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  • Siyabulela Ramba
    That was the year I would learn that dance was more than just movement, but a form of communication, an art. This was the year I met Ricardo Koopman, and joined Ricardo’s Modern Dance Studio. Wednesday’s became my happy days, and I had found a new form of expression. I can never fully find words that would encapsulate how joining Ricardo’s studio shaped me, and give me a voice through dance. My confidence went through the roof, as a dance class, was not just a dance class, but a constant learning experience, and with the constant motivation from Ricardo, you wanted nothing more than to be your very own best. I never felt like I was competing with anyone whist in dance class, like I did with academia, but my biggest competition here, was myself. I am can say with such pride and a smile on my face that I am a product of Ricardo’s Modern Dance Studio!!!
  • Shoaib Fife
    Dancing at Ricardo's Modern Dance Studio changed my life not only as a dancer but as a person. In terms of how I should look forward into life and how to take pride in what I do, how to present myself and to always work hard and to follow my dreams. I’ve learnt so much as a dancer by working and watching Ricardo Koopman and Tylor Spelman. They are both such amazing dancers and they have the utmost love and respects for what they do and this is rubbed on to their pupils and friends. Ricardo's Modern dance Studio made me a better dancer that I was before and I’ve learnt and gained so much that still helps me today as a dancer. As a stutterer I’ve always struggled to talk to different people or those whom I never knew personally but I’ve gained allot of confidence through dance and this was the one way I could express myself without using words. Ricardo gave me the confidence to express myself and interact with people and I’ve met wonderful people due to dance. He has shown me what a good dancer I am and has always believed in me. I wouldn't have been as good of a dancer if it wasn't for Ricardo Koopman and Tylor Spelman, Dancers who I look up to and respect. Dance has changed my life and I Thank Ricardo's Modern Dance Studio for being my pillar and making me who I am today.
  • Tylor Spelman
    Today dance studies are offered through the arts and humanities programs of many higher education institutions, leading to Bachelor of Arts and higher academic degrees. My Name is Tylor Spelman and at the age of 14 ,I was blessed with the opportunity to join Ricardo's Modern Dance Studio's , and through my experiences I have learnt a lot on how Dance is the art of body movement, usually rhythmically and to music but mostly the discipline in becoming a professional dancer. I'm so grateful to Ricardo Koopman for shaping me up at a young age to become the best i can be in what i do for a living and because of that I have an entertainment company called WeDFy Entertainment with my creative partners Simone Chantelle and Keegan Mitchell.
  • Zenande Sigenu
    Thank you for your hard core (dancing) lessons. Because of your straight forward dance lessons and comments about my attitude towards dancing and all other self-respect lessons you taught me when it came to being a good and respectful dancer. Your lessons have taken me so far that i feel i owe you so much gratitude that dancing can buy! The passion you had when you taught Amanda and I our first solo dance piece was amazing... After your classes i was so much in love with dancing, i went hunting for a dance school and i signed with a spiritual dance school (His Kingdom Dance School). I left there 2years back. I am now living in KzN at a town called Kokstad and i am dance school hunting, that is how obsessed I’ve become with dancing all thank to you. The moral of the story is that you trained with passion and i gained with passion, you taught with love and i dance with love. I am super grateful to have attend your classes. Stay the most wonderful dance teacher.
  • Montana
    A huge huge thank you to Ricardo Koopman! I'd like to thank you for truly bringing to life my desire to dance. Although the dance classes were always filled with fun, there were huge amounts of hard work and dedication put in. Ricardo always motivated us individually and pushed us to be the best dancers that we could be! I always looked forward to learning something new each day. I left Ricardo's Modern Dance Studio at around 12/ 13 years old, after about 6 years of training. I am now continuing my dancing as a school subject as well as doing ballet at the Cape Town City Ballet Centre and modern as well as contemporary at the Cape Academy of Performing Arts. If it wasn't for Ricardo, I would have never had such a strong passion towards dancing and the motivation to continue doing what I love. Ricardo's bubbly and happy demeanour and true passion for dance and children radiates in each class. Thank you Ricardo for such a sound basis of modern dance!=
  • Kholekile Biyongo
    Ricardo’s Modern Dance Studio had a positive impact for me, because i had a good basic training and opened more opportunities for me as a dancer. I furthered my dancing with dance for all, coz i wanted to do classical ballet for ,y technique and so i loved it, that was 5 year with miss Margie, so know I’m in a bridging programme at dance for all,dancing full time Kholekile Biyongo
  • Bagcine Christopher Makoko
    I still remember my first day in dance class. It was a sunny Wednesday morning and we were all excited about dance. At least I know I was. We met Ricardo for the first time and he walked in looking ready to take the stage. I can still remember the very first four counts he taught us, it was all part of a modern dance piece he was teaching us. I can't remember much else about it but the lessons of discipline, respect and showing passion for what you love are values that I will treasure for a lifetime. I don't dance anymore, life happened, as it usually does, and I have opted to follow other passions. Dancing, I believe, is something that is within all of us. The need to move your body in some way, to some rhythm gives such a release to the body, that mad rush of happiness you get when the crowd applauds your performance. It's like taking a breath of fresh air for the first time after being enclosed somewhere. I'd like to thank Ricardo for giving me that breath of fresh air every time I stepped into his studio. I'd also like to thank my peers that I used to dance with then you guys made it a wonderful experience. I still treasure those lovely afternoons
