Maria Hansen

Maria Hansen was born October 25,1967 in Carlsbad, New Mexico, United States. Being the daughter of a career military father, she lived in many different areas in the United States as well as Germany. Eventually, the family settled in Central Texas.
As a child, Maria’s mother enrolled her a variety of activities in the physical arts. Throughout her childhood, Maria had extensive training in ballet, jazz, gymnastics, baton twirling and musical training in the flute and piccolo. Maria performed in numerous shows and competitions and was often at the top of her class in each activity.
Maria loved these activities and found herself with a natural talent for them. She was also a dedicated academic student and enjoyed studying biology in particular.
After she graduated from high school, Maria attended university in Dallas, Texas. With her fascination and love of biology, her career choice at that time of her life was to become a nurse with a specialty in physical therapy.
However….she could not stay away from dance for very long. She discovered a Fred Astaire Dance Studio in 1986 near the university and never looked back.
Maria excelled in learning this new form of dance. She loved experiencing movement with a partner and studied and competed in all styles…American Smooth, American Rhythm, International Latin and International Ballroom.
Three years later she decided to move to California to pursue her studies and career in Ballroom Dance. After competing successfully in all 4 styles, she decided to specialize in the International Ballroom style.
Throughout her journey, Maria became a 7 times United States finalist in the International Ballroom division, winning the Silver medal in 1994. She competed all over the World and was proud to represent the United States in the Blackpool Team Match in 1995. She was featured numerous times on the PBS special “America’s Ballroom Challenge” and won the Showdance event at Ohio Star Ball in 1997.
Tragically, in 1999, Maria had to make the difficult decision to retire from Professional competition due to a neck injury. The pain was intense and it sent Maria on a mission to discover what had caused her injury and why she couldn’t seem to correct it.
Her quest eventually led her to the renowned CHEK Institute in San Diego, CA. It was there that she finally found an answer. When Maria was 18 years old, she was involved in a car accident that had resulted in whiplash. The whiplash caused a reverse curve in her neck, which then created a great imbalance through the musculature of the neck. Even though she had been treated for the whiplash, the imbalances had never truly been corrected. The years of dancing took their toll.
Under the tutelage of a CHEK trainer, Maria discovered a newfound freedom in her body and was amazed at the difference she experienced when her body became more structurally sound and balanced. She was able to “sense” her body in a way that she had not before and became very excited at pursuing more knowledge in this area.
Maria began studying biomechanics and exercise kinesiology at the CHEK Institute. She was especially interested in learning to recognize imbalances and how they can affect free movement. She became certified through the CHEK Institute as a practitioner, specializing in postural correction and movement analysis.
Maria has a great love for teaching and enjoys working with people of all levels and ages. Her goal is to empower people to become the best that they can be in a positive environment of learning. She truly cares for her students and is dedicated to helping them find joy in their journey of dance.
This is what led her to the Baricchi Institute and the Baricchi Method of Movement. Maria has always had great respect for not only the dance ability of Luca Baricchi, but also his teaching methods. She became fascinated by his teachings on Instinctive Perception and the Psychology of Movement. She believes that Luca’s studies in these areas is the key to discovering incredible mobility, balance and freedom in movement, which in turn, guides each dancer to express their true authentic self. In this way, artists are born.
Maria finds a great synergy in the study of the Baricchi Method with her own teachings and is now also proudly certified with the Baricchi Method of Movement.
Knowledge is Power. Awareness is Everything.

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