Artistic director

Helena Vandecasteele

Choreographer and artistic director

Helena’s passion is art and movement in general. Her specialization is contemporary dance, flying low, passing through and improvisation.

Since her graduation at Codarts in 2017 she was strongly inspired by David Zambrano who taught her the art of spontaneous movement and made her love for contemporary dance and floorwork even bigger. She learned to let go. This intense learning process influenced Helena’s vision on 'dance' a lot. In 2019 she participated in the '60 days' which changed and redefined her way of choreographing. In her work she loves to speak about themes that are relevant in the now of our community we live in. Choreography is a process to define a common language between dancer, choreographer and any public.

“I'm not interested in 'perfect technique', I'm interested in sincerity, honesty and personality. Who is the individual performer and how can they work with their own strengths, still finding togetherness? Technique can be a tool or can be one of these strengths, but there is more. If you look at dance in this way, everyone has a dancer in there and I strongly believe that is true. I see dance as a language everyone can speak in a way.”

So let's get the conversation started...

Company dancers


What moves our Company dancers?

Lies Anseeuw

Performer and administrative assistent

Lies has a passion for performance and the art of movement.

Since being a toddler she remembers many moments in her life where she was moving, thinking about dancing or later on (day)dreaming about performing on stage.


She has spent many years in modern and ballet classes, and participated in many companies over the years. Teaching and creating choreopgraphies with youngsters has been a big part of her dance journey. Some influence came from her education at the Higher Institute of Dance and also her Master’s degree in Theatre Sciences has broadened her view on performance overall.


“As a dancer, I can channel my emotions into movements to deepen the experience of the performance. It can be very healing and liberating, which is one of the things I enjoy so much about moving. I consider myself very lucky to be able to express so much in dance, enjoying the tactics of improvisations and being able to physically explode from time to time... but still humbly growing and learning with every rehearsal.


What I like about Roots is the fact that we all have our own 'roots' and come together beautifully. I'm happy to be a part of this versatile, diverse and very symbiotic bunch.”

Sanne Kiekens

Performer and administrative assistent

Sanne started dancing at a young age. Her foundations are mainly in jazz dance and African dance. It was only at a later age she discovered contemporary dance. 

African dance taught her to move smoothly, powerful and with a grounded energy but also showed her the importance of live music and the togetherness with others. Thanks to her African dance teacher she was able to participate in several theater projects in Antwerp, which made her discover her expressivity.

Next to her love for dance, she always had a great interest in science and obtained a PhD in Microbiology.

“I like the broadness of dance and I like to create my own vocabulary. I enjoy the magic of moving myself, the challenge of learning new movements, the expression of feelings and emotions, but I also really enjoy dancing together and sharing energy. 

I hope that I can keep dancing as long as possible and that I will be able to share this passion through teaching and performing. 

I find a lot of parallel in my joy for research and the creating process of Roots. I enjoy the challenge of learning and trying. Together we create a story to share on stage. This magical place can be anywhere, in a theatre, a church, the streets, etc. Its nice that we all have very different personalities and that we can find each other in our shared love for dancing.

Helena can bring out the best out of you like no other, but she also takes you out of your comfort zone. In the company it's not about the dancer who is the most… or the highest… but about allowing each person's personal qualities to emerge even better and to learn from each other.”

Natasja De Wit

Performer and administrative assistent

Natasja started her dancing life at the age of 6 at Terpsichore in Bornem. There she gained a strong technical foundation over the years. She got weekly classes in ballet, jazz, modern and contemporary dance. During her studies at Ghent University she started to take more classes in jazz and modern at KC Dance Complex, where she met Helena. Helena’s style and enthusiasm appealed to her so much that she didn't hesitate to audition for Roots company.

Her movement style is mainly characterized by smooth and fluid movements, with a sustainable power in there. Her musicality provides her with extra dynamics. 

As a person she is very driven and energetic, which is also reflected in her dance. 

“When I am dancing, I forget everything around me and my focus is purely on the movement. For me dance represents a strong feeling of freedom. I think it's fantastic to be able to use my body as an instrument to express. Dance gives me the opportunity to rediscover myself and push boundaries.

