The most common question I get asked. And the answer? A very clichéd “because it makes me happy”.
The simple truth is, it does. You see, ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted, needed, to be a dancer. It didn’t necessarily look that way when I spent half of my first dance class crying and hanging from my teacher’s leg. But after the initial fear that was it. Tjasa, what will you be when you grow up? A dancer. That was what I will become.
Quite a strange thing to decide at three years old. All my other friends wanted to become something different every year; a doctor, an actress, a nurse, a florist. Not me, I was obsessed.
Looking back on my career today, I realised that what truly kept me hooked on dancing weren’t the results or cups and titles I have won. It was the music, the possibility to express myself, the applause of the spectators who don’t care whether you are the winner or not; if your performance touches them they will give you a standing ovation and forget about the champion. Travelling around the world, visiting countries which I would never have seen and dancing shows in front of people I would never have met otherwise.
There were a lot of experiences that shaped me as a dancer. That shaped me as a person. Sad, funny (wait till you hear about Hong Kong), difficult and beautiful. I will tell you about them some other time.