“When I dance, I can give myself 1000%.”
Daya has worked for ALTEN for almost four years and is a real polymath. As well as her work in receivables, she is also the chairperson of the Works Council, a member of Basixz (activities for employees under the age of thirty) and she often organises the external Friday Afternoon Drinks. And that’s not all: Daya is also studying for a university of applied sciences [HBO] degree in business studies [SPD Bedrijfsadministratie]. And if that wasn’t enough, she spends a lot of time at the school for her great passion and hobby, Latin dance, because, after a short break of two years, she and her new dance partner are going to start training again for a competition.
Passion for dance
Daya’s passion for dance started when she was just two. “When I was two I wanted to dance so much that they made a special exception and allowed me to take part in jazz dance. A few years later I started ballroom dancing when I was eight. There are two types of ballroom dancing in the Netherlands, classic ballroom and Latin. Because you always start with both styles, you can try out which you like best. I had much more affinity with Latin, so I kept on going with that. And that’s how I started to take part in Latin competitions in the end when I was 16. I’ve taken part in competitions for more than ten years and the absolute high point was winning the Dutch Latin Dance Championship.”
Daya has participated in more than 50 Latin competitions in total. “These competitions consist of five different dances: chachacha, rumba, samba, jive and paso doble. My trainer makes a choreography for all these dances and I train for them with my dance partner. During the competition we show our dancing to the jury with all the other couples. Because you’re on the floor with lots of other couples, it’s very important that you stand out. You have to think about your positioning and how you look.”
It’s not always easy
Daya trains two to three hours a week and in the run-up to a competition it can often be as many as six hour. But just training is not enough to win a competition, says Daya. “You have to sacrifice a lot to be able to dance at a high level. You have to watch what you eat, keep fit, not go to parties and not drink alcohol. That’s not always easy, but everything you have to give up is nothing compared to the feeling you get when you’re on the floor. The best thing about Latin for me is that when I’m dancing, I can give myself 1000% and I can elicit a certain emotion from the audience.
“A boost for my self-confidence.”
Latin dance has also benefited Daya a lot. “I’m very good at putting my mind to something. I often practise the same step a hundred times to perfect it, so I’m trained to do things that I sometimes don’t like. But if I can see the point of something, then I go for it. This is often handy with my work. Dancing has also given my self-confidence a real boost. You can’t look uncertain in a competition, you really have to shine and be able to give everything in a dance to win. So if you feel unsure of yourself, you have to transform that into a smile and a self-confident posture. I can apply this mentality to other things, like a presentation, for example. People won’t often see me unsure of myself, and I don’t often feel unsure of myself.”
After a short break from competitive dancing, Daya is going to start training for competitions again with her new dance partner Maurice. Their ambition: to participate in the European Latin dance championship and the world championship in Disneyland Paris. So who knows? Maybe Daya and her dance partner will soon win a competition and be able to call herself a champion again.