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Newcomers 2018

There is not a single doubt that dancers are hardworking and passionate people. That becomes perfectly clear each and every time they start a course and send us their first results.

21 dancers got a new application for retraining approved in 2018. 11 applied for a Study and income allowance and 10 for the refund of study costs only.

Read some of the inspiring choices dancers made in 2018. They are all financially supported by the Omscholingsregeling. Do you want to know more about the possibilities the Omscholingsregeling is offering, check our website. You can also make an appointment info@omscholingdansers.nl



Brooke Newman (26) is dancing with Introdans since 2013. She is born in Australia and studied here in the Netherlands at the Nationale Balletacademie in Amsterdam. Brooke started the Bachelor of International Aid and Development at the Open University of Australia next to her dancing career.

I have commenced studying International Aid and Development, with the hope of working within the field of human rights. I want to turn my attention to how I can help others in some small way to live the life they deserve. Being able to study alongside work is something that I have wanted to do for a long time. I couldn’t be more thankful to ODN for the chance to better myself, and make the leap to a new career.



Bryndis Ragna Brynjolfsdottir (42) is originally from Iceland and has been working as a professional dancer for 23 years. The last 18 years of her career she danced with Scapino Ballet Rotterdam. August 2018 Bryndis terminated her dancing career and since then she studies photography at the Royal Academy of Art Den Haag

Starting a new career is a huge step. Questions arise such as who am I, what do I like to do and what do I want to become later. I had been dancing for 30 years since my very first steps at the age of ten. Being a dancer forms you and gives you an identity. Reasons for taking the step to the Royal Academy of Art Den Haag for photography are that I want to find a new medium to create and express myself and maybe connect that together with my dancing career.
It takes time to find a new balance in my life, but it is exciting and challenging to be able to develop new knowledge and eventually a new path in my life.



Pedro Goucha Gomes (46) danced with het Nederlands Dans Theater between 2003 and 2007. At the end of his dancing career he developed himself as a choreographer and later as a dance teacher. ODN supported him financially so he could complete his Feldenkrais study.

The Feldenkrais education was the most pleasurable and empowering experience I’ve had ever since I stopped dancing. I have been applying its principles and practices from the very beginning of my studies to all aspects of my life. Now that I am a certified teacher I work with a wide variety of people and look forward to continue to expand my practice.



Mariko Shimoda (34) is from Japan and came to Codarts Rotterdam to study dance. Since 2012 she works at Conny Janssen Danst. Before working with Conny she danced in various productions of Korzo, Lonneke van Leth, the Dutch Don’t Dance Division and het Internationaal Danstheater. In the summer of 2018 she took two courses at the Amsterdam Fashion Academy.

I knew that I wanted to do something with textile and creating but I wasn’t sure exactly which direction to pursue or where to start. Therefore I took the opportunity to join two short summer courses from the Amsterdam Fashion Academy; Creative Pattern Cutting course and the Fashion Design course. Taking these two courses, with the financial support of ODN, helped me to decide further which kind of study and profession to pursue and to see which kind of education would suit me the best.



After sixteen years the British Rupert Tookey (36) terminated his dancing career in 2018. Fourteen years of which he had worked in the Netherlands with Scapino Ballet Rotterdam and het Nederlands Dans Theater. He studies a Master of Arts and Cultural Management at the Middlesex University in London and he will start soon as artistic producer/curator at NDT.

I am currently finishing off a Masters in Arts Management, my aim in choosing this study was to further understand the world in which I had been working for so many years. I did not have a clear goal of “becoming” something else through this study. However, wanting to stay in the dance world I wanted/needed to understand the contexts of it on a deeper and more theoretical level.
The opportunity to develop yourself and rediscover yourself after dance is so precious, affirming who you are after losing an identify is daunting and confronting. The support of ODN plays a huge part in this journey and I am forever grateful.

(Photo by Joris-Jan Bos)



Helena Volkov (37) is originally from Israel. Since 2004 she has danced with Noord Nederlandse Dans, Dansgroep Amsterdam and the last five years with ICK. In 2018 she ended her dancing career and started a Master in Dance Therapy at Codarts.

Switching careers is a stressful process, especially when the initial path is so tight to your identity. It took me many years to go through the transition towards my possible future self, and I can't imagine doing it without the help of the Omscholingsregeling . I am so grateful for the time, psychological and financial support, that was offered to me during this challenging transition.



Wolfgang Tietze (35) is originally from Germany and has been dancing with Het Nationale Ballet in Amsterdam since 2006. After 15 years of dancing he was offered a position as stage manager in 2018. To be able to speak Dutch is vital in that position and the Omscholingsregeling paid for his Dutch classes. By now he speaks Dutch fluently.

As of January 1st I started as a stage manager with the Dutch Nationale Opera & Ballet. ODN has supported me with career advice and I am currently taking Dutch classes to improve my Dutch.
I am adjusting to a new work field and I start to see the performing arts from a different angle. ODN gave me the feeling that they are always there to support me in my transition and to help me develop in my new career.  

(Photo by Sebastien Galtier)



After finishing a Bachelor of Dance at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Amsterdam Doron Lenferink (32) danced with Internationaal Danstheater from 2008 up to 2012. When this company lost its funding she had no other choice than to pursue her career abroad. She went to Slovakia to dance with the state company Sl’uk. In 2016 Doron had to stop dancing for medical reasons. Since 2018 she studies Psychology at the Open University.

By literally listening to my heart I started studying Psychology in 2018. There wasn’t a lot of time for me to think about a new career because of the open heart surgery I had to undergo in 2016. It both saved my life and made me stronger emotionally. It made me realize that I wanted to help people. With my physical and emotional strength from dancing plus a scientific study I hope to be able to do that in the future. Once a dancer, always a dancer.



Jeroen van Acker (32) has, after graduation from the Rotterdamse Dansacademie, danced with De Stilte, Tanzcompagnie Gießen in Germany and Internationaal Danstheater. Since 2016 he works as a freelancer and did several projects with the Nederlandse Opera, Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, Focus Dance Sweden and worked with Neel Verdoorn, Corneliu Ganea and David Middendorp.

Next to my freelance work as a dancer I started a course in animal care called Vakbekwaam Medewerker Dierenverzorging at LOI. Ever since I was a kid I was fascinated by animals and nature. Thanks to ODN I can slowly start thinking about a new career in a totally different working environment.


Mirella Castagna (29) is originally from Portugal and became a company dancer at De Stilte in September 2013. Mirella has been with De Stilte ever since. Next to her dance career she studies at Vakschool Schoonhoven to become a creative Goldsmith.

ODN gives me the opportunity to evolve. To be honest it wasn’t easy for me to think of the future, because I tend to do things day by day. Unfortunately a dancing career doesn’t last a lifetime. Starting something new can be scary, confronting and exciting, especially if you have been dancing for as long as you can remember. My new study made me realize how much I appreciate
and respect my dancing career. It will continue to be my passion as long as it lasts, ODN gives me the opportunity and time to mould this passion into a new artistic form. It’s a win win.



If you are thinking about your future possibilities and would like to talk about your plans, you can contact ODN for careers advice. It’s free of charge for all dancers! We are here to assist you.



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"When as a dancer it is time for a change, a lot of feeling of insecurity arises. The Omscholingsregeling gave me financial support and self confidence to face these new challenges." (Jérôme Meyer)

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