Chayennah and Sequoia from Rijn Ijssel in Arnhem, NL



Who are you and where are you from?

” I am Chayennah Morgenland. Also known as “Poca” or “Altered Poca”. I am 19 years old and I’m from The Netherlands. I am known as a calm, caring & colorful person. I am a dancer, makeup junkie & writer with a love for travelling, singing and taking pictures.”

“My name is Sequoia “Sokka” Kainama, I am Twenty years old and I am from The Netherlands. I am a dancer, Make Up addict, animal friend and I love to travel and take photos and videos for Instagram and Youtube.”

What are you studying?

We are both in our third year of the Urban Dance Academy of ROC Rijn IJssel in Arnhem, the Netherlands. We get classes in urban styles such as locking, popping, house, waacking, vogue etc. But also contemporary & ballet. Besides dance classes we have classes about health, preventing injury’s, writing cv’s  and dance history. As internships we teach at high schools & perform our own showcases at events and more.

What have you been doing in Jyväskylä?

We have been teaching urban dance classes at ao. We taught the hip hop 3 class together on tuesdays and Sequoia taught them on thursday as well after Chayennah taught the Hip hop 2 class.

Besides the regular classes we held an audition for a showcase group in the first week and chose 6 unique girls where we would work with to make a showcase that we called “Individuality”. We wanted the showcase to be about them, where they could show themselves and their unique aspects.

A part of that showcase was our own performance as well. We both prepared our solo’s and a duet which was in the same theme as the rest of the showcase.

How long have you stayed in Jyväskylä?

We’ve been in Finland for a month! We arrived in Helsinki on the 1st of april, spent a weekend there and then arrived in Jyväskylä on april 4th. We will be leaving on the 1st of may.

Do you think the time has been too short (why?), too long (why?)

Definitely not too long! The amount of time we had here is just right, especially for the showcase & to discover Jyväskylä but of course we would’ve liked to stay longer. We both always feel more at home in other countries and would’ve loved to see more of Finland because it is so different compared to other countries. We loved our time here and would do it all over again if we could.

 What have you learned during your stay?

Chayennah: ” I gained a lot of experience & confidence here. I wanted to teach  the girls how to be confident and be proud of who they are. I have struggled with that in the past and I still do, I am teaching them at the same time as I am reminding & teaching myself.  Other than that I have never really taught any classes on my own because I found it pretty scary to stand & speak in front of a class on my own. I am also more a person of action and the visual instead of words, that is also the way I learn best. So finding words and explaining moves are very hard for me. I needed to confront myself with my fear, challenge myself and just do it. Stop thinking and doubting myself & enjoy, which I really did. The whole experience inspired me to the fullest.”

Sequoia: “To be more independent (cooking, cleaning, groceries etc.), have more experience in teaching, get more comfortable in speaking in another language but the thing I wanted to teach the girls was to be more confident because that’s been an issue for me for years so while I was teaching I was learning too. I also had a lot of freedom here, so I had a lot of time to think about some stuff and it helped a lot. ”

What have been the best moments during your stay?

It wasn’t a particular moment. It was the response &  appreciation we got from the students and the other teachers here during our entire stay. The students gave so much energy every single class. We loved seeing them smile & grow during our classes! We also had a great exchange with the other students at our dormitory. There were exchange students from Latvia, Denmark, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands. It was fun living with other people from all over Europe.  Everyone made  us feel so appreciated and welcome. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Give three tops and tips (based on your own experience) to someone who is planning to come to Jyväskylä. How should they prepare? What should they do/ see/ visit/ experience?

Tops:  1. If you can, check if you have any chance seeing the northern lights! We’ve had the honor to see it twice, so that is checked off of our bucketlistt. 2. Visit the observation tower at the highest point of Jyväskylä. The view is amazing.

Tips:  Be prepared to work out. If you are travelling by foot or bike, there’s not a chance you won’t go uphill or downhill.  Just saying.. We did some extra exercising everyday just by going from point A to point B.

Lisätietoja: Elina Wuetrich, tanssin perusopetus

Rea Tuominen, kv-koordinaattori, Jyväskylän ammattiopisto



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