titel blog item
  • Date: 2023-03-16
  • Name: Robin van Sliedregt
  • Sport: Ballet dancer

Netherlands – Robin van Sliedregt
We support talented athletes from countries we export our products to. The Netherlands happens to also be Salud’s home base. That’s where we met Robin when she was only 13 years old. She was travelling by herself in a two-hour train ride late in the afternoon. Going from the south of the Netherlands to the north, only to follow her passion next to her studies: ballet.

Who is Robin?

My name is Robin van Sliedregt, when I first met Salud, I was 13 years old. At that time I went to school in Zeeland. I started dancing there when I was 4 years old. When I was 12 years old, I was selected to join the National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam. This was a huge opportunity and I was most persistent to take this chance, even though it meant travelling 4 hours every day. Right now I am 17 years old and I’m living in Vancouver, Canada. After receiving my diploma in July I’ve moved and joined Arts Umbrella Dance in Vancouver.

What does sport mean to you?

Sport means searching your limits, both physically and mentally. I love spending the entire day practising and being both exhausted as satisfied at the end of the day. This is confirmation for me that I’ve spend the day improving myself and spending my time doing what I love the most: dancing.
When I dance, I’m constantly strive to be the best version of myself, and reinvent ways to do that. Every day is hard training, and quite often we get the disappointment of not getting a part you’ve been working so hard on to achieve. As a dancer, or sporter, you need to learn how to cope with disappointments and find ways to keep going. This was something I needed to get used to, and still do, but I notice it has already made me stronger. Apart from training your body all day, dancing also includes training your brain. There are lots of different dances to learn which all contain different speeds, combinations and repertoires, which we all need to know when on stage. Although the moment I go on stage it all comes naturally and I enjoy dancing the utmost.

At what point did you decide you wanted to pursue a career in this sport?

At my old ballet school in Middelburg, there were a lot of talented dancers who went to the ballet academy after finishing the last grade at 11/12 years old. The moment I entered the last grade, I felt like everybody expected the same from me, as I’ve been dancing for as long as I can remember. At first I had my doubts, but I wanted to visit the introduction days at the Academy anyway. The moment I entered the Academy and saw other dancers there, I immediately felt at home and knew this was exactly what I wanted to do. I had the opportunity to make a career out of the thing I loved doing most. Who wouldn’t take that chance?

“THIS WAS EXACTLY
WHAT I WANTED TO DO”

When I was 8 years old, I used to do gymnastics next to dancing. One day we had a very important ballet show, but at the same day and time also an important turning competition. That was the moment I chose to dance, and I have never regretted that decision. I feel privileged to still be dancing every day.

Which steps have you taken to pursue your dream?

The moment I first fell in love with ballet was when seeing the ‘Zwanenmeer’ of the National Ballet. That was the moment I realised being a ballet dancer was my dream. At the time I still lived in Zeeland with my parents and my little brother. When I was selected to join the National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam it was at first quite challenging to travel to Amsterdam. As neither me nor my family wanted me to go to a host family in Amsterdam and travelling to Amsterdam was nearly impossible from Zeeland, my parents decided to move to Breda, a city in the middle of Amsterdam and Zeeland. We lived near the station so I could travel easily to Amsterdam, and my parents as well to their work in Zeeland. I am so grateful my family made this move for me.
While joining the Academy for 5 years in Amsterdam, the days were long. I took the first train, around 6am, from the station and mostly came home around 9pm. The Academy and dancing were my everything, sometimes it was hard as there was no time for anything else. But then, and now still, dancing is everything to me. After the Academy I’ve started to apply for multiple bachelor educations for dancing, both in the Netherlands as abroad. Eventually I’ve chosen the Arts Umbrella Dance in Vancouver. This was not an easy decision for me as I’ve never really been away from home. This would be the first time. I was 16 years old when I made this decision to start my new education almost on the other side of the world. But I am most persistent of realizing my dream: to become a dancer.

What has been your greatest challenge?

“REJECTION IS REDIRECTION’

So far I find the mental challenge the worst setback. Being rejected and hearing from a lot of different people why you just don’t cut it is not always easy. During these moments I keep my motto in mind: rejection is redirection.

How does competing work at the ballet?

At the ballet there is not really something like price winning. We do however have multiple competitions. Right now I mostly join shows. Joining a show and being on stage is for me a victory on which I’m very proud. At the National Ballet Academy we had yearly shows. Right now at the Arts Umbrella in Vancouver we have even more shows with different chorographers. We even have shows with few of the biggest chorographers ever, something I could only dream of back in the day.
Right now I am very happy with the support of both my family and the Arts Umbrella Dance.

What do you hope to have achieved in five years’ time?

In five years’ time I hope to have a found a job as a professional dancer. First I have a few years to learn a lot more at the Arts Umbrella Dance. After that I would have to do a lot of auditions, which also comes with a lot of rejections. But as I said rejection is redirection. The main goal is of course to achieve my goal and my dream to become a professional dancer and to keep on enjoying dancing every day. I believe there is still a lot to learn and one day I hope to create my own choreography. Overall, I hope in 5 years’ time, I’m still doing what I love to do every day.

 @robinvsliedregt

Do you, or someone you know, have a sporty dream too? And need a little financial support to make this come true? Share your/their story with us! Send your name and dream to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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