Mark Wuest

I have always been preoccupied with body work.  It is the life that I know.  Now it is a pleasure and a privilege to share what I have learned.  My background as an athlete and a dancer, as well as my experience in yoga and pilates influences my teaching style.

I began dancing while attending the University of Iowa, USA, where I was exposed to various styles of dance.  My biggest influence from that time was from Françoise Martinet.  After receiving my BA in Dance I studied at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School and the Milwaukee Ballet School.  While working in ballet companies, including 5 years in New York City, I found many additional sources of inspiration, especially from Zwi Gotheiner and Alonso King.

Career as a Dancer

For more than a decade I worked for renowned dance companies including the Joffrey Ballet (works of Ashton; Jooss, Paul Taylor, Nijinski, Forsythe, Tharp, Cranko…), the Kansas City Ballet (works of Balanchine, Alvin Ailey…), the Ballet du Grand Theater de Génève  (works of Kylián, Naharin, Bruce…) and the Zürcher Ballett (works of Mats Ek, Amanda Miller, Jorma Uotinen…).  I also worked in various free-scene companies.

Choreographer

I have created choreography for ballet, contemporary dance, opera and musical theatre.  Highlights include working with Paul Pavey for our “Company of Shadows” (fully subsidised by the city of Zürich cultural foundation) and the “Space Dream” musical trilogy.

Teaching

I teach for the BA/MA  Contemporary Dance at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK).  I previously taught at the High School for contemporary and urban dance in Zürich.

I am a member of the Dance Commission for the city of Zurich and also sit on the jury for the national counsel for the arts (BAK).

Path to becoming a Yoga teacher

My interest in body-mind work goes back to my childhood in Iowa, where in the early 1970’s I started listening to body awareness LPs with my father.  Later as a competitive swimmer I had extensive mental training and during my career as a professional dancer I explored yoga and pilates and developed a penchant for reading about eastern philosophy.

I draw on all my resources when I teach yoga.  I borrow and adapt from anything that enhances our ability to feel, move, understand and experience our bodies and minds.

I have been practicing yoga in many different forms for decades.  And I’m still learning.