the last ten years has been teaching dance classes and workshops for children and adults in some of the main schools and dance centres in Belgium and abroad. Moreover, she is a certified GYROKINESIS® teacher.
Anne-Laure has always had the dream to link her profession and art with concrete actions for kids in the need and being a collaborator for the WDCD project is truly making it come true.
Hélène has evolved in an environment in which both education and expression through creation are essential. She has been practicing music and dance since a very young age, dancing for example at the CCN Ballet de Lorraine in Nancy and now at the RIDC in Paris.
Her passion for the visual arts (cinema, performing arts) led her to a shift in her professional path. She followed the master in management of cultural activities at ESCP Europe Paris and Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia. After graduating, she specialised in development and project management for the performing arts sector and is now working to support creation, artists and the transmission of these disciplines to young audience.
This is why she is happy to join the What Dance Can Do project team.
Parisian in Milan, Emilie Fouilloux entered the school of Paris Opera at the age of 9.
She joined the corps de Ballet and at 19 years old the Miami city Ballet before joining Teatro Alla Scala in Milan.
Since childhood, Emilie has believed that dance is a channel of communication that transcends the limits of language diversity by relying on movement and harmony instead of language. A vehicle of emotion and intention that can be used to tell a story or to convey a personal message, dance is one of the few arts that has always been present across all cultures and eras. It unites those who perform it and who witness it and is an instrument of both discipline and entertainment.
Emilie recognises the importance of supporting children in their self-expression, passion and talents. She has first-hand experience of the educational value of dancing and knows how much joy it can spark and how beneficial it is for both physical and psychological health. The desire to help young blossoming dancers in disadvantaged environments is why Emilie decided to spring into action and join the What Dance Can Do initiative.
Being very shy, Aline started expressing herself through rhythmic gymnastics, which she practiced at a professional level. The mix of extreme physical training and artistry allowed her to use her body, movements and technique to translate her emotions and accomplish herself.
In parallel, Aline has always been devoted to computer sciences. As a teenager, she entirely built her first computer and was passionate about always upgrading it to the latest hardware. She devoured books and websites, and spent all her spare time learning new skills, keeping abreast to new software, video games and trends.
Once done with gymnastics competitions, Aline completed a Master’s Degree in technical translations in France. She sees languages as incredible means to establish communication between people from all backgrounds, all over the world, and interact and engage with them. She moved to the U.K. and Italy, and started working as an IT-specialised professional translator. Over the years, her career shifted to digital communication and marketing fields.
Driven by her passions for arts, languages and digital comms, Aline uses her skills and life experiences to help create meaningful projects and campaigns. She strongly believes in bringing love, joy and dreams to the generations of tomorrow, all around the world: children are our future. For this reason, she was thrilled to join the What Dance Can Do Project and puts all her expertise and enthusiasm to the service of our ambitious association.
Selina is a Zurich-based freelance photographer. Young successful entrepreneur, she now aspires to grow her artistic potential. “It has been very exciting and inspiring to meet dance artists from diverse backgrounds since we started the Project!”
“The What Dance Can Do Project” relies a lot on image, for online publications and for the book that we prepare. We also exhibited pictures and text in a large exhibition in partnership with the Royal Danish Ballet and Magasin du Nord in May 2018 in Copenhagen.
Selina describes “Capture peoples’ unique moments and emotions in their true essence and turn them into something that ‘sticks'” as her biggest ambition.
Thanks to Selina’s initial involvement, photography has been at the heart of the Project.
Other great photographers have been supporting our cause in various ways documenting on our actions or donating photographs to the organisation: Sylvie Lancrenon, Gérard Uferas, Vincent Boisot, Laura Gilli, Mohamed Taher, Ann Ray, James Bort, Christian Lartillot, Giovanni Vecchi and Julien Benhamou.
WDCD REPRESENTATIVE FOR MOROCCO
Originally from Morocco, Aida is a business leader in the hospitality industry (Opera Plaza and Red Hotel Marrakech) ; dancing is her passion since she was young.
Interested in cultural philanthropy, she created development strategy plans for Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal and has worked for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Foundation.
Currently on a mission to promote academic dance in Morocco, she volunteers with WDCD to facilitate public relations and sponsorship in the country.
British born Alexander Jones was trained at the Royal Ballet School London. He won the gold medal in 2004 Adeleine Genee competition and was presented the Dame Ninette de Valois award, London Ballet Circle. Upon graduation, he joined the Stuttgart Ballet where he was promoted to Principal dancer on stage after his debut performance of John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet.
In 2015 Alexander joined the Ballet Zurich as Principal Dancer. He has performed in many of the major theatres, including Opera Garnier, Royal Opera House, London, Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow and Arena of Verona as part of the Roberto Bolle and friends tour.
Daniela Bertolli is an Italian Brazilian classical ballet dancer prized in her homeland and currently based in Zurich Switzerland.
