A path led by passion, with Steven
Aktualisiert: Feb 2
I met Steven through a common friend. Not only did we get along very well but also I was impressed by this young man who knows exactely what he wants in life and works hard to reach his goals. A strong mind we can all learn from. Let's dive into his story and discover how Steven became a dancer and is still pursuing his path.
Sandra: You have several activities. Can you please describe them? Steven: I’m a first year student in a physiotherapy education at Unfallskrankenhaus Berlin. Before that I graduated as a professional dancer at the Berlin Dance Institute in September 2019 and have been working as a dancer and choreographer ever since.
I’m training (dance) several times a week to keep my body strong and together with Lena Biallawons we started our own independent dance company.
Sandra: How did you know that being a dancer was what you wanted? What did you do to make it happen? Steven: I’m a very physical person when it comes to expierincing my feelings. As a kid I felt a lot of emotions and often it was hard to speak about them and to really understand them. I found calmness in structure and organisation. When I was 16 and already spent multiple years focusing on theatre I discovered what dance really is and became very interested in this physical embodiment of emotions, rather than verbal embodiment, which we focus on when acting. Once I started my dancing education I wished I would have started dancing earlier as a kid. However I realized in my final year that dance was based on me and on my way of thinking. I had needed that time to get where I was. Sandra: After that you decided to study again. How did you find what you wanted to do? How do you manage to find time for all your activities?
Steven: After working for a year in the dancing field as a teacher, a dancer and a choreographer I decided that I needed something more to do and keep myself occupied and active. So I decided to study physiotherapy, probably because as a dancer you continuously come in contact with physiotherapist. I’ve always been interested in the medical side of the human body, I have been wanting to know how training and keeping a healthy body influence the way I feel and improve the physical limits of my body. I feel that I somehow already understand a lot of the physiotherapy basics thanks to that.
Working as a choreographer and a dancer is still my main goal in life. I just realized that having something like physiotherapy on the side only had benefits. On days I would not teach, create or dance, I could work as a physiotherapist. Also I would be of great support for other dancers especially now that I have my own dance company! I believe that we have a lot of time as humans but we might not be managing it as well as we should or could. There are 24 hours in a day, which is a lot. If you do the math and analyze how you spend your time, it helps visualizing what currently is and what you can adjust.
This is how it looks like for me: 24h/day - 8h of sleep - 6h of eating, chores, free time = 10h to work each day. Seeing that made me realize that there is plenty of time to work on my goals.
Over the years I found the benefits of a healthy life style, starting with a good structured sleeping pattern and a good diet. I live and strive the strongest on a plant based diet. It gives me energy and keeps me active trough the whole day. I am sure this is the reason why I don’t get sick or tired. After four years with a plant based diet doing top-sport, working and studying I can only say it’s working for me.
What's more two years ago I decided to become more conscious about how I spend my money. My original motivation was both ecological and financial. Choosing to spend money on the things that I really need creates value (things I buy feel more special to me) and more freedom. I can do a lot in my life because I worry less about my financial situation.
Working as an artist isn’t an easy life: people judge what you create and what you do, you don’t have a secure income or job, and a simple accident could end it all. But doing what I love and enjoy is the best choice I've ever made! It gives me a reason to always improve myself, brings me joy and peace within myself.
Sandra: What would you recommend to somebody who wants to change something in his/her career or life but is afraid of the consequences?
Steven: There are always consequences. Most of the time the things we are most afraid of are the possible difficulties to reach a goal or that we might fail. My parents have always thought me that even difficult things are possible.
If you don't make a choice or change anything you will always wonder "what if?". Choices never bring you to something bad, they just bring you somewhere different. And isn’t wandering the truest form of enjoyment as a person?
More about Steven:
Follow him on Instagram: stevendegijnst
Discover his dance company on Instagram: @vortex.dance.theater
As a choreographer I like to see my choreography’s as a collage they are different images, movements and segments that together make sense as a piece within itself. As a choreographer it’s not my job to make sure you understand the exact story, it’s my job to represent my story on a way that is true to myself and that the process of creating it allows it to become.
I have come to believe that my choreographic process is a clear representation of how I live my life (emotional, social, and practical). I get an idea, do my research, analyze every single bit and piece I can. I then let that go once I start with the physical creation. The physical creation starts with just going for what feels good, just as in life, just go with it and it will always lead you somewhere new.
I let it all just come to me, because I’m ready for surprises, I’m ready to let expectations be for-filled, to let expectations become disappointments and for me to turn them away. In my latest work “Delights” I was prepared but the piece had some really hard and stubborn parts that were hard to plan. So it turned out the part I believed to become the high point, actually became the part I completely threw away. Once again I came to a point where I realized that intuition and that good old gut feeling brought me to create one of my best pieces yet! What dance is to me: It reminds me that being alive is a game. to dance is the pure essence of us as humans, it’s to move with the honesty of a playing child, as if it’s the last breath you have. What choreography is to me: It’s within creating a choreography that I relate to the world, My way of relating to my emotions and my findings in this modern world come together in my choreographies.