  • Jessica Thorn
    I started at Ricardo's studio 17 years ago in 1998 when I first moved to South Africa from Namibia, and stayed with the studio throughout high school until 2003. Since I finished my schooling we have maintained contact. Ricardo exposed us to a range of genres within dance from modern, to contemporary, and hip hop, and encouraged us to participate in competitions,pulled us through performances, and exams - always gently nudging us to improve. Ricardo encouraged us to express our creativity in presenting our own movements, while also taught us the importance of structure, rigour and foundations of dance. He picked up and fostered each of the students' individual capabilities. He taught us the importance of discipline, while maintaining a warm heart and safe environment. I loved expressing myself through dance, it was a very special way of getting into my body. It tapped into a part of myself that is too often ignored in this corporally orientated society we live in. But perhaps more importantly, I admire the space that Ricardo created of tolerance, openness, warmth, generosity and presence - all which gave so much more of an education than just dance, but how to hold oneself firmly in life.
  • Tiffany Potgieter
    Tiffany Potgieter I started dancing with Ricardo when I was in primary school. After almost 10 years of ballet by that point, I wanted to try something new. I've always had a love for dance and friends of mine danced at other studios, doing modern dancing and hip-hop. They seemed to enjoy themselves, but I also saw that there was so much pressure put on them to be the best that they actually seemed rather stressed for young ladies, especially during eisteddfod season. I decided to give one of Ricardo's classes a try and I was hooked! His passion for dance and his love for his pupils shines through. Ricardo always told us to have fun, to do our best and not be too concerned with our results. A merit for some was as much of an achievement as a distinction for others, and we were always made to feel proud of ourselves for our hard work paying off. I learnt a lot more from dancing than just the art of dance. I have made friends for life and learned values which I will never forget. I ended up dancing with Ricardo for about 11 years, returning to dance in his 20 Years of Celebration Show and have helped out with preparing students for shows/ eisteddfods over the past couple of years. If you have a son or daughter who is passionate about life and dancing, Ricardo's Studio
  • Ayano Kamemayamo
    Ayano was very young when she started at ricardos studios 4 turning 5 Ayano suffered with asthma and her pediatrician recommended she swim or dance to improve and strengthen her lungs we joined ricardos and it has been an incredible journey for both of us Ricardos passion for teaching and dance transends the classroom he's patience and love for each and every student understanding that our kids are all wired different and findng a way that helps them to understand techniques and eventually come to love dance is absolutely amazing to see Ayano grew up in ricardos studios proud and confident loving every minute of her dance lessons even when ricardo pushed hard getting them ready shows or eisteddfods or exams sweating every muscle sore the excitement and love for dance never wavered tuesdays and thursdays could not come fast enough Thank you ricardo we love you dearly you have been such an enormous part of our lives and we will miss you The journey is far from over and your parting gift will be a part of my daughters life forever her love of dance Love Belinda
  • Erin Spitz
    FROM MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA To everyone at the studio We have been in Melbourne Australia for almost 3 months now, and we have settled well. Erin is back into her dancing and still does ballet and modern which they call (Jazz). She is At a dance academy where they offer all different dance classes.We miss Ricardo's Modern Dance studio very much. Even though Melbourne is touch & dedication for your dancers.The classes are very big, you are just a number and you don’t ever get to speak or even see the dance teacher. I believe you guys are all gearing up for another spectacular show. I wish we could be there to be a part of it all. You are staging brilliant shows. You are a real star polisher. All Parents Grannies friends will be very proud of the dancers I remember the last show Ricardo had. I don’t know how he did it through all that difficult challenges extra Rehearsals difficult parents Costuming and choreographing each item- organizing dvds- photographs/costume designs the foyer backstage managers make-up artist & entire show . Erin & all dancers enjoyed i
  • SHARON WAGNER
    I felt privileged to be a member of the audience at your 20th Celebration of your dancing career. As I sat and watched the celebrations, my heart hurt just to think that Hout Bay had you, a precious jewel, in our community and we let you slip through our fingers. This 20th celebration could have been one of Hout Bay’s highlights. But, you made us very proud.As the weeks went by after the celebrations, I met quite a few old acquaintances (old classmates) that started dance classes in the Hout Bay Civic Centre with you. I could not explain the magic, feelings and experience I felt as I sat in the theatre and celebrated with you 20 years of dancing & teaching . the standing ovation just came natural when you appeared in your grand finale.
