Elisa Rudolf

Born: 1993, Madrid (Spain)
Education: Royal Professional Conservatory of Dance Mariemma Madrid; National Ballet Academy, Amsterdam
Experience: Introdans (since August 2015)

Flamenco & castanets or classical & pointe shoes? No easy question if you’re thirteen, live in Madrid and are crazy about both styles. The German-Spanish dancer Elisa Rudolf Vegas found it hard to decide, too. By herself at least. In the end she went for classical dance, on the advice of her dance teacher and her mother. “It seemed better for my future.” Which was something she herself didn’t think about at all. “I’ve always had plenty to do and I enjoy a lot of things. I need to move! That was the only thing I focused on.”

Her first dance lesson

Elisa is the youngest daughter of a German translator (her father) and a Spanish social worker (her mother). Although her mother still tells various mysterious stories about where she met her father – and also keeps her age secret – she always gave plenty of solid support to her hyperactive daughter. She also encouraged eight-year-old Elisa to take dance lessons after Elisa went along with a girlfriend one time and her mother saw how much good it did her. She talked to another mother and arranged that from then on both girls would together attend the Conservatory of Dance Fortea. “She’s still focused on me. So proud of what I do, it’s quite unusual! She sees me as a star.”

After “choosing” classical dance Elisa changed schools and continued her studies at the Royal Professional Conservatory of Dance Mariemma in Madrid. After graduating she danced in Barcelona for three months before deciding to continue her training abroad. She did an audition at the National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam which led to an invitation to “come to Amsterdam as first as I could”.

A completely new chapter in the Netherlands

“In the Netherlands I began a completely new chapter of my life. Everything was different to what I had known and done up until then. The lessons – classical ballet and some contemporary – the surroundings – Amsterdam instead of Madrid and having to look after myself. I found it quite exciting, but I enjoyed it too!” Her self-confidence grew, as did her ability to show herself. “I’m sensitive and quickly feel other people’s emotions. I’ve learned that I can also use these things in dance. I was already familiar with Introdans from performances and of course through Brooke (Newman, ed.) and Nienke (Wind, ed.) from the school. I decided to audition for an internship and they said I could come!”

From Madrid, to Amsterdam, to Arnhem

“So now I live in Arnhem. Which once again is very different to Amsterdam and Madrid. I miss the busy atmosphere of the big city, but it’s quite cosy here. And what’s more, Arnhem is closer to my sister Alba. After studying veterinary science in Vienna she started work in Bochum.” And besides that, several times a year the whole family – on her father’s side – takes a few weeks’ holiday together in Germany. “That’s been a tradition for as long as I can remember. My sister and I were both allowed to choose a book for our annual trip to Germany. Spanish or German, it didn’t matter to us. Nowadays I read books in English, too. And I’m starting to learn Dutch.”

Movement, dance, reading and learning

Reading and learning – in addition to movement and dance – are recurring themes in Elisa’s life. “I just love to do all of them. I feel insecure if I don’t learn, then it feels as if I’m not making progress. Writing has the same effect as dancing: it helps me to let go of things and to relax. In Spain I rode horses for a while. And I liked to visit the mountains close to Madrid with my family. Climbing, picnicking, enjoying nature: the vultures, the wild goats.” Currently she tries to meet many of these needs in another way. “By organising some trips and hang out with friends when I am free, by celebrating Christmas with my sister in Amsterdam and loads of WhatsApp with my family and friends.”

“I have a great life,” summarises this slender dancer. “I really want to learn new things and not remain in my comfort zone. And I’m convinced that this is possible at Introdans!”