I’m a dancer sharing what I learned on the dancefloor
My name is Anke, born and raised in the Netherlands. Dancing almost before I learned to walk. I started classical ballet at the age of 3,5 years old and I’m RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) trained. When my mother wanted to send me to Ballroom I refused.
So it took a couple of years before I discovered couple dancing could be fun. I stumbled upon a Balfolk workshop at a festival and I got hooked.
I started to dance Balfolk in 2012 (and added styles over the years).
And so the story continued…
When you have been dancing on you own for years it’s tricky to learn to dancce together with another body. So that took me a good 3 years before I could really say I learned couple dancing. But in that time I really discovered I’m a follower at heart.
Which doesn’t mean at all I’m obedient/ docile in my dancing. Over the years you try to master a skill and learn some things on the way… I started to voice my opinion that a lot of workshops are focused on the leader perspective and often as a follower you are left with a “Just follow”. And in my opinion dancers start to leave a dance scene when they feel they reached a (physical) ceiling.
As I started to share my experiences and knowledge on what I did find out myself as a dancer, people started to listen and invite me to talk more… which kinda turned into teaching. Although I still don’t see me as a ‘teacher’ in a traditional sense of the word.
The origins of Dancing Bodies
Did you know I’m actually a Fire Safety Engineer working as a consultant in an engineering firm?!
Giving all those workshop is actually my hobby sort of getting out of hand. I think I can date it back to 2018/2019 when I seriously got in to accepting invitations to teach.
After I got really disappointed when a teacher told me in a personal feedback round that there was nothing more to learn and maybe I should start leading. I didn’t want to accept that nor did I want to become a leader. I guess a lot of people will leave a dance scene at that point for another dance style or start learning how to lead.
There was so much more I wanted to add to my following skills. And I thought that if people learned about their body and basic dance technique the whole Balfolk dance community would benefit and people could grow together and stay in the scene.
I was not ready to leave.
And that is how I rolled naturally into teaching and organising events and workshops. Always staying close to my roots. How to make your body dance. And how to make the body of your dance partner move but also how to give them the freedom by enabeling their optimal way to move. Always focused on co-creation between the leader and follower role, as a couple.
And that is how it all got its name…
By 2020 I was doing so much it felt like I needed a name and page. It didn’t feel good to use my own. Because I don’t teach you steps. I will share my experiences and hand you tools so you can teach your own body and learn from other dancers.
I always try to create a safe space to explore and experiment with other dancers. Through my teaching I still keep learning as well.
Dance is a universal language, one you can share with everyone without the need for words. I’ve been dancing and teaching all over the place.
- Countries I gave workshops so far:
- – The Netherlands
- – Poland
- – Belgium
- – Germany
- – Switzerland
- – Online (world wide web)
- Dancing in even more…