  • ERIN SPITZ
    Hi Ricardo I hope you are keeping well. These are Erins words: I started with Ricardo when I was 4 years old, beginning as a passionate little girl who just wanted to dance. Every week as I attended his classes, the noticeable love he has for teaching dance shined through. The passion we both shared made me want to continue dancing even after I left his studio and moved overseas. Now, 11 years after starting with Ricardo, I am still dancing and the devotion that I now have was originally ignited by Ricardo. I dance in Melbourne, Australia and hope to continue to do so for the next few years. Thank you Ricardo for laying down the foundations of my dance journey. Erin Spitz All our love Dana and Erin xxxx
  • Amanda Welti
    I met Ricardo Koopman in the late 1980's in Cape Town South Africa while teaching Group fitness at Pats Health Studio in Grassy Park. He started a Saturday afternoon modern Jazz class and it sparked my interest so I joined. Little did I know that my life would be forever changed. Ricardo has a unique approach to teaching dance. His technique is designed to bring out the dancer in the non dancer especially those who are so called left footed. One of the most memorable teaching moments that holds true for me till this very day is how he enforced the emphasis on dancing with your inner passion. That enabled me over the years to bring out my unique dance style . I always try to lead my dance fitness classes with my inner passion and drive and it helps me help my students find the fun that lies hidden in fitness because they feed off of my energy which comes from within. Thank you Ricardo Koopman for guiding me towards becoming the best that I can be in the world of dance. Love you madly❤️❤️❤️😍😍💕💕💕
  • Tamara blaser
    Ricardo brought out the best in me. I was never as supple as the other girls but he always made me feel like I was that special. With his kind words and motivation to do my best. I started when I was in primary school always in the front of the class, when lesson was over I never wanted to leave. It is because of him I've got nice long legs lol 😉I wish u all all the best for the future and know u will make every girls dream come true!! Thanks for everything xx
  • Tarryn Kawalsky
    Thinking back to my dancing days brings back such warm memories. Dancing at Riccardo's studio played an integral role in my childhood, and I am forever grateful for this experience. A moment I will never forget was when our dance - the clock dance - won at the cape town eisteddford. What a thrilling and amazing feeling it was to be titled the best in our category! Thanks Riccardo :) Wishing you all the best....
  • Justin Buys
    Ricardo Koopman with his wealth of experience in dance has helped shape the outlook on life for many students of which I was one. I have always been artistically inclined so it was not hard for me to appreciate dance as an art-form and not only view it as a tool for social engagement. Ricardo is the embodiment of dance and I have taken a lot of the principles and applied it to my professional life and found that resilience, dedication and hard work should not be substituted if success is what you're after.
  • Mia Abramowitz
    Being a part of Ricardo's dance studio growing up was a huge highlight in my life and I made memories that will last a lifetime. Ricardo's dance classes felt like an extension of home and he always made us feel like the best little dancers in the world!
  • Zea Polikoff
    Thank you so much Ricardo for changing my life towards dance.❤ I have and still have a strong passion and desire towards dance. Thank you for being there for me and supporting me every step of the way! Dancing has always been in my blood. I stopped dancing at Ricardo's Modern Dance Studio in grade 8 (3 years ago). Can't believe it's been so long! I missed dancing so much that I recently started dancing at Green Zone Studios. I still remember one of the first classes at Ricardo's, when all the girls got into a line and Ricardo used to click our toes and it used to hurt so much. My toes still click to this day by the way. It's a habit now.🙈 I truly dance to feel my best, not only physically but mentally and emotionally. Dancing is literally an escape from the real world. So, thank you for giving me that motivation to continue dancing. I miss you so much and hopefully will see you soon one day❤ xx
  • Ariella Resnick
    Dancing in Ricardo's Modern Dance Studio was the most amazing highlight as a little girl. Ricardo taught me that it is not how good you are but how much you try and what you put into it, you will get out. Dancing in his studio made me realise that there is so much more to dancing than what you originally thought. Thank you Ricardo for so many years of making my dancing experiences as a little girl so incredible and for teaching me so many life lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
  • Dancing at the studio with Ricardo was absolutely amazing! Was lucky to have him teach in my school and be able to dance at the studio during and after school! He s the most helpful teacher and cares about his students and their well beings!! Learnt so much about myself and made loads of friends and great memories!! From being a student to be his assistant teacher I'm still learning a lot from him!! We never stop learning he always reminds me!! He s great to work with!!
  • Akhona Maqhina
    Thank you Ricardo!!
