GET TO KNOW OUR HEROES: Hiske, the Spotlight
If you follow Movely on instagram you may have seen her on the stories. Hiske is 31 years old and lives in Rotterdam. She has been active in the salsa scene for years and at her peak danced up to five times a week. Unfortunately, she has only danced occasionally for the past few years. Fortunately, she has found another way to stay involved with the good vibes from the scene: by working at Movely. Meet Hiske – the Spotlight.
Hiske’s daily life
She cannot describe exactly what Hiske does in her daily life in one sentence. “Tough question, I’m a bit of a jack-of-all-trades?” In 2020, Hiske worked for three days at our parent company Movemento: the company that manages both Striktly and Movely. As a Customer Experience designer she was responsible for everything related to the user experience, both online and offline. Because no events could be organized due to corona, her attention has been completely on Movely since April and she has mainly focused on creating visibility for the brand. From 2021 she will continue this for a few hours a week.
In addition, Hiske has her own company with various activities in which telling stories is her common thread. She has been a freelance copywriter and has her own blog. “I like to share my own brain farts.” But recently she also gives Human Design readings to give clients insight into themselves. “What I really like is that you can see the potential of someone in such a chart, and you can really empower people with it if they start to see themselves that way too.”
The workshop that changed her student life
Although she used to go to the Latin festival Dias Latinos in Amersfoort with her parents every year, salsa dancing only started to itch when Hiske took part in a workshop at the salsa student association SoSalsa in Delft in 2007. There she discovered the feeling that she now describes as ‘dance flow’. “It’s a feeling of letting go or surrender or something? When I dance I’m better than I actually am. It shows me a bit of the best version of myself.”
Soon she was addicted to salsa and wanted to experience this feeling as much as possible. “I went to all the parties of the association, and I was always the last one left.” She mainly learned salsa by just doing it. She already had a dance background with street dance, and progressed quickly because she was easy to follow and covered a lot of dance miles. “It really depended on which dancer I danced with. How that person leads completely determined how I danced. That was not always appreciated by everyone.” she laughs. It was only when Hiske auditioned for a show team two years later that she started taking lessons. She was allowed in the show group on the condition that she would still learn the basics. “I had no spinning technique and bumped too much. Thanks to the show team, I quickly got a lot better.”
The student association SoSalsa was the connection with the salsa scene for Hiske. It was kind of a small community within the bigger scene. She was very active in the association. She had already served on several committees when she was asked for a PR role on the board. “It actually seemed cool to have been on a board, it’s also good for your resume. And I was already breathing salsa, so it was a logical choice.”
The fact that Hiske’s life grew out of salsa during her studies is also reflected in her education. During her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design, she took part in the HEMA design competition. The problem she wanted to solve was one that she always had herself: “As a woman, when you go dancing, you usually have no pockets in your dress and no bag, because that is floating around. So I always put my money and the wardrobe receipt in my bra. Well, you dance – so you sweat, so you could pick that receipt off your skin at the end of the night.” Hiske won the HEMA public award design competition with her design, the “cleavage wallet”. For the women who recognize this problem: this wallet for in your bra is still for sale at HEMA.
A life without salsa
Although Hiske doesn’t dance much anymore, the salsa scene has left its mark in different layers of her life. “I started walking and dancing in heels because of salsa. People around me thought that was crazy too. you heels? you dresses? huh? I think it was a bit of rediscovering my femininity, secretly.”
Hiske thinks the great thing about the salsa scene is that wherever you go dancing, you can come alone and then be sweet all night. “If you go to a party, in any country, you can always dance. You kind of speak the same language.” She has been dancing alone in London, Berlin, Barcelona and Rome. Her trick as a woman at a party when you go alone? “Find a man who can dance well for a show-off dance for everyone to see. Then you will be covered for the rest of the evening.”
When asked what her life would have been like without salsa, she looks sad. “Pathetic. Then I wouldn’t have been with my current boyfriend for over 10 years, I wouldn’t have the same friends I have now and I would have had a boring student life. It really had a big impact on my social life. So without that my life must be very sad.”
Being able to work at Movely has brought Hiske a little closer to dancing. “I think it’s a combination of a bit of nostalgia because I always thought the salsa scene was very special, and making a bit of an impact.”
The bit of impact that Hiske wants to achieve with Movely is close to the impact she is trying to make with her own company. “What I like about Movely is that it represents my own core values. Such as empowerment: bringing out the best in people. The feeling I already experience while dancing, then I’m on fire, to bring that feeling up in the entire scene.” She is therefore very motivated to help make Movely great. “For me, Movely represents the best the salsa scene has to offer.”
She already brings this feeling of empowerment back in her work in various places. For example, she writes the interviews with the team to introduce them. “I have deliberately chosen to present our team members as ‘Heroes’. Because they are. I want them to reread their interview that they feel themselves growing and see and think of themselves in the best light; ‘Wow, is that me?’ So far that has worked out quite well.”
Because salsa has meant so much to Hiske in her life, that is also part of what she wants to give attention to in the community. Connecting the dancers with the help of stories, because according to her they have a connecting effect. “There are all kinds of special stories in the scene that are worth bringing to light.”
In a year’s time, Hiske can imagine that Movely has really taken on a face from the community and that it represents what people in the salsa scene experience, sharing beautiful experiences and stories.
Do you want to share with the community what salsa has done for you or do you have another great dance story? Mail your story or talk to Hiske, you can reach her via email@example.com.