Mittwoch 22.05.24
From: Michaela Bosshard

The annual Danse Suisse Talentscouting Days, held once again at the Zurich University of Arts (ZHdK), hosted around 270 talented young dancers. Due to the high demand, this year's event was extended to five days.

There were 120 performance reviews of existing art and sports students as well as a further 150 applications for initial admission to an art or sport school (K&S) and/or talent assessment. Thanks to a successful partnership with the management of the BA Contemporary Dance program, the Talentscouting Days were once again hosted at the ZHdK dance studios in Toni-Areal Zurich. Danse Suisse would like to extend our gratitude to Gianni Malfer, Operational Director of the BA Contemporary Dance and Samuel Wuersten, Artistic Director BA/MA Dance and Interim Director, taZ.

After Danse Suisse offered breaking as an examination subject and entered into a cooperation with the → Swiss Breaking Federation last year, we were able to further expand the breaking option and establish it as a permanent additional examination subject.

This year, 4 participants were able to take advantage of the opportunity to be examined by experts from the Swiss Breaking Federation which strengthened our collaboration. Demand for hip-hop has also increased with a total of 30 registrations recorded this year. Of these registrations, 14 were for K&S first-time registrations and 16 for K&S performance reviews.

Our team of experts:

  • Samuel Wuersten - Artistic Director BA/ MA, Interim Director taZ, ZHdK
  • Gianni Malfer - Operational Director BA, ZHdK
  • Jason Beechey - Head of Dance, ZHdK
  • Kathleen McNurney - President Danse Suisse, former Artistic Director "Tanz Luzerner Theater"
  • Yann Aubert - Dance department Pro Helvetia, dance teacher
  • Bembika - House Dance Pioneer
  • Oliver Dähler - Managing Director Szene Schweiz/SSUDK
  • Theo Diedenhofer - Breaker, Swiss Breaking Federation
  • Stefanie Fischer - Teacher Tanz Akademie Zürich (taZ)/Rehearsal director
  • Etienne Frey - Choreographer and dance teacher
  • Daniell' Ficola - Dance teacher, school director OFFDance
  • Arman Grigoryan - Faculty of dance BA, ZHdK
  • Galina Grigoryan-Mihaylova - Dance faculty ballet school for the Opera House, BA/taZ, ZHdK
  • Nathalie Guth - Dance teacher
  • Stephane Kingue - Hip-Hop dance teacher
  • Agata Lawniczak - Dance teacher AKAR Studio
  • Mikal Mardas - Dance teacher, choreographer, Dance Area
  • Salomé Martins - Dance teacher, rehearsal director, Dance and Art Königsfelden
  • Perla Miscioscia - Dancer, dance teacher Hip Hop
  • Sara Nabutas - Dance teacher, Tanzwerk, 101
  • Pilar Nevado - Dance teacher, ballet school for the opera house
  • Filipe Portugal - Choreographer Dance and Art Königsfelden
  • Patricia Rotondaro - Lecturer BA, ZHdK
  • Isabelle Severs - Lecturer and Rehearsal Director, Munich University of Music and Performing Arts
  • Olivier Vercoutère - Lecturer and Rehearsal Director, Munich University of Music and Performing Arts
  • Lesli Wiesner - Dance teacher Tanzwerk 101, Atelier Rainbow Tanzkunst

Training management:

  • Ballet - Galina Grigoryan-Mihaylova, Olivier Vercoutère, Isabelle Severs
  • Contemporary - Giorgia D'Amico, Salomé Martins
  • Breaking - Michael Hofmann
  • Hip-Hop - Oriana Glory Zeoli, Stephane Kinque, Niko Komplex Culap


  • Brian Gill - BA Contemporary Dance, ZHdK
  • Robert Ashby - BA Contemporary Dance, ZHdK, former taZ

In addition to performance assessments and individual consultations, dance medicine examinations were carried out by specialist sports physician Dr. Natina Schregenberger and her team.

Performance Pressure in Dance

There is a growing and significant need to bring more awareness to the importance of mental health within all forms of dance training and education. Mental health is still largely marginalized and the support and coaching of dancers is rarely based on a holistic approach.

Emerging and professional dancers take intense risks, undergo physical and mental strain and endure an array of stress factors in order to realize their goals and dreams on stage. In addition, many dancers identify themselves primarily through dance and have thus built an identity for themselves that is rooted in dance. Their existence and the process of becoming human and personal development are therefore often based on the foundation of their dance identity. Therefore, a holistic approach which offers skills and methods to cope with internal and external stress factors is of central importance.

(Source: https://sportaerztezeitung.com/rubriken/psychologie/12282/mentale-gesundheit-im-sport/).

In order to support young dancers and their families through the pressures that may arise from an audition such as the Talentscouting Days, a seminar on the topic of performance pressure was offered in cooperation with Karin Iten from Swiss Olympic. The seminar promoted further discourse on this topic between parents and dancers.

Read the course description → here.

Balancing Pressure Demands

Joy should be at the center of a young person's motivation to dance. This joy, however, is often challenged due to the demands that are associated with a career in dance.

In a necessary examination of these career pressures, the central focus must be the well-being of young dancers. Dance teachers, leaders, students and parents must reflect to understand the delicate balance between under and overstimulation in dance education. Diligent and regular communication can help to recognize and intercept signs of excessive stressors at an early stage. Healthy processing of these pressures requires realistic and transparent goal setting deriving from the self-determination of the dancers, expertise of the dance educators, and support of the family.

There is an opportunity now to help dancers, educators and families in understanding how to support healthy management of performance pressures.

Today is an opportunity to think about this. After a brief introduction to Swiss Olympic's Ethics Compass, the event will primarily lead to an exchange of ideas.

Special Network for Parents

Parents are an imperative source of support for young dancers. The full benefit of their support, however, could be enriched with a deeper understanding of dance as an art and performance discipline. In order to give parents the opportunity to offer optimal support during training and especially in the context of art & sports training, we have invited Dr. Aline Steinbrecher from the interest group “Sporteltern” to present her network at the Talentscouting Days. You can find more information → here.

Parents are crucial in many ways for the artistic and athletic careers of young dancers. Supporting, encouraging and letting go at the right moment are demanding tasks that are performed by mothers and fathers. Young talents who, in addition to school and dance education, undertake extensive further training and numerous competitions are dependent on additional support and understanding from those around them. Their parents play a decisive role in this and take on organizational, logistical, communicative and financial tasks.

Source: → https://www.zh.ch/de/sport-kultur/sport/leistungssport/sporteltern.html

Special thanks go to Dr. Natina Schregenberger for initiating and arranging the contact with Ms. Karin Iten and Dr. Aline Steinbrecher.

The next generation of dancers who have participated in the annual Talentscouting days and our summerdance program is particularly close to Danse Suisse`s heart. Being introduced to them during these programs enables the Danse Suisse team to follow the dance and artistic development of the participants and accompany them on this stage of their journey.