Interview Nova & Omani

Talking to:

Nova Valkenhoff & Omani Ormskirk

Young dancers in the graduating year of a professional dance program can audition for an internship for a full season at NDT. 

In season 2021, Nova and Omani started their internships, fired up to immerse themselves in the company and be inspired. We spoke to them at the end of their internship: How did they experience their time with the company? 

How did you experience your internship?

Omani: Overall, I experienced it as very, very positive. It was a very nice bridge from a school environment to a full company. As an intern, you have more slack, it feels a little safer, you can afford to make more mistakes. You are thrown into the deep end and have to figure it out for yourself. I learned an awful lot from that. 

Nova: It was very inspiring from the beginning. Even if you weren’t dancing yourself, you were still 100% involved. I learned to be at work myself when the choreographer is not working directly with you. The choreographer gives you the assignment: go over the material. It is very valuable to figure out for yourself how certain movements work for your body and to feel what you need without having to please the choreographer. 

Photo: Joris Jan Bos

What did you not expect to learn during your internship?

Omani: The level of work ethic, that everyone is constantly working really hard and all the dancers are so involved. You don’t always see that with other groups of dancers. 

Nova: I totally didn’t expect it to be such a safe place. I didn’t think I could show myself. It was much more personal than expected. Everyone was very supportive. I didn’t expect it to be so nice. 

Which choreography did you enjoy the most?

Omani: The Big Crying by Marco Goecke was my favorite. I had not worked yet with his dance language before. It was really fun to see how far you could push your body. Impasse by Johan Inger also gave a lot of fun. There we had more freedom, especially if you had one of the characters as a role. Then you could do whatever you wanted. Impasse was conditionally very challenging because it consisted of long pieces. 

Nova: The Big Crying was also one of my favorites. I never worked with him and got all the information from my colleagues. In the beginning it was really difficult but we danced it very often, also during (international) tours. Then you get to know it very well and you can play more with timing and other things. Very fun! Impasse had other challenges. You were constantly busy and in terms of condition that made it very tough. With Goecke it was always short pieces. 

What was it like to go on tour?

Photo: Rahi Rezvani

Omani: For me, it was the first time. I thought it was a personal victory to find that despite the fatigue you feel when you are on tour for five weeks, you can keep going and get over this. You learn to push your limits. You have to keep performing. 

Nova: I had been on tour with school before. But at NDT it was very different, much bigger, a higher level. 

What advice would you give the new interns?

Nova: Lydia (Bustinduy, repetitor NDT 2) always said, “Don’t stay in the back, take your space!” Even though you are a trainee, you are part of the group. I had to work on asking as much as I could; everyone is there to help you. You don’t have to put yourself behind. 

Omani: above all, don’t be too scared, be yourself and show yourself. You have a right to be here, even as an intern. 

And now?

After their internships, Nova and Omani keep dancing at NDT 2!

NDT 2 is performing Now here, Now always

Photo: Rahi Rezvani


A triple bill in which Marco Goecke takes you through his most personal work yet on the immensity of grieving. Finally to be seen live in theatres! With Cacti, Alexander Ekman reflects on dance as a high brow art form, with the ultimate goal of obtaining a cactus. And Andrew Skeels debuts at NDT with a world premiere. This programme will be accompanied live by The Ballet Orchestra.