I hope to remain active within Roots Company for many more years and to be able to share my passion for dance furthermore.”

Evi Blockmans


Evi started dancing at the age of 5 and enjoyed it so much she decided to follow dance in secondary school at the conservatory of contemporary dance at Ghent, Muda.

During these years she sometimes felt too much pressure on performing and getting better which taught her that there is a big competitive part in the dance world. Therefore she chose to follow her other passions.

She has now graduated as an osteopath, rehabilitation assistant and sports coach for dogs.

Even though this is now her true passion, she never completely lost the sparkle for dancing, and she kept on taking classes and performing, but with more ease and less pressure.

“Roots Company has helped me to rediscover my passion for dance. I mainly want to enjoy dancing and share my joy of moving with the world. I hope I can keep on dancing for many more years in which I can do many more projects with this fantastic group of dancers”

Delphine Simons


Ballet was always her first love, until she discovered “the floor”.

Connecting to and with the earth really helped her to grow and explore more as a dancer, and spiritually as a person. Only after her modern dance education, where technique was the major focus, she learned much more about how the body really can be moved, who she is, and how to express this.

For her, dance is music, and vice versa. Music has always been part of her life since she was a child, and although silence can be very powerful, music always inspires her more.

“So far, I was lucky to be able to travel a lot, and I had opportunities to live in different countries, but wherever I am, dancing always feels like home. 

I’m very grateful to be able to dance with this amazing group of people that is Roots Company. A lot of aspects that make me enjoy dancing I find here, challenging movements, interesting music, humanity. Working with live music would be top of the bill.

I want to keep on dancing as long as possible."

Noortje Dhaenens


Noortje was born with dancing in her DNA. She has no memories where dancing is no part of. She has studied for several years at professional dance schools: she was a proud student of the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp and an alumnus of the conservatory of contemporary dance at De! Kunsthumaniora Antwerp.

Apart from her dancing passion she also has a huge interest in other sports, so later on she chose a new career path in life and got a graduation in the sport management sector. That's also what she does for a living now.

“Apart from that dancing has been, is and always will be my passion. For me it means freedom like a kind of therapy for the body and mind. Dance gives me inner peace and helps me deal with all of my emotions.

To become a part of Roots, felt like homecoming to me. It made me refind the joy and freedom in dancing I missed for a while and I am really grateful for this magnificent opportunity.”

Manuel De Vos-Clinckspoor


Before starting to dance, Manuel was a gymnast. But dancing has always intrigued him, so at the age of 7, he started taking dance classes. His dancing teacher at the academy of Geraardsbergen then convinced him to start studying at Muda Kunstsecundair in Ghent, where he recently graduated.

He is a very creative person, both dancewise as in daily life. He loves exploring and taking risks. His quality of movement is very expressive, dynamic, intensive and floaty. 

“For me, dancing reveals your true soul. You show your deepest feelings. When I am dancing, I am somewhere far away in heaven. Everything becomes very light and floaty. You can not stop me once I have started to dance.

Roots Compagnie is a very diverse group where I can be who I am. I am very happy to be part of this group and grow as a dancer even more.”

Lisa Foucart


Lisa always loved to dance. At first it was just in the living room at home, later she followed classes of ballet, modern and contemporary dance and various other styles, from salsa to hip hop. She discovered that every dance style has something in common: even if you dance with a perfect technique, even if you don't miss any dance step, without the spirit of the dancer, a dance doesn't appeal. Without a soul, you don't dance fully. It's when the dancer shows something coming from the inside, something like energy, enthusiasm, vulnerability, personality, etc...  that the viewer can be reached. 

In her job as psychotherapist, she uses many aspects of contemporary dance: the unpronounceable gets language, the invisible gets form and vulnerability becomes strength.

“Choreographer Pina Bausch once said 'I'm not interested in how people move, but in what moves them.' It's precisely this that drives me as a dancer in Roots Compagnie. I'm given the freedom to strive for authenticity, truthfulness and vulnerability.“

Finn De Brie


Finn is  a contemporary dancer and fascinated by movement. He loves analyzing, comprehending and executing movements. He prefers dancing gently, researching the flow between different movements and loves finding the connection with the floor.

