A little about us...
We live in Zeist, which is a medium sized city in The Netherlands, almost in the middle of the country. Zeist is about 45 minutes South/South-East of Amsterdam. Gert-Jan was born in The Netherlands; Susie was born in the U.S.A. but has been living in The Netherlands since 1985.
Gert-Jan is retired from an applied science institute where he worked as a chemical analyst and then as a safety supervisor. Susie has also stopped working as the webmaster for the county government, and we plan to spend more time in the States both dancing and being with family.
Our main hobby is square and round dancing. We started round dancing in 1984 and cueing/teaching round dancing in 1986. We teach all levels from phase I to phase VI and have a Carousels Club in Zeist, NL and also one in the Atlanta area. We also teach and cue at numerous festivals throughout Europe. We have taught in England, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, The Czech Republic, Austria and Belgium as well as in the States, both at a National Convention and at ICBDA (formerly URDC). We enjoy choreography, and one of our dances, "Calendar Girl" was chosen as a Round Dancer Magazine Classic and is a ROUNDALAB Golden Classic.
From 1991-1994 and from 2000-2006 we were the European Round Dance Coordinators for the European Callers and Teachers Association (ECTA). While in this board position, we helped to establish the present European criteria for testing cuers and teachers. We also put together a booklet for new cuers and wrote many teacher training tips. At the request of the cuers from the British Association we helped establish the same type of system in England. We have given a number of Teacher Education Seminars throughout Europe and feel that the best way to better dancers is through better teachers. Together with some other members of ECTA we are now working on an education plan for all our members. We also write articles for the European Association of American Square Dancers Bulletin and notes for cuers. As well as being members of our European organization, we feel it is important to support other dance organizations. We are members of ROUNDALAB, CALLERLAB, ICBDA (International Choreographed Ballroom Dance Association, Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC), and of course our local Dutch organization, the NVSD.
Gert-Jan is a former amateur ballroom champion and has taken part in various competitions including the Open British Championships in Blackpool. His knowledge of figures, foot placement, body actions and technique have helped immensely in our round dance teaching. Now in order to get some dancing in ourselves, and to keep on learning, we take ballroom lessons when we can.
If you would like a copy of our dance resume, please click here.
When we have a chance, we enjoy traveling for pleasure (like most people). You can look at some of our photo's here.
We have 2 daughters, and 3 grandsons and 2 granddaughters who all live in The States.