From Slovenia we head to the winning country of the last Eurovision Young Dancers, the Netherlands. The Netherlands are being represented by 20-year-old Thijs Higenboom, here is what he had to say ahead of next weeks competition.
Thank you very much for talking to us, how does it feel for you to know you will be representing the Netherlands in front of thousands of viewers in just over a weeks time?
It is a crazy feeling and still pretty unreal, but I am super excited and honored to represent the Netherlands at the Eurovision Young Dancers.
You’ve had a very busy past couple of weeks, you were announced as the replacement for injured Timothy van Poucke last week, how are your preparations going?
There has definitely been no time to sit still, but I think that’s a good thing, at least I am really focused now. I have been rehearsing like crazy and I think things are going surprisingly well!
You’ve been dancing since you were 10 years old, what was it that drew you towards being a dancer?
Basically how almost every boy gets in to dancing I think: sisters! I have two sisters who used to dance, but I was quickly bored of watching them and rather danced myself. Immediately when I started I was sure I wanted to do this the rest of my life.
Your routine for the competition is called “Variation of the Male Flame”, can you tell us more about it?
Originally the ”Variation of the Male Flame” is from Benjamin Britten’s ”The Prince of Pagodas” (1957), but Thom Stuart, artistic director and choreographer at De Dutch Don’t Dance Division, rechoreographed it for De Dutch Don’t Dance Division’s last Christmas production: ”Dancing in a Winter Wonderland”. I didn’t perform it then and I am super excited to do it now.
Who would you say are the greatest influences on your style of dance?
Hmmm.. that’s a tough question. I have worked with so many great people; teachers, choreographers, coaches, other dancers. I very much enjoy the different opinions or tips and tricks of other people; I think it’s always a good thing to pick the things you think are useful for yourself and keep the other things in mind, but maybe use them less or give them less priority. So a big credit would go to all the people I worked with.
What does it mean as a dancer to have the platform of Eurovision Young Dancers to be able to perform in front of an audience who may not usually watch dancing?
I think this is a great program and opportunity for both young dancers and the audience. I am so happy that I am able to show myself to people that may or may not be used to watch dance and I really hope to inspire at least one of them.
The Netherlands won the last contest in 2013, how would it feel for you to repeat the success of Sedrig Verwoert?
Of course it would be a great if this were to happen! It would mean a lot to me if I would win this contest, but it is also very hard to know what my chances or winning are. I am pretty sure I will compete with nine other amazing dancers.
Finally, do you have anything you’d like to say to the readers of Eurovoix.com?
Follow your dreams! You might need to polish them over the years, but don’t let anything or anyone get in the way of being the person you want to be or do the things you would love to do.
We wish Thijs the best of luck for the competition next week and all the best for the future. You can find out much more about Eurovision Young Dancers and keep up with the latest Eurovision Young Dancers news here.