Finn started doing hip-hop when he was seven. Next, he breakdanced for a while and three years later he found out about the existence of contemporary dance. During secondary school, he followed a contemporary dance course at Muda for six years. Currently he is studying 3D animation, which corresponds with his fascination of movement.

“For me, dance is like meditation. It is a place where I can find myself at moments that I feel lost. It’s a place where I can truly relax. Dancing has learned me to find a way in which I can truly control my body, which makes me feel more comfortable in my own skin. For me, dancing is liberating: it is like floating, freedom, letting go of the strings that are attached, cooperating, challenging myself, being exhausted but still go all the way. For me, dance is not a rendition of a story, a language or a way of expressing myself. For me, dance is a way to cut myself off from the noisy, busy world around us. When I’m dancing, it is like I’m having a conversation with myself.

I don’t necessarily have big dancing dreams. I prefer to leave the stage for people who thrive on there. I don’t need a stage to dance. First and foremost, I dance for myself, not to prove myself before an audience. That being said, stage experiences are always enriching. My dream is to be able to keep dancing forever. I hope to inspire people to also discover this amazing feeling of freedom. I also dream of fully discovering and knowing my body and to convert this knowledge into my digital animations.

Dancing is too important to let go of this amazing hobby, so that is how I discovered Roots Compagnie. I enjoy challenging myself and pushing my boundaries to discover my limits and Roots Compagnie can give me this.”

Justine Bergez


Justine has been fascinated by dance, acting and theatre since she was a child. At the age of eleven, she took her first dance lessons. Soon she wanted to delve further into this and started taking classes at Kreadance Diva in Wevelgem in the styles Ballet, Points, Jazz and Showdance. Additionally, she followed many workshops in Musical and Hiphop.

In her teenage years, she started doing competitions, especially in the style Showdance for the organization FDSF BULDO. They won several national titles. In her late teenage years, she briefly was a member of the Modern competition team Meraki led by Shauni Wauters.

In 2018, she unfortunately had to take a break of dancing because of several injuries. Two years later in 2020, she was introduced to Helena Vandecasteele through the youth organization ‘Overkop Gent’. From then on, she became her partner in the ‘Youth Projects’ of Roots Compagnie. Because of their shared vision in dance and great cooperation, Helena invited her to join in the company.

Her movement style is mainly powerful combined with an elegant touch. Her expression is her most striking trait as a dancer.

“What I appreciate the most about Roots is that it doesn’t matter what your background is in dancing. I am accepted despite my little experience in Contemporary dancing, and I do not take that for granted. Helena creates a safe space where everyone has the time to grow at their own pace. You don’t have to be perfect, are allowed to make mistakes and create your own identity as a dancer. The members of the company support and strengthen this vision even more.

In the future I want to finish my study as an occupational therapist to hopefully pass on my passion for dance to people with mental and physical disabilities while I remain active in this beautiful company.”

Niels Van Santen 


Niels is a person who enjoys physical and mental challenges in general. He loves to explore and abstract and to find connections between various practices and interests. 

He has been lucky to meet a lot of inspiring and motivating people who have shaped his experiences and the person he became. Movement wise, parkour has endowed him with a strong notion of physical self-knowledge and curiosity which he lets influence his dancing.

He sees dance as an open-ended medium to express himself. It has come as a natural extension of earlier movement experience and as a result of the continuing interest in opening up the borders of form.

“I hope to continue expressing myself creatively in various ways. Perhaps a performance where everything I love comes together would be nice to experience.

What I find interesting in Roots Company, is that it allows everyone to express personal interests and to be a part of the global company process. Despite the fact that the company consists of people with different backgrounds and personalities, it somehow successfully combines into a strong and coherent group.”

Anke Weckx

Performer and administrative assistent

More info coming soon

Once a Roots dancer, always a Roots dancer

Hanne Lapere

Elise Matthys

Ting Wong

Laila Boelaert

Manon Heyndrickx

Ine Garré

Justine Van Hoegaerden

Eefje Devulder

Manuel De Vos-Clinckspoor

Noortje Dhaenens

Alex Coppens

Niels Van Santen

Natasja De Wit