  • Carly Dorfman
    My first dancing experience was with Ricardo. It was an amazing part of my life. It was such a happy and wonderful environment . I was always greeted with a huge hug and kiss from him. His dedication to his pupils was amazing and truly made you feel you were going to your second home. I took my dancing really seriously and excelled and grew as a dancer with Ricardo as my wonderful teacher . His warm heart and passion will remain with me forever. Your past student xxx
  • Cherie Milosevich
    Ricardo came into our life's when both my girls, Jodi and megan were about 4 years old. They danced with him for close to 10 years. He has always been the same friendly, positive person, with tons of energy, commitment and passion towards his dancers. Brings out the best in each dancer and achieves great results Yellow polka dot bikini and clock dance...were our Favourites. Lots of love and best wishes ❤️❤️❤️
  • Struggle Walenga II
    I first got introduced to Ricardo, and In much respects to the world of dance during the early stages of High School. At that time dance in its entirety seemed like more of a hobby for girls then a discipline for artists, of course I was wrong and Ricardo wasted no time in teaching me the error in my thoughts. As they say once the light shines on you its very diffuclt to go back into the dark. Since those early days working with Ricardo I've gone on to own and manage my Corporate Consulting firm, based in JHb. The simple lessons of Discipline and Dedication to ones Art form that Ricardo drilled into me has stuck, so much so that today I employ it in all of my business endevours. I am trully grateful for meeting Ricardo and Learning from the man. A fantastic spirit, an honest soul and a Fabulous person to be around at any given moment.Salute and Cheers to My teacher Ricardo! Ju ju le trois lol
  • Cecilia Peyer
    I grew up with Ricky.The one thing I learnt from him was to never give up on your dreams and if you persevere, you can overcome all the odds. His one and only ambition was to become a dancer. I saw this ambition taking shape in the form of a determined young boy who knew what he wanted and directed his whole life towards success. His love and commitment towards the community of Hout bay was evident in all the cultural dance/drama events and programs he selflessly organised to keep the youth engaged and focused. Hout bay had a gem in it's midst. One thing was for sure, with talent like his, he was destined for the wider world. Following Ricky's determination to succeed shaped my life and I'm sure many others' lives. We, as children of the Hout bay community witnessed first hand that if you have a goal in life and you work towards it, you will reap the benefits. Thanks Ricky, I've learnt a lot from you. Watching you living your dream every day now fills my heart with pride and joy. Thanks for giving back to the kids all that you stand for. When I think of you, the words of 'Marie Curie' comes to my mind " We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing at whatever cost, must be attained. To become a champion, fight one more round".
  • Chrystal Robertson
    Thank you Ricardo for your time, patience and dedication to the children and to the performing arts. I have watched then kids go from strength to strength. Catherine started out dancing with your help and i watched her blossom and bloom. You have taught her self discipline and focus in dance which has overflowed into other areas of her life. I thoroughly enjoy your interaction with the kids. It ia always fun yet discipline with love. You have mastered art of discipline with love, i love thatbabout you. Keep doing what you doing all of your skill and efforts flow into these kids lives which they take with them through life.
  • Tyler
    Soy Jade de Australia y estoy interesado en enatrnocr un programa voluntariado en Guatemala. En este momento estoy viajando a trave9s de Belice y Guatemala podreda comenzar en el prf3ximo par de semanas o en el prf3ximo mes.Me gustareda mejorar el nivel be1sico a intermedio de espaf1ol por tomar clases, viviendo con una familia y el voluntariado. En mi pais trabajaba en turismo y tengo experiencia con sustainabilidad del turisimo en universidad. bfPuede decirme si el voluntariado incluye el alojamiento y la comida? Tambie9n por favor me puede decir todos los detalles del costo y la aplicacif3n?GraciasJade Springer
  • Sagel Julia Kundieko
    It was my first year in SA and I had just discovered the meaning of beauty. Comteporary dancing. It hurt me deeply leaving dancing but the time I spent there was awesome. Ricardo would always tell me how I should follow the steps when I went overboard sometimes. What can I say? Dancing is inspiration. Would love to do it again someday :)
  • Luzuko Luzzy Majeke
    The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs. Each and everything I could see around had its serene movements and there was nothing I enjoyed than putting on my dance costume and hit the dance floor until I succumb. Ricardo's Modern Dance studio was the only place and space I could not breathe and just be myself. Absolutely amazing. Loved every bit of it even if sometimes I was out of my comfort zone – that is where I needed to be. So helpful with all the information on things you can do and work on when becoming a professional dancer. Was so inspirational and informative. I know it sounds cheesy but most definitely a once in a lifetime experience. I will never forget it. Thank you so much for this amazing experience. I have learnt so much in such a short time. I wanna dance once again and restore my profound talent. ..... Thanks once again Ricardo :-)
  • Sagel Julia Kundieko
    It was my first year in SA and I had just discovered the meaning of beauty. Comteporary dancing. It hurt me deeply leaving dancing but the time I spent there was awesome. Ricardo would always tell me how I should follow the steps when I went overboard sometimes. What can I say? Dancing is inspiration. Would love to do it again someday :)
  • Bianca Shearon
