Maria Terese Engdahl-Høgåsen

  • Photo by Thomas Leikvoll

I am a dance artist, living with a disability. I mention this because my lived experience strongly affects my artistic approach. I am curious about exploring different bodies, both in teaching and creating. I believe that to stay relevant to society, the dance art has to include a greater diversity of bodies and capacities than the present moment.

Accessing professional training as a dancer with Cerebral Palsey has been challenging. I was not able to get a formal degree of dance, but have done my training through evening classes, workshops and travelling. This way I got a wide experience through meeting different people, styles and approaches, especially related with dance and (dis)ability. I also have a bachelors degree in sport psychology and coaching in relation to dance, which has added a theoretical and science based approach to my creative work.

I now work freelance as a dance artist, creator and teacher. I have specialized in working with differently abled dancers, and this is where my heart truly lies. I have worked with different age groups and skill levels, and I prefer very mixed groups. I choose to see this great diversity as a resource rather than an obstacle or a challenge. Most of my experience lies within the field of teaching and coaching, but I have also assisted artistic processes. Currently I am working on a research project, «NORMAL», together with Daniel Mariblanca, produced by 71bodies and co-produced/supported by Carte Blanche among others. The research is inspired by topics related to sexuality and bodies that challenge normative standards. I am also working on a pre project/artistic research for an autobiographical solo work.