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Accepting International Applications

Groundwork is a one week professional development program for dancers and choreographers.

If you have a background in Hiphop, Dancehall, Krumping, Afrobeats, or House, and you want to learn /improve your skills in the dance theatre sector, this program is for you.

I am excited to be one of the guest teachers on the program, but a whole line up is awaiting for you!

It is a residential program, in other words, you will stay, sleep, eat and create all week in Destelheide, an amazing arts centre.

 

We are opening up a few spots for international artists.

Belgian dancers: applications are closed.

Internationals: apply ASAP or before 28th SEPT.

 

If you get selected, it only costs 120€ to do the program! (And yes that includes accommodation and food 3 meals / day).

Applicants from outside of Belgium, you will just have to travel to Brussels by your own means. The rest is taken care of by the organisation.

 

Full info & applications: https://www.facebook.com/events/2123397871313843/

 

You can also contact the organisers directly: TIMISS

 

That nasty little inner voice

Wanna know what my nasty little voice was saying?
 

It was not “I am not good enough”….

 
—-
 
Mine was “I am not important anyway, and nobody cares”.
 
When I say it “was”… don’t take me wrong.
It still appears like a gremlins and pops up like firework by surprise.
 
This evil sentence especially likes to catch me when I am playing bigger, aiming bigger, dreaming bigger.
 
I had to learn the art of wrestling with it, as well embracing it and loving it for what it is.
 
—-
 
So when I started a crowdfunding campaign for my tuition fee to study at Jacques Lecoq in Paris… guess who knocked at the door?
 

“I am not important anyway, and nobody cares”.

 
Damn… it was having a full on party, bottles popping, inside my brain and my veins.
 
I had to put the unwanted guest outside, thank him for sharing its thoughts, but party was over. Camp in a tent outside, mate!
 
—-
 
One month later…
 
73 people donated
 
73 people told me THEY CARED, and they are encouraging me on the journey
 
Donations came from:
Belgium, UK, San Francisco, NYC, Sweden, New Oreans, Jamaica and Paris
 
—-
 
THANK YOU <3
 
Every day I am freaking out a little more thinking…

wow… I got 73 people waiting for me to succeed…

 
No pressure.
 
—-
 
I am sharing this story because this crowdfunding campaign has been the FIRST TIME I ever put myself vulnerably on the line so much.
 
People could have ignored me.
 
People could have swiped away and scroll further.
 
But they didn’t.
 
Instead… LOVE POURED IN from all corners of the world:
With donations when people were able to, and, with a message / favour / text when they couldn’t donate.
 
Did I ever imagine this could happen?
 
NO WAY.
 

I thought “I wasn’t important anyway”, that I was gonna walk down the aisle of shame cause nobody would even pay attention to my posts.

 
—-
 
The BIGGEST life lesson today is to be OPEN.
OPEN to receive encouragements.
OPEN to receive love.
 
I played it tough for many years.
Often felt like I was a lonely warrior, fighting… fighting what?
 
What I really needed to fight/love/accept was that inner voice.
 
—-
 
Today I wanna share this with you all:
 
I am important and people care.
 

YOU are important and people care.

May we all be OPEN to receive this abundant caring energy that exists all around us.
May your nasty gremlins little voice camp outside.
LIFE is YOUR party, not his.

And remember we need more artists like you partying in this world.

 
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Picture by Wei Wang 🙂

Take a leap of faith, of purpose, of freedom

May you all have the confidence, trust & power, to make YOUR leap of faith
.
I’ll share my story cause some of you are going through something similar
.
I was a dance teacher for +/- 20 years (I started young). While I liked teaching, and while I was good at it, my heart kept saying that my true path was elsewhere
.
During the last few years, I kept teaching dance in the hope that some day – one day, the big creative vision will come true and I’ll be able to – finally – follow my true purpose & STOP teaching
.
Yes I liked it. Every class. But I knew it wasn’t my calling, it was not the WHY I was on earth for
.
Yes I was good at it but I’m good at many things. And I learned that being good at something doesn’t mean you should do it
.
Jan 2018: I was living in HOPE, hope for a life change and a business REFOCUS
.
Dance Theatre, Dance Storytelling, creating shows, and teaching THIS to students: that’s what makes my heart beat, and that’s what I wanted to do full time – not half the time
.
May 2018: I stopped teaching dance, only taught a tiny bit since
.
In the words of Lisa Nichols – my vision went from OPTIONAL to NON NEGOTIABLE
.
I had no back up plan though
.
While it felt liberating, it came with financial pressure
.
Big part of my business was based on it. But it felt RIGHT
.
I trusted SOMETHING would come up in my energetic field
.
I was literally telling the Universe / God / my Guardian Angels / Green Tara: I am READY, tell me, what’s next
.
Two months of chaotic uncertainty later, I received a place at the International School of Theatre of Jacques Lecoq in Paris
.
A dream come true
.
I landed… I am safe… until my next leap of faith
.
As a choreographer / theatre director / comedy specialist – I’m taking things to a next level. Time to play EXTRA BIG
.
Wishing you to play big, trust, and make YOUR own personal leap… and you’ll land safely
.