    For 3 years I had danced at Ricardo's dance studio and during my high school years from Grade 8-9. As for Ricardo a dance teacher had given me the confidence and joy in dancing. Every dance class was an exciting and happy place where dancers could be free and sharing it together as group. It didn't matter wether you've been dancing before professionally or just a beginner with two left feet, he could surely pull a string and make the rhythm move your feet. 😄 👯 One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant a teacher, but with gratitude to who touched our human feelings.The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
  • Bianca Shearon
    For 3 years I had danced at Ricardo's dance studio and during my high school years from Grade 8-9. As for Ricardo a dance teacher had given me the confidence and joy in dancing. Every dance class was an exciting and happy place where dancers could be free and sharing it together as group. It didn't matter wether you've been dancing before professionally or just a beginner with two left feet, he could surely pull a string and make the rhythm move your feet. 😄 👯 "One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child." Carl Jung
  • Bianca Shearon
    For 3 years I had danced at Ricardo's dance studio and during my high school years from Grade 8-9. As for Ricardo a dance teacher had given me the confidence and joy in dancing. Every dance class was an exciting and happy place where dancers could be free and sharing it together as group. It didn't matter wether you've been dancing before professionally or just a beginner with two left feet, he could surely pull a string and make the rhythm move your feet. 😄 👯 "One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child." Carl Jung
  • Pippa Duffy. Actor, teacher, writer, composer, lyricist, tour gui
    He has travelled all over the world teaching, studying and adjudicating. In other words, Ricky Koopman has truly excelled in his God-given vocation. But let's not forget that he has worked extremely hard to attain this. It hasn't been all smooth sailing either. Looking back and embracing the years that have gone by, I can see that Ricky has grown into his new name; in fact he has given it a new category. Now the name Ricardo makes me think of a fully-fledged artist in the field of dance, dance-education and choreography. So - to God be the glory for the life and talent of Ricardo Koopman, to God be the glory for Ricardo’s incredible achievements over the past too-numerous-to-mention years. No more Mr shy guy! No more Mr cat-got-your-tongue-guy! Why! he could talk the hind leg off a donkey now! Ricardo, I am your biggest fan....and please stay as sweet as you are!
  • Pippa Duffy. Actor, teacher, writer, composer, lyricist, tour gui
    It wasn't long before he was taking himself all over the show to get as much dance experience as he could...walking and hitch-hiking his way all over Cape Town, knocking on doors, asking for lessons. He studied ballet at UCT and modern at Jazzart! Wow! I say 'wow!' Because not only was this a wowish thing to do...it was very brave. Ricky hadn't had the easiest of home lives and had devoted himself to caring for the family from a very early age which meant he had lost out on much of his formal education. However, Ricky's determination and courage led to him appearing in shows with Cape Town dance companies, he was in our Hout Bay Harbour Workshop television break-through series in the so-called bad old days of S. Africa, and he was part of the professional children's company of which I was a director. I remember the fun times we had whilst touring the Eastern Cape.......along with the many, many entertaining hours he and some of the other young people from the Hout Bay Harbour Workshop, spent at my home. And now? I look back at that fourteen year-old...and then forward to the man that now has his own extremely successful dance studio. He has upped all his dance qualifications. He has put on more shows of a much higher calibre than any that I put on.
  • MR. I. FIFE
    Wow... some powerful words. Why do you think I respect you so much Ricardo, its because of exactly that which Shoaib mentions. You havenot only rubbed off on Shoaib but a lot too has to be said for Maghdie. You have inspired my kids and still today we talk about you, your classes, the competitions, the dance event at Grand West which they entered. etc. etc. I could go on but..... "It is all thanks to you" for inspiring them to be better than they think they are. From Mr I. Fife
  • Li-or Zinman
    I was one of the first to join Ricardo's Sea Point Studio. I am blown away by how big it is now, I am so proud of you Ricardo. I have you to thank for getting me through the tough and good times because coming to your lessons made me forget about everything and just have fun and most importantly DANCE! The best part of coming to your lessons is that you can just be yourself. You are the person to thank for giving me my passion for dance, without you inspiring me with your love for this amazing way of life i would have never fell in love with it. My favorite childhood memories come from dancing with Ricardo and doing his legendary group dances :D they were outstanding and so much fun to be apart of. Thank you.
  • Chelsea Wienburg
    I started dancing with Ricardo pretty much before I could walk. Early memories involve the smell of La Pebra's hair gel and experiencing butterflies for the very first time. All of these memories and experiences that occurred while being part of this incredible dancing studio have not only inevitably taught me how to move, but also how to act, be confident, and interact with people. Ricardo was the most loving, caring teacher to me. He was just the right amount of strict and fun (and he put up with my difficult pre teen nature, so he's also pretty much an angel!). So many great memories dancing with Ricardo, and whenever I see an unfortunate human who just can't quite move, I thank my lucky stars I spent 14 years of my life learning how to do so!
