interview Jeroen & Nanda

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A ray of light, this month on: Nanda & Jeroen, our love and dance couple
Jeroen doesn’t need to wait for the first question, he starts right away:
We got to know each other at a dance party. Nanda and I were living in the same student flat and saw each other in the elevator now and then. We both independently wanted to go out for a drink, but never dared to ask each other out, because we saw each other so infrequently! Then one of my friends said: come to this Salsa party with me. At the party, I looked around and there was Nanda! We hardly danced but talked all night. Then we exchanged email addresses to go to Salsa parties. “I was just interested in his email address”, Nanda adds with a smile.

Jeroen : err .. I’ll continue with the short version, the long version won’t fit the interview:
Mascha, who many zoukers at DA probably know, was my Salsa dance partner at the time. She wanted to try something new and so we joined a Zouk summer course, where we met Daniel. After the summer course, Daniel convinced me and Mascha to learn Zouk from Willem. While I was dating Nanda, Daniel and Mascha also started dating. I guess Daniel had more than one reason to get us to join Willem’s classes ;-). Soon after, Nanda started classes too. First Salsa then Zouk. Now, six years later, the four of us still dance and meet up. They are faster with the relationship stuff than us though; they are already married and have two children together!

 

Time for my Q: And now you take more classes than just Zouk?

Yes, African and Lady Styling. Strangely, we never considered those ourselves, but during Zouk class, we were working on our Personal Point of Improvement and mine was “stretch my legs”, Nanda says. Jeroen: I should become more grounded. Then Laili advised us to take African dance. After one class by Bess we were completely hooked!

And also more grounded?

Yeah, but it’s still our improvement point :). It helps for your coordination too. “It’s a good thing to do different types of dance classes. The next step for me would be Modern dance”, Jeroen adds. When we did the show in the Musica theater this spring, I saw Modern dance. It looked so good that I want to try. Nanda started Lady Styling. “The body isolations really help to create more flow into Zouk. These classes help you in ways you don’t know up front.” Basically, more classes makes dancing more joyful, they both agree. Nanda: “I love learning stuff. I’m not striving to become perfect; it’s just nice to be in the process, learn new things and enjoy dancing”.

Before, at our old Salsa school this is what we missed: we were called ‘advanced dancers’ when we finished all the courses. But we felt that was unrelated to ours or anyone’s level, and that even some of our basics needed improvement. The focus was on learning moves, not on learning techniques, and we missed a personal touch if we got any feedback. At DA this is completely different! They really look at you and your level at every aspect of dancing. We immediately noticed this difference. The teachers pay attention to both the core aspects of dancing and to what you personally can improve.

Can you ever see yourselves without dance?

Oh no! Maybe we will try different dances, but never no dance at all. We did a workshop Tango a while ago. Nanda loved it, but Jeroen thought it was really hard and would rather do partner acrobatics, which he really liked. “But first we will enjoy our holiday in Bali!”

And you will go dancing in Bali?

We didn’t really think if it’s possible! We will be doing a lot of diving and enjoying the food, but who knows: while in Bonaire for diving, we danced Zouk in a bar and cleared the floor, even with some basic moves, which was really fun! Doing the performances with DA really helped us being less shy about dancing outside of Zouk parties. We would love to dance more, but at times it’s hard to combine with work, which takes a lot of time and energy. We also try to see our friends as much as possible. There are so many nice things to do! Jeroen adds; “the other week I was talking to Martin and now I’m like hmmm…horseback riding might be cool too!”

Is there anything you would like to add to this interview?

Yes, we want to give a big applause to all the teachers at DA as they are doing a fantastic job. The classes are not too big, there is a lot of personal attention and you always get advice that will help you improve. It’s a good team and we give them our compliments. It feels like a warm bath when we enter the studio. Even if you don’t always know everybody who’s there, it’s a warm family and friends place, a community!

Thank you, lovely dance couple for sharing a bit of yourselves with us. Enjoy your trip and we will see you soon at the studio!