Alexis Geddes

Born: Vancouver (Canada), 1990
Education: Canada’s National Ballet School, Toronto; Codarts, Rotterdam
Experience: Introdans (since August 2010)

Dancer Alexis Geddes loves working and living in the Netherlands – which she describes as “quaint” – but definitely still misses a lot from home. For instance; the mountains, the sea and especially her family. And talking about little things! “I really like the way things are here. Canadians are much more reserved than the Dutch and I truly appreciate the openness of people in the Netherlands. But I really miss friendly random conversations which is something that Canadians do much better.”

Not a girly girl

Alexis is not a girly girl – pink was never her favourite colour. However she was one of those girls who dreamt of wearing tutus and dancing on points. “I was full of energy. My parents let me experiment with many different activities… skating, horseback riding, swimming, tennis, singing. And musical instruments like the drums en bass guitar. They even “forced” me to play the piano. The only thing that stuck was dancing because I love it. I studied jazz dance, hip-hop, musical theatre, modern and ballet.” At school she regularly got into trouble with teachers. “Because of my big mouth, or at least that’s how they saw it. I wasn’t a troublemaker, but just said what I thought.”

Determined to follow her dream

She took dance lessons together with her younger sister, who has graduated as a mining engineer. “We’re very similar, but our lives took different paths. I’m really proud of what she’s doing!” At the age of twelve Alexis moved from Vancouver to Toronto – a five-hour flight away – to start studying at Canada’s National Ballet School. “I missed my family so much, but never doubted I was doing the right thing. I was a popular girl at school, but a nerd too, with high grades in math. I was determined to follow my dream.”

One clear goal: to dance

During her dance education Alexis took an intensive summer course at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in New York that gave her an appetite for more. So after her time in Toronto – at the age of seventeen – she packed her bags and headed for Europe. She didn’t have a precise idea of her destination but she had one clear goal: to dance. She ended up in Rotterdam where she began studying dance at Codarts and earned a bachelors degree. In her second year she did an internship at Introdans, and at the end of this period Roel asked her to join the company. Timing, luck and of course talent were the reasons for the invitation, she says. “I was really impressed by what Introdans was doing and I so much wanted to be a member of the company.” In 2014 she received her life contract. “I look forward to coming to work everyday.”

Strong goals

Alexis’ star sign is Leo. “I’m a pretty typical example,” she laughs. “Once I’ve set my mind on something, I won’t let it go. I have strong goals, and I do all I can to achieve them.” Another of her traits is the tendency to be obsessive once she finds something she likes. Her place at the barre, for instance, is always third from the front, and she always occupies the same seat on the company bus when travelling. These belong to her! She makes no apologies for her quirks a little ashamed of it, but accepting at the same time. “This is part of who I am. Everyone knows and respects my superstitions, even the technicians who accommodate them when setting things up before the show. ”

Dutch experience

“My mother came to Canada from Santa Lucia at the age of thirteen which made her very independent. She raised us in the same way. My father is an economics lecturer who taught me how to think. They raised me very well rounded so I think I can find my own niche anywhere in the world.” Alexis goes home to Vancouver every summer. Her family also visits Arnhem regularly, they welcome the opportunity to watch her perform. Alexis treats them to the real Dutch experience, Dutch syrup waffles, herring and ‘bitterbal’ croquettes. “We visit the market and take trips to other towns. As for the future… maybe I’ll stay in the Netherlands, it’s certainly a possibility. Who knows?”

“I feel very privileged living my dream. Although I always imagined myself dancing on stage, I had no idea how far I could take it. Now here I am, able to dance all those wonderful roles and travel the world with Introdans – it’s fantastic!”