  • Ismail-Ian Fife
    Why do you think I respect you so much Ricardo, its because of exactly that which my son Shoaib Fife mentions. You have not only rubbed off on Shoaib but a lot too has to be said for my eldest son Maghdie Fife. You have inspired my kids to be who they are and wanted to be; Maghdie graduated with honours in: "Movie Directing" Shoaib is a final year student in: "Graphic design" Shoaib still to this day dances and loves it albeit that their career choices have taken a different "ART" form. Even to present day we still talk about you, your classes, the competitions, the dance event at Grand West which they entered. etc. etc. I could go on but..... "It is all thanks to you" for inspiring them to be better than they think they are and are still reaching for the stars.... Thank You Ricardo Koopman
  • Pippa Duffy. Actor, teacher, writer, composer, lyricist, tour gui
    I will never forget arriving at the door of St Simon's church and seeing this beautiful twelve-fourteen year-old kid with big brown eyes looking up at me as he propped up the building with his slender frame. This was Gert...as he was then known. When he adopted the name Ricardo, I decided to call him Ricky, a strong energetic name. The name Ricardo spoke to me of Italian hairdressers and opera singers, so I will continue this little tribute with the name Ricky. At our first meeting I found him to be oh so shy...but he was THERE! I asked him if he wanted to act? Dance? Sing? He nodded. I wondered whether he had a voice..... I am sure that those of you who know him now would not recognise him from this short introduction....he was very, very shy (and quiet)! in those days. ; But under this introverted exterior was a very, very determined young man...who wanted to dance! And so, he joined our Harbour Theatre Workshop and was thrust into a part in a play we were busy rehearsing. He became Father Abraham....a rather shy Father Abraham initially. As the days, weeks and months went by, Ricky emerged from his cocoon into the bright butterfly that he was to become. It soon became clear that he was happiest when he was dancing...so we gave him more dancing to do.
  • Themba Mkhize
    I will for ever grateful to Ricardo's Dance Studio. He saw so much talent in me that i did not see and he helped to groom it and nature my talents. Through dance I was able to learn self-discipline and self-control; those skills are still relevant in my day 2 day life even today. Ricardo's studio introduced me to new people who shared the same passion of dance as i did, thanks to him I got to meet Kumari and was introduced to some international talent. The passion and love Ricardo has for his students and the love of dance is commendable, it is that drive that makes me for me one of the best dance Teachers around. Keep it up and break a leg.
  • Danielle Friedman
    Ricardo's Modern Dance Studio formed an integral part of my former years. My school days were lit up by the excitement of knowing I had dancing class later that day. Ricardo's studio was not only a place of dance, but also a place where friendships and irreplaceable bonds were made, and is home to some of my fondest memories. Ricardo, truly the most passionate, loving and caring teacher, consistently put his heart and soul into our performances and always urged us to try our best. Not only a dance teacher, but also a mentor, friend and an incredible human being with a heart of gold who largely owes to the confidence I hold today. Our practices were always well-balanced - they were both disciplined and enjoyable as Ricardo always stressed the need to have fun. I believe this owed to our consistent success in show performances and eistedford competitions from Oh So Quiet, to the Clock Dance, the African Dance, Let the River Run, the Follies and Black & Gold. These were just a few of my favourite group dances. I can only wish all the best to an unbelievable dance studio, crafted by Ricardo who embodies passion, love, dedication, persistence and an absolute zest for life. Best regards from your little "Litchi Juice", Dani xxxx
  • Shira Zinman
    Ricardo is one of the most compassionate and encouraging dance teachers/mentors around. He strives to share his passion and love for dance with as many aspiring dancers as possible, this shines through his work. From the start I loved dancing at his dance studio. Always being entertained by Ricardo's dynamic personality and constantly inspired and motivated to perform better. Ricardo is one of the rare people who understand that improvement in dance or the will to get your leg higher, your pliee deeper, more turn out and your foot to point even harder has to come from within the dancer. No amount of pushing and forcing is going to get the dancer to that optimal point of performance. Ricardo encourages and nurtures the dancer to achieve his/her absolute best. Ricardo amazed me by his humility and respect, putting the art of dance and the dancer first by refraining from selfish acts. As when he noticed a potential in my level of dancing he advised me to progress to a more advanced dance studio so that I can continue to improve my dancing abilities. Nevertheless Ricardo I will always come back to my roots and have you to thank as a dancing mentor.