She graduated from the Sao Paulo City Ballet School, and trained in the Vaganova methodology, RAD methodology, Cuban Technique, Choreography and Culture Management. She collaborated with the Palucca Schule, State Conservatory N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov from St. Petersburg, Theater Kiel, Lisbon Dance Company.
She directed the Wine Tower Ensemble in Zurich and the field of classical dance at „Estação de Dança Arte e Bem – estar“. She is a member of “DanseSuisse” and CID UNESCO. Daniela has worked in and off stage in various productions and countries and has extensive experience teaching children.
Manon Dubourdeaux graduated from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris. She has danced for the Opéra de Bordeaux, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo and The Norwegian Ballet at the Oslo Opera.
She also gained recognition in various art fields such as fashion, films and photography.
Manon has taken part to our activities in Morocco, with Atlas Kinder and has danced for children at the Necker Hospital in Paris.
Maria-Elena is both French and American and started her career as a professional Dancer and Choreographer over 35 years ago.
She practiced for 7 years, performing with the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Theater and the Santa Rosa Ballet, both based in California.
Then life took her in a different direction, and she acquired broad management experience in various environments and roles within the Corporate world : as a Business leader operating Gap stores in the US and in France for 10 years, a Human Resource professional for Gap and Bally Shoes in Switzerland for 7 years, and a Management Consultant specializing in Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness for 17 years.
Since December 2020, she has been working as a freelance consultant based in the south if France. She continues to support clients within the corporate world but also chooses to work with non-profit organizations and private communities of civil society with the overall aim of contributing to the advancement of humanity through the development of leadership and collective wisdom.
Beatriz knows well the transformative power of dance, falling in love with ballet from her very first class and pursuing training under former dancers of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba in her hometown of Miami, Florida.
Of Colombian-German origin, Beatriz speaks several languages and possesses a degree in Linguistics from Columbia University in New York City. Since graduating, she has acquired experience in various countries as a teacher, translator, and interpreter — skills she contributes to What Dance Can Do’s numerous international projects.
Having benefited as a young dancer from programs that sought to open up the enriching world of dance to those who would normally not have access to it, Beatriz is ecstatic to be able to support and develop What Dance Can Do in every way possible. She currently contributes to the project from just outside of Paris.
DANCE ANTHOPOLOGIST IN CHARGE OF MEASURING THE IMPACT OF OUR ACTIVITIES
Saaya is a dance fanatic, contemporary dancer, and dance anthropologist.
She started dancing ballet at the age of five and ever since she is obsessed with any kinds of dances. After travelling to over 30 countries, she began to explore the idea of inclusion and understanding of different cultures through dancing. After working for different art festivals and international exchange programs as well as for digital marketing company in Japan, she moved to Europe to learn more about positive impact of dance to society. She recently finished her MA in Anthropology of Dance with a thesis that discusses the process of community and sense of belonging building in multicultural environment.
She is excited to involve in What Dance Can Do, which seeks to bring positive change to youngsters through dancing..
OTHER PRECIOUS CONTRIBUTORS HAVE INCLUDED
The What Dance Can Do Project
The NZ Team shares WDCD’s exciting vision in bringing change through dance and is driving initiatives in New Zealand since 2020.
PROJECT LEAD NZ
Raina is Malaysian born but grew up in Dunedin, New Zealand. After graduating, she had a short stint in corporate law before working as a journalist in Kuala Lumpur. After 7 years, she relocated to Wellington and resumed legal practice. Raina is an advocate for the important role that arts and literature plays in society. Ballet classes were instrumental for Raina as a young adult helping her through difficult times and giving her the tools she needed to face challenges, learn confidence and push forward. Having experienced what dance has done for her, Raina truly believes in the ability of dance and dance training to change lives and hopes to use dance as a tool to instil hope and improve lives.
VOLUNTEER DANCE COACH
Russian born Alina was a soloist with the Imperial Russian Ballet company. Alina was recruited for ballet training at the age of 10 and moved to Moscow to dance professionally in the scene after completing her classical Vaganova training. Alina also has a degree in media and communications. In 2015, Alina was touring with the company on a Swan Lake tour in Australia and New Zealand, when she met her partner. Alina relocated to Wellington shortly after that and is now an accredited Royal Academy of Dance teacher. Alina truly loves dance and has seen how it cultivates a culture of strength and character. She enjoys sharing her passion for dance and loves seeing her students’ responses to dance training. Nothing excites her more than to see her students exploring the world through the freedoms and disciplines of art.
Paula B.A. Westerby
Paula was born in Brazil and came to New Zealand as a student in 2007, staying ever since. Paula has a background in business administration and education management having worked for years with an organisation focused on offering and supporting school-leavers and second-chance learners seek training and qualifications. Paula is a lover of culture and the arts and believes that the arts can bring people together, heal and bridge gaps. Dance, in Paula’s view, both the experiencing and learning of dance, teaches values and resilience through new perspectives. It also gives kids a way of expressing themselves. Paula is excited to see how the initiative can build and change lives of New Zealand children.