Biography

Thom Hecht is a dance scholar, dance educator, and performing artist with a research focus on the history of dance in higher education, dance pedagogy, history and culture of costumes, as well as women, gender, and sexuality studies.

Thom holds a Ph.D with doctoral minor in Women's Studies from Texas Woman's University (Denton, Texas), where he was the recipient of the 2012 Graduate Council Award for Exceptional, Original Scholarship. His academic credentials also include an M.Phil in Contemporary Dance from London Contemporary Dance School at The Place (London, UK) in 2008, an M.A. in  Performance Practices from Central School of Speech and Drama (London, UK) in 2005), an M.A. in Fashion History and Theory from London College of Fashion (London, UK) in 2004), and a Postgraduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching in Art and Design from the University of the Arts London (London, UK) in 2007.

At Harvard University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Thom was a Visiting Fellow in affiliation with the Committee on Women, Gender and Sexuality (2010 - 2012), where he conducted research on dance education histories at the Radcliffe College Archives. Thom also served as an Academic Advisor and Non-Resident Tutor for Visiting Undergraduate Students at Harvard University's Dudley House (2011 - 2012). His research training also includes a fellowship as Visiting Assistant in Research (2006 -2007) at the Psychology Department at Yale University (New Haven, CT), where he developed a dance curriculum, Emotionally Intelligent Ballet Training (EIBT), which focuses on emotional skills and competencies for dance students and teachers. Thom offered EIBT workshops for faculty and students at prestigious institutions such as the Palucca Hochschule in Dresden (Germany), the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt (Germany), the Institut für Sportwissenschaft of the Universität Bern (Switzerland), the NRW Landesbüro Tanz in Cologne (Germany), and the Moscow Art Theater School (Russia), to name a few. From 2015 - 2017, Thom served as Program Leader for the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Dance Science: Health & Performance for tamed, Tanzmedizin Deutschland e.V. (validated by the University of Bern, Switzerland) and he still is a Board Member of the Programm Committee of the Master of Advanced Studies in Dance Science.

Thom published in peer-reviewed journals (Journal of Performing Arts Leadership in Higher Education and Theatre Arts Journal: Studies in Scenography and Performance), authored several book chapters on dance topics, and co-edited (with Dagmar Ellen Fischer) Dance, Movement, and Spirituality for the German Society for Dance Research. He presented conference papers and workshops around the globe and taught extensively in higher education institutions in the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Russia, and Switzerland on dance history, dance education and pedagogy, gender and women's studies as well as cultural and historical studies with a focus on the relation between fashion and the performing arts.

Thom is also an American Ballet Theatre® Certified Teacher (Primary through Level 5) of the ABT® National Training Curriculum and has choreographed classical and contemporary ballet works in the United Kingdom and the United States. Excerpts of his creative work and processes are published in Practice-as-Research in Performance (Palgrave 2009). He is also a seasoned performer with recent appearances as a supernumerary in Boston Ballet's production of Romeo and Juliet (2011) and Don Quixote (2012), as well as in performances of the Harvard Early Music Society (2010-11).

He is the founder of the Thom Hecht Ballettförderzentrum (2014) in Frankfurt, where he teaches community dance classes based on the ABT® National Training Curriculum, providing children and adult dance students with a rich knowledge of classical ballet technique on how to use their bodies correctly, focusing on kinetics and coordination, as well as anatomy, proper body alignment and artistic expression. Thom also on the faculty of the Palucca School of Dance in Dresden, where he teaches Dance History/Culture and Dance Pedagogy/Psychology in the Master programmes. 

Thom also plays pedal harp, harpsichord and the organ, and he takes ABRSM music exam on a regular basis.