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derik kleinhesselink


When I was very young, I remember very distinctly watching people; how they move, how they walk, how they stand.  I was always fascinated by people’s bodies and why they looked the way they did.  I was also really active as a child, although very uncoordinated.  My mom said, “You never crawled.  You rolled everywhere.  Then one day, you stood up and started running.  I don’t think you’ve stopped since!”


As I grew up I became interested first in music, playing the flute and singing.  Then I  became active in theater and finally dance in High School.  Song and dance led me to a career as a professional performer.


I attended San Jose State University to pursue my studies in Vocal Performance but changed my major to Dance after one semester.  There I learned about anatomy and kineseology as well as organic movement and technique.  I left San Jose to move to New York City to pursue my aspirations of performing.  After a few regional shows I landed my dream show, the National Tour of CHICAGO.  Traveling on a bus across the country and Canada, performing night after night for 18 months in a very physically demanding show finally took it’s toll on my 26 year old body.  Once the tour was complete, I had recurring knee and hip problems and constant lower back pain.  I changed my professional focus to my hobbies of photography and makeup in order to rest my fatigued body.  It was then that I discovered Pilates.


After three private sessions per week for three weeks, my lower back pain was completely gone!  I couldn’t believe it!  Why wasn’t EVERYONE doing this?  I had resigned myself to a life of pain and limited mobility and now that was completely thrown out the window!  I knew that someday, I would be able to share this knowledge and inspiration with others.


In 2006, after a small bout with throat cancer, I had a serious change of focus.  I decided to help others and step away from the stage for awhile.  I found the BASI (Body Arts & Science International) Pilates program and decided to pursue my certification in Gig Harbor, officially moving myself to Washington to join my now husband.  Following my Pilates certfication, I received my certification in ZUMBA, began my Yamuna Body Rolling studies, and also completed my Barre training created by Master BASI Pilates instructor, Tracy Mallett.  I am also thrilled to announce that I completed my Foundational Training for GYROTONIC® and I am now a Certified GYROTONIC® Trainer and Certified GYROKINESIS® Trainer!


I am now stronger, more body-aware, and in better shape at 42 than I was at 26 and performing on tour.  I am still dancing in local Seattle dance productions and also have started performing in drag as the lovely Miss Dolly Madison.  So when I tell you ladies about how to correct your posture in heels, I know what I’m talking about!


I live in West Seattle with my amazing husband, Al, and our two fluffy dogs, Teddy & Panda.




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