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Vanessa Poll : Choreographer & Dance Teacher 💃

On the occasion of the APEEE’s annual dance show, we are pleased to present an exclusive interview with Vanessa Poll, a renowned choreographer and dance teacher. Vanessa has had an impressive career in the world of dance, from her early days on the Edinburgh festival stage to television shows and international theatre productions. Her expertise in classical dance, jazz and tap, as well as her commitment as an educator in various institutions, make her a respected figure on the artistic scene. Read her thoughts on her career, her art and this year’s 2024 dance show.

Background & training

After completing her education in mainstream schools, Vanessa pursued her passion for dance by studying at the Vlaamse Dans Academie in Bruges between 1992 and 1993, then at the Arts Educational London School from 1993 to 1996. Her talent led her to become a dancer and choreographer in productions such as “42nd Street”, “Birth of a Man” and “Little Shop of Horrors” at the Edinburgh Festival in 1996 and 1997. She subsequently choreographed productions at the Cirque Royal from 1997 to 2001, including works such as ‘Oliver Twist’, ‘Le petit chose’, and ‘Germinal’. Between 2000 and 2005, she was also a dancer in various television shows (Soundmix show, Star ce soir, etc) and worked as a choreographer for the musical “Oklahoma”, which was approved by Guinness World Records in 2000. From 2000 to 2006, Vanessa was choreographer and captain of the Atomix cheerleaders and contributed as a dancer to video clips for artists such as Sharon Williams, Boney M, Venga Boys & Chupa Chups.

Since 2000, Vanessa has taught ballet, jazz and tap at various institutions including Balletomania, L’école Martine Wolf, Alaeti Ballet and the APEEE de Bxl II.

How many years have you been teaching at the APEEE? Have you taught anything other than dance?

I’ve been teaching ballet, jazz and tap at the APEEE since 2000.

How many children do you teach per group?

It varies between 10 and 30. For the show I’ll be managing a team of 140 pupils.

The dance show is coming up soon. Are the children looking forward to it or are they apprehensive about going on stage?

As they approach a dance performance, children are often overwhelmed by a multitude of emotions, and it’s perfectly normal for them to feel stressed. However, it is essential to highlight the resilience and adaptability they show in such situations.

Many of them find creative ways to channel their stress, whether it’s by practising breathing exercises, concentrating on their dance moves or supporting each other in their group.

In addition, the enthusiasm and passion they feel for the dance helps them to transform their stress into positive energy. They realise that the show is an opportunity to share their love of dance with their loved ones, which motivates them to overcome their fears.

In the end, the children teach us a valuable lesson about coping with stress with courage and determination. Their ability to navigate through these difficult times with resilience and optimism is truly inspiring.

Through the process of preparation and performance, they learn not only to manage their emotions, but also to develop as confident and graceful individuals.

The end-of-year dance show requires a lot of organisation. How do you go about putting on a show from A to Z?

Organising an end-of-year dance show requires a harmonious blend of creativity, rigour and dedication. Every year, I embark on this adventure with a deep respect for the art of dance and an unfailing admiration for our talented dancers.

It all starts with the meticulous selection of music to which the choreography is grafted, where each movement is meticulously studied to create a coherent and captivating whole.

Then comes the intensive training phase, where our dancers commit themselves with passion and determination. Each dance class is an opportunity to perfect their technique, explore new artistic expressions and strengthen their bond as a group. Dance demands discipline, and our dancers rise to this challenge with admirable grace and perseverance.

During the preparation of the show, I always make sure that my dancers feel supported and valued. I’m there to encourage them to give their best, while respecting their limits and looking after their physical and mental well-being. Each stage in the preparation of the show is an opportunity to grow together, as individuals and as a community of passionate dancers.

Finally, when the stage lights come up and the music echoes through the auditorium, we witness the magic unfolding on stage. Every gesture, every expression, every step reveals the culmination of months of hard work and total commitment. It’s a moment of shared pride, where the dancers shine with all their talent and the audience is transported by their grace and passion.

Organising an end-of-year dance show is much more than just logistics. It’s a sharing of the discipline and beauty of dance that unites us all in an unforgettable artistic adventure.

We thank Vanessa for availability !

Take a look at the poster for the Wonka dance show, taking place on Friday 19 April at 7pm in Woluwe. If you’re interested in attending, you can buy a ticket (€6/adult +18) via Wonka! (weezevent.com)! We hope to see many of you there 💃🏽🍫

Workshops for the week: 24th June to 28th June 2024 are full.

NORMAL BUS SERVICE

Friday 19/01/2024 afternoon for departures at 15:30 and 16:20  

 

Updated on 19/01/2024 – 11:50