Tom Koch


tom-koch-vicTom Koch was born in Missouri USA in 1953. He trained as an actor, singer and dancer at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. His early professional work in regional theater allowed him opportunities to perform in a wide variety of productions, ranging from Shakespeare, musical comedy, experimental theater, ballets and choreographed dances in operas, musicals and other theatrical pieces. In 1979 he moved to New York where he began teaching ballroom dancing at the renowned Fred Astaire Dance Studio. But years of back pain finally led to a severe injury and the decision to stop performing. Then in 1983, Tom took his first lesson in the Alexander Technique, and so found his true calling.

After completing a three-year professional training, Tom was certified to teach the Alexander Technique by the American Center for the Alexander Technique in New York in 1987. Among his very first private students were several members of William Forsythe's Ballet Frankfurt. At their urging, Tom moved to Frankfurt in 1991. The unique style of William Forsythe and the movement intelligence required of his dancers created an ideal environment for Tom to develop the application of the Alexander Technique and its principles to the demands facing dancers.

In 1994 Tom relocated once more to Amsterdam, where he taught for seven years at the Opleiding Moderne Theaterdans in the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten. He has also taught workshops for Artez Music Conservatory (Zwolle), Codarts Dance Academy in Rotterdam, Charleroi Danses, Dance Company Krisztina de Chatel, Wuppertaler Tanztheater (dir. Pina Bausch), and De Rotterdamse Dansgroep, PIA (Productions for Independent Artists, Amsterdam), and the International Theatre School Festival Amsterdam. Tom also helped inspire and guide Anouk van Dyke as she developed her own Counter Technique for dance, as well as teaching for her "One Body - One Career" summer intensive programs for dancers.

Tom's primary work has always been his private teaching practice. There he has taught the Technique not only to ballet dancers but also modern dancers, jazz dancers, tap dancers and belly dancers, pianists, drummers, violinists and oboists, opera singers, show singers, blues singers and jazz singers, as well as computer programmers, rock climbers, executive trainers, and even a government economist. He has helped clients cope with medical conditions, such as scoliosis, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Bechterev Disease (ankylosing spondylosis), and AIDS, as well as temporary challenges, like broken bones.

Along with Michael Schumacher and Vitor Garcia, Tom co-founded Group Schwuppdiwupp, a collaborative ensemble that creates cabaret-like theater, fusing dance, vaudeville, voice and disco. In recent years, Tom has also served in the roles of dramaturge and movement consultant, such as for the Ballet Frankfurt production of Blender Head, for Roberta Marques and Ronald Burchie in their Rotterdam production of When Gene Kelly Smiles, and for Ivana Muller's award-winning While We Were Holding It Together. Tom's most recent projects include coaching Michael Schumacher and Sabine Kupferberg in Queen Lear for the Holland Dance Festival, and  movement consultant for Dansgroep Amsterdam's My Favorite Parasite.


Partial list of clients and students

Companies and Businesses

Frankfurt Ballet and the Forsythe Company 1991-2004

Netherlands Dance Theater (Jiří Kylián)

Charleroi Dance Company (Frédéric Flamand)

Danstheater Wuppertaal (Pina Bausch)

Anoukvandijk DC (Amsterdam)

Chunky Move (Melbourne)

Velocity Dance Center (Seattle)

Samadhi Dance Company (Amsterdam)

Pretty Ugly Dance Company

(Amanda Miller)

Rotterdam Dance Group (Käthy Gosschalk)

Djazzex (The Hague)

Dansgroep Kriztina de Châtel(Amsterdam)

Amsterdamse Hoogschool voor de Kunsten (Amsterdam University for the Arts, modern theater dance, guest teacher 1996-2004

92nd St Y

Juilliard Dance Department (substitute for Jane Kosminsky, 1988)

Berenschot Utrecht (workshops for office workers)

Movement Coaching for Dance Theater

Blender Head (Frankfurt Ballet, choreography by Michael Schumacher)

When Gene Kelly Smiles... (Rotterdam, film dance piece by Roberta Marques, Ronald Burchie)

While We Were Holding It Together(choreography by Ivana Müller)

Queen Lear (Holland Dance Festival, by and with Michael Schumacher and Sabine Kupferberg)

Infanten (choreography by Jolika Sudermann)

My Favorite Parasite (Dansgroep Amsterdam , choreography by Michael Schumacher)

Countertechnique teachers

Countertechnique is the dance technique developed by Tom's student Anouk van Dijk. She and Tom teach together yearly for the One Body One Career Intensive.

Nina Wollny

Angie Lau

Birgit Gunzl

Philipp Fricke

Eilit Marom

Joy Davis

Jorijn Vriesendorp

Jenia Kasatkina

Musicians, Singers and Conductors

Thom Willems (composer)

Han Bennink (drummer, visual artist)

Mary Oliver (violin)

Anne La Berge (flute, composer)

David Dramm (composer)

Tony Overwater (bass)

Rudolf Nottrot (violin)

Israel Golani (lute, theorbo, Baroque guita)

Robert van Heumen (Composer, laptop instrumentalist, sound designer)

Ben Frost (composer)

Margot Kazimirska (ballet accompanist)

Ties Mellema (saxophone)

Frederik Boits (viola)

Mickey Smid (guitar, composer)

Katharina Schönberg (violin)

Marieke Schut (oboe)

Talitha van der Spek (singer)

Ayelet Harpaz (singer)

Hans Peter Blochwitz (singer)

Marja Bon (piano)

Paulien Kostense (violin, conductor)

Vincenzo Viola (violin)

Bernadette Verhagen (viola)

Peppie Wiersma (percussion)

Tinta von Altenstadt (violin)

Robbert van Hulzen (drummer)

Rozemarie Heggen (bass)

Irma Haverkamp/a> (violin)

Diamanda La Berge Dramm (violin)

Jakob Kullberg (cello)