Van Dantzig was born in Amsterdam. After Sonia Gaskell (left in 1969) and his other colleague left the Dutch National Ballet in 1971, he was the only artistic leader until 1991. In 1986 he wrote an autobiographical novel, Voor een verloren soldaat, about his love affair while a young boy with a Canadian soldier, which became a great success, receiving several awards; a film was made of it. An English translation, For a Lost Soldier, was published in 1991. Van Dantzig published a biography of the Dutch artist and resistance fighter Willem Arondeus in 2003.