Training Majoretteketet - Improvise in dance

“If I were you, I would have probably just gone back home,” she texted me. “No! I planned on arriving in the Ardennes, I WILL reach it one way or the other” My determination drags me in the 6th train of that day. Only 2 more to go. I hope. 

I love going back to groups I have worked with. I remember their talents, their struggles and I love seeing the progress they have made. And so I loved my return to the Flemmish girls and guy of Majoretteketet. A 3,5 hour delay could not stop me. 

They are a very unique group combining choreographed dances, improvised dance and fun, light street theatre. Last year I worked with them on the last two: the elements where some improv skills are of use. 

Training a dance group how to improvise dance steps is a wonderful challenge. It needs creativity, leadership, collaboration and a lot of conviction. While working on them separately and together, I heard stories of the crazy situations they come across.

How 1 girl fell down and they all dropped to the floor to make it fit. How they joined a man peeing in the street by pretending to pee too. How they entered a high-class boutique and froze like statues in the window. 

But how much they enjoy these moments, taking the initiative is difficult. When? How? What? But mostly… Who? In a full day training we started with leading little groups, and then going bigger, daring more and taking it outside. It was a joy to see them explore different dimensions and surprise themselves with what they could come up with. 

Majoretteketet is a truly unique group in how they combine the prepared and the improvised parts, and I thoroughly enjoyed helping with bridging the two. I believe it is on this bridge where the magic happens. 

And you know… For me too, it sometimes feels like these 2 parts of my brain inherently don’t want to collaborate. My prepared, organized, choreographed self does not like doing business with the improvising, loose, in-the-moment self. Regardless how often I tell them they need each other. 

One part of me ensures I am at the train station in time, while the other is much better in coping with train delays. Apparently, I need both.


Vriendelijk bedankt to all the Majoretteketet dancers, especially Els, Lotte, Leen, Hanne and Inge for the logistics. Hugs to you all.