Founding Members

Marie-Christine Maigret de Priches

Foundation President, Artistic Director of Dance Area

Born in Belgium in 1958, a wife, and a mother of three children, Marie-Christine began learning ballet at her mother’s studio with Daniel Lambo, a former soloist for the Ballet of the 20th Century. She continued her studies at the Rosella Hightower Center for Dance in Cannes.

Discovering jazz dance at the age of 16, she found her calling in this vibrant and innovative art form. Moving to Paris, she continued her training with illustrious instructors like Lynn Mc Murray, Jacques Alberca, Gianin Loringett, Rick Odums, Bruce Taylor and Redha, and with Frank Hatchett, Jojo Smith and Luigi in New York.

Driven by the need to transmit her craft, she was drawn to teaching dance. As a dancer and choreographer for a company she founded in 1986, she took part in numerous shows in Belgium and the United States.

Finally settling in Geneva in 1997, she founded Dance Area, a much-desired and needed dance school, open to the world, and in keeping with the times. Dance Area embodies her core value: a taste for hard work and exertion, respect for others, tolerance, and humility.

Flora Rupf

Lawyer and consultant for the financial sector

Flora Rupf obtained her license to practice law from the Law Society of Thessaloniki, Greece, and later earned a Diploma of Advanced Studies in law from the University of Geneva.

Specializing in codes of professional conduct for the financial sector, Flora founded her own company in 2009. She sits on the board of directors for private companies and foundations.

Flora’s passion for dance drove her to join the Prix de Lausanne’s Foundation Board in 2009. She was president of its financial commission (2010 to 2014), and of its Friends of the Prix Foundation (2012 to end-October 2016).

In 2015, as part of the University of Geneva’s Certificate of Advanced Studies in Russian language and culture, Flora wrote her thesis on the fascinating history of dance in Russia.

Yvette Regueiro

Instructor and Coordinator for Vocational Training at Dance Area

Graduate of the National Ballet School in Havana, Yvette Regueiro joined the Cuban National Ballet Company in 1987, under the direction of the great ballerina, Alicia Alonso. With this prestigious company, she danced a classical and neoclassical repertoire, participated in numerous tours and festivals, and was promoted to First Soloist in 1996.

Alongside her career as a dancer, Yvette took part in the choreography workshops organized by Laura Alonso for the National Ballet of Cuba’s junior company. After graduating from Cuba’s University of the Arts in 2000, Yvette decided to resume her collaboration with the National Ballet School, this time as an instructor and choreographer.

In 2001, she came to Switzerland, ready to explore in the world of contemporary dance, and joined the Sinopia Ensemble de Danse.

Since 2003, Yvette has taught dance at Dance Area, where she developed a vocational dance curriculum for the school’s younger dancers. With the creation of Dance Area’s Professional Dance Program, she can now share all the extraordinary skills that she acquired throughout her career.

Hélène Roux

Instructor and Head of Vocational Training at Dance Area

Trained by Rosella Hightower and José Ferran in Cannes, Hélène based her career in New York with a classical, neo-classical, and contemporary repertoire. She danced the great classics as well as ballets by Frederick Ashton, Kenneth MacMillan and Peter Wright.

At 18, she joined Dennis Waynes’s Dancers, a New York-based contemporary ballet company, where she worked first a dancer, then as répétitrice and co-director of the company.

At the request of Oscar Araiz, Hélène joined Geneva’s Grand Theater in 1989. Throughout her dancing career, Hélène was invited to perform with numerous companies in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Her teachers include Lawrence Rhodes, Zena Rommett, Maggie Black, Tina Bernal, Norman Walker, Jackie and Bill Landrum, and Luigi. She has taught at Dance Area since 1998.

Pascal Besnard

Head of Credit Suisse in Geneva

After completing a banking apprenticeship, Pascal Besnard left the world of finance to devote himself entirely to professional football for almost ten years. In 1985, he earned the title of Swiss Champion along with his team, Servette. Instructor for the Swiss Football Association, he coached the Young Talents division of the Servette FC until the end of the 90s.

In early 2000, Mr. Besnard decided to return to the banking sector. His dedication and commitment were officially recognized in 2009 when he was granted the CEO Credit Suisse Leadership Award.

Thanks to his varied experience, most notably in real estate finance and asset management, he now heads Credit Suisse in Geneva.

In addition to his professional responsibilities, Pascal is very active and does not hesitate to volunteer his time as a member of various associations.