Dancing is so much more than just dancing

,,If everyone would dance, the world would look better. And here in Leeuwarden I would like to contribute to that, so that this mission spreads around”, Saco Velt states, owner of dance school Saco Velt. In the previous year he won the De HET entrepreneur award, in the category of cultural entrepreneur.

By: Else Rietveld – photo: MerkMakers/Robbert Evers – English translation: Max Bollen – also published in the ‘Huis aan Huis Leeuwarden en omstreken’ (door-to-door paper Leeuwarden and surroundings)

,,I didn’t sign-up for the entrepreneurship-award myself”, says Velt. ,,A married couple that used to dance at our school signed us up. They agreed that this was a suiting award for us. And of course we are immensely proud that we won it. Through this participation we got to know more entrepreneurs. I am a great supporter of cooperation.”

Dancing with Parkinson’s disease
Prior to the finals, the finalists of De HET follow various workshops, from clothing advice and media training to a session on how the brain works. About that last workshop, Velt is still enthusiastic. ,,Research shows that dancing is good for your brain. I can apply these insights directly in the dance school. I have for instance a man who suffers from Parkinson’s disease during my classes. When he dances, he moves very relaxed. If he stops dancing, he is suffers of his illness again. Dancing is so much more than just dancing.”

Social meeting center
The jury report of De HET praises dance school Saco Velt, because it adapts to a changing society where dancing is no longer part of regular education. ,,I am always busy with projects”, explains Velt. ,,Therefore you need to cooperate with other parties. We can’t do it all alone. You need each other.”

Together with the Leeuwarder Courant, Velt started a project to motivate 50 plus people to start to work out. Most of them had dance classes in the past, and this way they rediscover dancing. ,,It’s an enormous success. I love joy and want to offer people more than just a few dance moves. The dance school is a social meeting center for these elderly people. There are even new relationships starting up.”

A second home
Children are also an important target group for Velt. Children from the highest primary school classes can get 3 hours of dance class from Saco Velt’s team, instead of the regular gym classes. This collaboration project is also aimed at bully prevention. Velt: ,,When you dance, you have to hold each other and cooperate. Therefore bully behavior gets excluded. For many young people we became a second home.” Connected to this project is the Saco Velt Bokaal (trophy). A dancing contest for primary schools within Leeuwarden and surroundings. The finals take place in De Harmonie. ,,A wonderful experience for those children, one that they will never forget!”