 

Smashing that glass ceiling into pieces

It makes me boil, boil to the bone
All my efforts were in vain – I wish I had known
It didn’t matter whether or not – artistically – I had grown
That glass ceiling wanted me away from the throne

Initially, I saw myself rise and rise and rise
During the ascension – I thought it was all lies
Women were flying high – as much as the guys
Little did I know it was sneering in the background – in disguise

Let me introduce you: The Glass Ceiling
Ladies and Gents: Gender Inequality
Drum rolls… OFF BEAT please!

It hit me hard, and by surprise.

– by Cindy Claes

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It feels a little bit like…

Walking straight into a glass door.
Whether your nose is bleeding or your eye is bruised, nobody even noticed you missed the entrance.

It feels a little bit like…

Running with sweat and tears after a train who has already departed.
But your waving ain’t catching nobody’s attention.

================

FACT: 
The arts industry is poisoned by gender inequality.

FACT: 
Female choreographers / theatre directors are not receiving the same commissions, support and opportunities.

FACT: 
I don’t have all the answers on how to make a deep long lasting difference.

I can only share with you the way it made me feel:
Frustrated, sad, angry, helpless AND…

FLIPPING POWERFUL!!

Lisa Nichols says:

“Some motivation will come wrapped in sandpaper.”

 

That which was initially rage, has fueled an un-negotiable hunger for growth.

I am making a radical life-changing decision:
studying at Jacques Lecoq in Paris for 1-2 years.

I am leaving everything behind.
Current network, reputation, gigs, home, friends, etc.
Scary? YES!

================

I am going to invest time and energy into become the best artist I can ever be.

I am gonna raise my game, learn a world-widely renown technique approaching theatre, comedy and dance in the most magnificent way.

This is the way I will contribute in smashing this glass ceiling into pieces.
With skills, by skills, and through skillful creations.
(Wait for it, when I am back…)

Opening the door, for the next generation of girls and women.
And making the flipping train WAIT for them before departing without them.

================

SUPPORT FEMALE LEADERSHIP

DONATE TOWARDS MY TUITION FEE to study at Jacques Lecoq:

CLICK HERE

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Picture & necklace Wei Wang

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Hip hop Dancehall Krumping – … from the streets to the Theatre…

Bringing Hip hop from the streets to the Theatre wasn’t a natural progression “per se”… artists had to fight for it and break down walls. Today the movement of Hip hop Theatre, Dancehall Theatre and Krumping Theatre is growing. In some countries street dancers creating Theatre work still are not valued, in other parts of the world the art form has been embraced and acknowledged long time ago… Which challenges do we, as Hip hop dance theatre, Dancehall Theatre, or Krumping Theatre makers have to face today?

Sharing a few thoughts on my video blog series… I could talk about it for hours, but I am trying to keep the videos short… 🙂

If you have questions, please holla at me!

Cindy

Behind the scenes – rehearsals of Cindy Claes’ new solo piece

“Time is ticking, phone is ringing” is a new Hip hop & Dancehall Theatre piece I am currently working on. A piece that questions our goal-orientated society and looks at how romance and relationships coexist in a world where professional success has become so important… I created this piece with the hope that it will create debate, raise questions and make people talk about a topic that always triggers something deeply hidden within us.

My next performance will be at the ADAD Trailblazers Showcase, on SAT 31st MAY at The Place in London.

BOOK TICKETS HERE:

http://www.theplace.org.uk/adad

Hope to see you there!

Cindy