How it all began

Dance can have so many different meanings that it can play a part in everybody’s life in any shape or form without even having to realize its presence. For me on the other hand, dance plays a major role in my life and always has. It was my first love and the longest relationship I have been in besides the relationship I have with my family. It was because of my family, and their ever ongoing support, that I was lucky enough to have found the love for dancing at a young age.

I started lessons as an 8 year old girl and knew I never wanted anything else. No other sport or activity was tried. This was it. Through all of elementary and high school I felt the need to share this passion with others by performing and even teaching my fellow schoolmates. In high school it got so serious that I decided I didn’t just want to dance as a hobby but I wanted to make a career out of my passion.

I wanted to become a professional dancer and earn my living by doing the thing I love most. Because of this I started a pre dance education for 3 years besides high school. Started going to the ‘open days’ of dance academies 2/3 years before I was graduating just to get the feel of it and to feed my dreams. By visiting these schools I even found ‘my’ spot. At the first chance I got I auditioned for Fontys Dance Academy and got accepted. This is where my journey really started.

Studying dance

With four years of studying and being focused on dance my vision and soul grew and my horizon expanded. Being taught, challenged and inspired by so many different people (dancers, teachers, choreographers.. Anybody really) it hasn’t been an easy journey.  I have experienced many ups and downs which all made me to the dancer and person I am today.

You are confronted with yourself and many challenges since you yourself, as a mind and a body, are the instrument of this profession. but they only make you grow. I am ever grateful for the strong support system I have had in my family and friends. Something I really needed starting Fontys Dance Academy at only 16 and still growing up myself, becoming a woman.

What is dance to me

Over the years dance has become so much more than just something that made me happy. To me dance is a form of art, an outlet for emotions and energy, a way to bring different people together, a way to discover different cultures, it is a part of history, the present and the future, it is discovering myself and others, it is becoming aware of my body and its surroundings, a way to fill up an empty space or any space for that matter, it is sharing, communicating, teaching and learning, developing, helping, healing, growing, it is culture, it is personality, it is a part of life, it is fragile and strong at the same time, it comes in many many shapes. And like I said before, dance is different (in meaning) to everybody but it is undeniably there no matter the shape or form.

Unlimited interests

My interest in dance isn’t limited to one form or style. I have always been interested in exploring different styles and backgrounds and chose an education that was fitting and fulfilling my needs as a dancer and a person. I was taught in styles like; Ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, floorwork, improvisation, show, dance theater, several urban styles. Because of a broad education I am very adaptable and versatile as a dancer. And where my education was lacking my interests I added and connected myself.

Since I was 11 I have been dancing international folklore and that wasn’t something that was offered on my level in dance academies in The Netherlands. To add this in my education my projects/internships included the crossovers in both these worlds. The academic dance world and the folk dance world, so to speak. I even did research about why folk dancing wasn’t more (or at all) integrated in the professional dance working field in The Netherlands.

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My career path

After graduating, and earning my bachelor degree in June 2014, my learning and developing did not stop. It never stops as a dancer, or as a person for that matter, but to/for me they are intertwined. There is always room to grow, learn and develop. This is necessary not to just become a better dancer but because dance itself is also always changing, developing and growing like a living organism being kept alive by the people. Dance adds to us and we add to ‘it’. We go hand in hand. I kept the interest in folk dancing and wanted to pursue this after graduating. Where I unfortunately couldn’t find what I wanted to do in The Netherlands I sought for it elsewhere.

So far my journey has taken me to Bulgaria and presently to Turkey where I am settling down, planning on continuing my dance journey here, in Istanbul where I found the second love of my life. In Anadolu Ateşi, where I work now, I get to perform all over Turkey and abroad and next to this I started teaching, in the same company, children to share my passion,

inspire and prepare the next generation. To play a part in feeding théir dreams. As I am writing this I am expanding my work as a dance teacher in Istanbul outside of the company. I will keep on learning and growing as a dancer/person and will keep trying to make my position in the working field stronger.