Hello wonderful people, my name is Katarina Van den Wouwer and I am here to offer my presence in the form of a movement facilitator, and massage therapist.
My background is rooted in the professional field of performative dance. After graduating at the Royal Ballet school of Antwerp I joined the Royal Ballet of Flanders in 2011. Two years later, I moved to The Hague to join the Netherlands Dance Theater, where I danced three years with NDT 2 and one year with NDT 1. Dancing with NDT offered me the experience to perform and collaborate with various internationally known choreographers. After a six year journey of exploration, learning, and performing, I decided to shift my career to be an independent artist, traveller, and teacher.
Dancing professionally confronted me with various injuries and mental difficulties. These challenges guided me to the realm of the healing arts. My curiosity was drawn to the exploration of the body-mind connection when I started the practice of Vipassana meditation in 2014. From that moment onwards, I came across different forms of bodywork and eastern philosphy such as martial arts, yoga, buddhism and sufism, which kept inspiring me in the journey of exploring mind, body and the world around me. I started with the practice of Reiki, which is a form of energy healing coming from Japan. In 2019, I came in contact with the wonderfully rich practice of Thai Yoga Massage and elements from the craniosacral field. These practices drew me into the amazingly fascinating and complex realm of the body. My interest kept expanding into the therapeutic side of dance which led me to study a Master in Dance Movement Therapy program for one year, which allowed me to experience the therapeutic elements of dance and made me realise the immense nourishing power of movement for the body and mind. In the past years I had the chance to teach dance and facilitate movement, sharing my experience in various settings and target groups. I offered dance classes and workshops for elderly, children, young professional dancers and amateur adolescents.
I feel very grateful to have come across such wonderful methods of Healing Arts. I am still actively exploring and practicing Mindfulness, Laban/Bartenieff Movement System, Body-Mind centering, Authentic Movement, Martial Arts, Yoga, Reiki and Thai Yoga Massage. They keep inspiring, nourishing and challenging me. I am very happy to witness how they deepen and inform my work and y experience of day to day life.
"Deep listening is the kind of listening that can help relieve the suffering of another person. You can call it compassionate listening. You listen with only one purpose: the help him or her to empty his hearth."
Thich Nath Hanh
The key element to my approach is developing and cultivating a sense of deep listening. In both the movement session and the massage treatment, I offer my presence. With non-judgmental attention, a playful curiosity, and compassionate sensitivity, I listen to your body and your energy. For me listening is the gateway to connect and understand another person’s body and behavior. Listening brings forth the acceptance of what is present in the moment and allows the space for movement, and information to shift, travel, unfold, or transform.
I approach my work with a sense of curiosity. The exploration of the moment itself, my body, your body and the space. In order to explore, I aim to create a safe space within myself, to hold a safe space for you. Once this safety is established we can start a playful exploration throughout our movement or/and massage experience.
For me attentive listening, compassionate touch, movement and authentic presence are generators of joy, vitality, healing and love. And these are the elements that I want to share with you.