Dance education in collaboration with De Vrolijkheid.

NDT and De Vrolijkheid have joined forces for a long-term period to offer dance education to children in asylum seekers’ centers throughout the Netherlands. By bringing children into contact with culture through dance, they ultimately develop and experience more self-confidence in connection with others. Culture increases empowerment and has a positive effect on self-image, talents, and resilience. For children in asylum seekers’ centers, culture also establishes connections with people outside the asylum seekers’ center. This is essential for them to settle in the Netherlands, participate and find their own way.

This season the collaboration focuses on laying a foundation for the coming years. Various workshop series are being organized and supervised by dance teachers from NDT. Each workshop series begins with a kick-off in which the children watch a choreography danced by (former) NDT dancers. The video below was made during a kick-off of a workshop series in the asylum seekers’ center in Katwijk.

Photos by Petra Katanic.

I loved the dancing so much, how they started moving together like that.

One of the children about the duet by former NDT dancers Christie Partelow en George Milev

 “New week, new energy! That’s the mindset I walk into the studio with every week. From the beginning, it was really about how I, as a contemporary dancer/teacher and primarily human, could connect with the kids. That was a challenge. Lotte and I are both teachers who like to work from the creative-expressive aspect of dance. Now we really had to go back to the basic building blocks of dance (class) and create trust and safety, but also clear boundaries in the first place. Here I see how vulnerable you can be through dance. You are working with your body and with emotions that sometimes go in all directions!” 

Dance teacher Alexandra Loembé

I saw the children enjoying themselves so much! And you saw that when they were allowed to dance themselves, the movements were inspired by the choreography that the dancers of NDT danced. Wonderful to see!

Supervisor of the children in the asylum seekers center

“A very unique place to work. As a teacher, I am challenged to appear as a human being with clear boundaries to create safety. This took a lot of getting used to, no room for doubt. Then, within it, space is created to play, to dance, to share creativity, and to experience a vacuum of fun. So special! All my teaching skills out the door and making contact as a human being. Wonderful moments blossom from that.”

Dansdocent Lotte Dekkers