  • Kaylin Shapiro
    I started dancing with Ricardo at the age of about 6 which was almost 15 years ago after I would peek into my preschool hall and see how much fun the girls would have. When I started dancing I learned it wasn't only a place of fun and happiness but a place of hard work and commitment and emotion, and I LOVED every minute of it. A beautiful way to express yourself and Ricardo always helped me with that! I ALWAYS felt I could be myself during dance class and it was the best part of my week :) I will always miss dance classes so much! Big thanks to Ricardo for all his hard work xxx
  • Isabella Sandak
    Of all my life experiences to this date, dancing at Ricardo's has been the most directional. Ricardo taught me so much more than just dancing. Ricardo was the first person to ignite my love of dance and what a privledge! The classes are varied with eisteddfod,exams,charity performances and full stage show productions taking place throughout the year. Ricardo has created an environment where dancers are not only taught the disciplines, but have the freedom to express themselves,gain confidence and just have fun! Thank you Ricardo for introducing me to the joys of dance and being the best mentor and role model throughout this process.I have never met someone so passionate and giving. I will always hold my memories and time dancing with you close to my heart. Don't stop smiling, WE LOVE YOU!
  • lilitha landule
    my name is lilitha landule. I am a student at Ricardo'sModern Dance Studio. I love dancing because it helps me express my feelings. We started of by going for dance lessons as a class at school time. I really enjoyed dancing with Mr. Ricardo so i joined extra classes afterschool. I was welcomed in warm hands. I made friends. I am really blessed to have Mr. Ricardo as a dance teacher,not forgetting Aviwe. He is the one person who had hope in me even though sometimes i had said to myself i can't do somethings like leaps,balances and splits. He told me that nothing is impossible only if i stretch everday i will get it. Today i am a gymnast. Today i can dance infront of the whole knowing that i am good at what i do. I am so happy to know that i am making my mother proud of me not forgetting Mr.ricardo. Thank you so much Mr.ricard....:)
  • Tayla Geben
    I was a dancer at Ricardo's studio for about 15 years and there are no words to describe the amount of respect, love and gratitude I have for Ricardo. Dance classes were without a doubt the highlight of my week. Ricardo not only taught us to dance, but he taught us how to be confident in ourselves, to respect others and to work well in a team. He was always there to support us, to encourage us, to give advice and to listen to us when we needed someone to talk to. Ricardo played an integral part in making me the person that I am today. He is one of the most caring, compassionate and loving people I have ever met. Deciding to stop dancing was one of the hardest decisions I have made, but I left the studio with 15 years of the best memories, strong friendships and skills to succeed in life. Thank you for everything Ricardo! All my love, Tayla
  • Chikomborero Mavhondo
    I love dancing and would like to express my gratitude to Ricardo for discovering my talent and decided to mentor and teach me more techniques. Thank u for your patience Ricardo. I say bravo to what u have done in my life. Even my perfomance at school changed to excellent academically. He build some self esteem in me and now vey confident in whatever i do. What an amazing dance instructor/teacher! Very calm and in love with his job. Its like u were born to dance. Ricardo my mentor and my dream is to dance just like u and i can say the sky is the limit. We love Ricardo me and my mom. And everyone always asks, 'where did u get all these techniques Chico'. And i wud say the answer is Ricardoo!!!
  • Colin Stevens
    Riacardo (G) I have know you since we were both students at a Fishing Village called Hout Bay, a place most of our teachers just visited (with the exception of a few dedicated ones) everyday for a pay check at the end of the month. As you will recall, we were all expected to go into fishing or working at the factory or jail. But you and a few of us saw more in ourselves than mere labour fodder or gangsterism. It was your selfless tenacity at getting pubescent boys and girls to dance (even if for some of us there were ulterior motives). Organising a production of Grease (for no monetary gain. Putting your heart and soul into the ARTS. It was life altering for us. If you can recall the members of that cast - all of us have managed to go on and do "something with our lives" We could have spend our time standing on corners and get up to no good, but you gave us something which went a long way to shape us positively. Later on in life we have encountered many uphill climbs. However, the skills we acquired during our interaction without adults to catch us if we fell, have enabled us to deal with issues. You indicated to us giggling standard 7 boys and girls as we glided diagonally across the Civic Center floor: Ons is meer as net visgrate.
  • Maya Schkolne
    I danced at Ricardo’s studio virtually throughout my teenage years. Carrying such immense enthusiasm, Ricardo ensured that the classes were vibrant and positive. He also transferred confidence into every single student by showing unreserved and consistent support, and by motivating us – including the initially more shy ones like myself - to excel. Of course, such a creative and nurturing environment allowed us to enjoy ourselves, feel comfortable and ultimately, shine. I’m deeply appreciative to Ricardo for his encouragement and as I study toward my Masters, I continue to seek out dancing as a creative outlet!
