In May 2019, a dance school called “Tanzzentrum NRW” opened its doors in the German town of Bielefeld and Jennifer Bergs, the school director, welcomed her students. Her story is quite unique in the world of dance teachers.
Whilst still attending school Ms Bergs professionally trained at the Royal Academy of Dance in London to become a classical dancer. Although she never lost her love and passion for dance, this was not the only profession she had in mind and so she studied law and trained to become a dance teacher at the same time. When asked how she coped with these two challenging and very different educational directions, her response is modest: “It wasn’t always easy but my dog helped me enormously to make it through.”
Ms Bergs’ rescue dog Amy is a regular at the Tanzzentrum NRW
In order to give other full-time working dance enthusiasts the chance to train as dance teachers, Ms Bergs sat down with two board members of the German Dance Teachers’ Association to develop an avocational traineeship programme. Her dance school is now the only one in Germany which offers a state-recognised traineeship for working students.
Hard work pays off: Jennifer Bergs is a lawyer and dance teacher
With the new concept in place, a suitable dance studio was needed. For Ms Bergs it was important to find a space which is bright and full of natural light. She found the perfect spot in the loft of a shopping centre with some additional advantages: nearby shops, parking spaces, good public transport connections and a park right next to the building – perfect for a life with a dog.
For the interior of her dance studio Ms Bergs was absolutely not willing to compromise: “A Harlequin floor was my first and only choice because they are simply the best floors on the market.” She had danced on Harlequin floors both at the Palucca School in Dresden, where she is currently studying for another dance degree, and the theatre in Bielefeld.
The dance studio before the interior fitting, carefully watched by Amy
Ms Bergs chose the Harlequin Flexity sprung floor with a black and white Harlequin Reversible Pro vinyl performance surface. The sprung floor provides the students with the right degree of energy return to protect their joints and support their movements. The dance floor is completed with a vinyl performance floor with enough grip to minimise the risk of slip and fall injuries without inhibiting spinning movements. To preserve the room’s bright feel, the Reversible Pro vinyl floor was installed with the white side up.
Professional installation by the Harlequin team
Before the finalisation of the project, there was one last worry: How would the dance floor react to the poles which would be installed and disassembled regularly for Pole Dance and Pole Fitness classes? The Harlequin Sales Manager for the DACH region Thomas Sieber travelled down to Bielefeld to test this and make sure the floor could not be damaged by the poles. His checks were satisfactory and so he gave the green light for the installation of 160m² of Harlequin floor.
Since the opening ceremony, the room keeps filling with dance students who practise different genres of dance: ballet, jazz, modern, pole and even dance acrobatics to name just a few. The class attendees are equally impressed with the Harlequin floor. “There is a noticeable difference between Harlequin and other floors which tend to be more slippery and less flexible.”