  • Henry Jacobs(Ex Principal, Sentinel Secondary School)
    I hereby wish to certify that I have known Ricardo Koopman for the better part of 40 years, having been a pupil of mine at the Sentinel Secondary School, Hout Bay, subsequently witnessing his development over the years. Already at an early stage Ricardo displayed a penchant for the arts, ballet being his first love. Through sheer grit and will power - taking into consideration the disadvantages, socially and economically, that could've proved a major impediment - he has been able to realise his dreams! His mastery of the arts has seen him transfer the same determination and vigour to his pupils, in his role as a dance teacher. his commitment and dedication to the arts is indisputable as is only too obvious from the productions he has staged over the yeas. This is the more significant if one is to appreciate the pecuniarily disadvantaged conditions under which he grew up - the son of a poor fisherman, with four siblings, eking out a living best described as living from"hand to mouth". Through his sheer openness and honesty, Ricardo commands the respect of all those with whom he comes into contact, and with the type of self-assurance and professionalism he displays I am confident of his future.
  • LUZUKO LUZZY MAJEKE
    The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs. Each and everything I could see around had its serene movements and there was nothing I enjoyed than putting on my dance costume and hit the dance floor until I succumb. Ricardo's Modern Dance studio was the only place and space I could breathe and just be myself. Absolutely amazing. Loved every bit of it even if sometimes I was out of my comfort zone – that is where I needed to be. So helpful with all the information on things you can do and work on when becoming a professional dancer. Was so inspirational and informative. I know it sounds cheesy but most definitely a once in a lifetime experience. I will never forget it. Thank you so much for this amazing experience. I have learnt so much in such a short time. I wanna dance once again and restore my profound talent. ..... Thanks once again Ricardo :-)
  • Megan Sher
    I first began dancing with Ricardo at the age of 6, I started off dancing at his Milnerton studio. I later then moved to his Sea-point studio to join the rest of my friends who danced in that side. Ricardo not only taught be to dance, he also taught be how to love dance and to express myself through movement. Ricardo taught be for many many years and grew me into the dancer I am today. I am so thankful for all the great memories I had with him and for introducing dancing into my life. I am forever grateful.
  • Inge Heradien
    I started Modern dancing at Ricardo's studio at the age of 9. I enjoyed this experience as it helped me overcome my shyness, kept me disciplined and helped me gain confidence. Today, I am 23 years old and the memories of the dance studio and the skills gained remain within me. Thank you to Ricardo's Dance studio, for helping to build the person I am today.
  • Liberia
    To Dance at Ricardo's Modern Dance Studio: I have learnt to be on time for my classes as If I arrive late and my body is not warm then I cannot take part of the Class.This is purely to protect all dancers from injuries. The classes are fun we meet lovely friends - We learn about respect for our bodies and for the Artform DANCE - I would like to Thank Mr Ricardo for three years of great experience at his studio and I will continue to remember all the hardwork and competitions and shows
  • Takudzwa Aruvera
    I danced for 7 to 8 years i have grown with ricardo and because of him i am a better person.I love dancing and if i had a chance to show people the benefits of dance and dancing has opened many doors for me so thank you mr koopman
  • Takudzwa Aruvera
    I danced for 7 to 8 years i have grown with ricardo and because of him i am a better person.I love dancing and if i had a chance to show people the benefits of dance and dancing has opened many doors for me so thank you mr koopman
  • Yolanda Tawodzera
    I started dancing with Ricardo when I was 8years old I continued till the age of 15. I have to admit that those 7 years were the best years of my life thus far. Till this day I have videos I still dance to in order to calm myself down or connect with my childhood years. Dancing with Ricardo brought me a sense of inner peace that I am to this day grateful for. Back then I never knew what dancing brought to my life but as I look down the years I realize I was blessed to have such a wonderful teacher who was loving and patient. Not only was it a dance studio but it was my home away from home that id go to and forget all my troubles and worries. I was taught a great deal of discipline and self respect as well as self control. Dance taught me to love in different shapes and sizes. I am really proud of the experience I gained while dancing with Ricardo and never stopped dancing since...... To those who follow after me I want you to know that dancing is not a formal part of your life, don't plan it as if its a speech.. allow yourself to get lost in the music, be creative and innovative , maybe you too can be a choreographer one day.
  • Leanne Berman
    I started dancing with Ricardo around the age of 4 years old in Sea Point and it all began with a lady bug and mermaid dance. Then throughout the years I moved to milnerton and we did a Michal Jackson, smurf and many other dances + lots of exams. You taught me so much and pushed me mentally and physically but at the same time kept the classes fun and enjoyable. Through my experience with you have brought other professionals into the classes to expose us to different ways of teaching modern and different styles of dance, for example hip hop ( which I wasn't the best at😂) You are an amazing dancing teacher and you have a passion for dance and you thrived to help me when ever I would have an injury-always😂. I really do appreciate all the years you taught me. Throughout the 11years that I danced in your studio, we went through dancers and fencers and at the end I was the last original member and I was proud of it! We also went through quite a few studios in the process but it was all worth it when we got to dance in the sometimes dodgy😂🙈 but great milnerton hall. I have just stopped dancing with Ricardo. I wish you the best and hope to see you again in the future.
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