Company members and co-workers

Helena Vandecasteele

Choreographer and artistic director

I'm Helena Vandecasteele, 28 years old and passioned by art and movement in general. I'm specialized in contemporary dance, flying low, passing trhough and improvisation.

Since my graduation at Codarts in 2017 I was strongly inspired by David Zambrano who thought me the art of spontanious movement and made my love for contemporary dance and floorwork even bigger. I learned to let go. My intense work with him influenced my vision on 'dance' a lot and finally my participance at '60 days' changed and redefined my way of choreographing. I'm not interested in a '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.

In my work I love 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.

So let's get the conversation started. 


Natasja De Wit


I am Natasja De Wit, 26 years old, and I started my dancing life at the age of 6 at Terpsichore in Bornem. There I gained a strong technical foundation over the years. I’ve got weekly classes in ballet, jazz, modern and contemporary dance. During my studies at Ghent University I started to take more classes in jazz and modern at KC Dance Complex, where I met Helena. Her style and enthusiasm appealed to me so much that I didn't hesitate to audition for her company.

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

As a person I am very driven and energetic, which is also reflected in my 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.

Niels Van Santen 


I'm Niels and I'm 29 years old.

I am a person who enjoys physical and mental challenges in general. I love to explore and abstract and to find connections between various practices and interests. 

I have been lucky to meet a lot of inspiring and motivating people who have shaped the experiences I had and in the end also the person I became. Movement wise I think parkour has endowed me with a strong notion of physical self-knowledge and curiosity which I am only too happy in allowing to influence my dancing.

For me, dance is an open-ended medium to express myself in. 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.

Roots allows everyone to express personal interests and to be a part of the global company process. Despite the fact that the company exists of people with different backgrounds and personalities, it somehow successfully combines into a strong and coherent group.

Elien Devlieger


I’m Elien and I’m 28 years old.

I ‘m known as a person who’s always pushing the boundaries both as a dancer and as a person. I like to be able to give myself completely. Throwing both my body and mind into the dance as if it were a mirror of my soul.

I started dancing at a later age but immediately felt "this is it". With the Motivation button at 200% I worked very hard and discovered my own movement style. Setbacks in my life pushed me more and more towards dance where I saw movement as a medium to express myself. To me dance means "sincerity, feeling, connecting and enjoying". It's a goal to share freedom and strength with a public and to make them part of the stories I share with them.

Dance is my language and I hope to travel the world to speak with it, to share it everywhere I go and as well receive it myself.

What appeals to me about Roots is that we tell a contemporary story about very recognizable, sensitive topics that relate to each one of us. I love to be able to bring movement that is more than something considered as ‘beautiful’, but that also carries a message. For me, Roots Compagnie is more than a company that makes and performs dance, it’s also a group of friends who pursue the same ideals and enjoy the beauty of sharing dance.

Evi Blockmans


I am Evi, 23 years old and I have been dancing since I was 5. In secondary school I followed dance at the conservatory of contemporary dance at Ghent, Muda.

After this, however, I took a completely different direction and graduated this year as an osteopath, rehabilitation assistant and sports coach for dogs.

Though I found another true passion, I never completely lost my sparkle for dancing, so I kept on taking classes and performing, but with more ease and less pressure.

Partly thanks to Roots Company, I have completely rediscovered my passion for dance. My goal is mainly to enjoy dancing and to be able to share this passion with others.

Roots Company has helped me enormously with this idea. I hope to be able to do many more projects with this fantastic group of dancers and share my joy of moving with the world.

Sanne Kiekens


I am Sanne Kiekens, 30 years and I dance since I could remember.

My foundations are mainly in jazz dance and African dance. Later I discovered contemporary dance. African dance learned me to move smoothly, powerfull and with a grounded energy. Also the music and the togetherness with the others are important values I still carry with me. Thanks to my African dance teacher I was able to participate in several theater projects in Antwerp. This made me discover my expressivity which gave me more courage to really play with that.

I never wanted to limit myself style wise. I like the broadness of dance. for that reason I started to take a lot of different classes and courses to discover and to create my own vocabulary. Contemporary is very supportive towards this love for variety and has been the glue to all my different experiences. I enjoy the magic of moving myself with or without music, the challenge of learning new movements, the expression of feelings and emotions, but I also really enjoy dancing together and to share 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.

Next to my love for dance, I always had a great interest for science, I obtained a PhD in microbiology and work as a chemistry tutor at the Ugent.

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.

Ting Wong


I am Ting and I am 23 years old. 

My roots are Chinese, but I was born in Belgium. 

I only started dancing at the age of 17, which might seem a bit late. 

It can be a disadvantage, but on the other hand it made me taking classes very serious and focused which I see as a strenght. 

When I started dancing, I was mostly doing all kinds of urban styles like hiphop, breaking, house, groove, popping, locking etc. 

When I was 20 I signed up for a class of Helena for the first time. I was ready for a new challenge and I wanted to learn more about other techniques. A challenge it was, but I was happy to feel that I was learning a lot, also thanks to Helena's guiding and belief. A new world opened for me. Since I knew about Roots Compagnie, I was very much interested in the style and also in the messages behind their work, so I decided I wanted to be part of that. 

Since that point I took all the classes I could take for example at BC Dance camp, Pineapple Dance Studios, HipHopHuis, The Spot, EDC, etc... Next to that I'm also member of 9000 CREW, an urban Ghent-based dancecrew. Recently I decided  to go further and to audition at Codarts to deepen myself even more in the wonderfull world of dance. 

Lisa Foucart


I am Lisa Foucart and I'm 28 years old.

When I think back of myself as a child, I see myself dancing. At first it was just in the living room at home, later on it was in classes of ballet, modern and contemporary dance. Over the years I have explored various other styles, from salsa to hiphop. I discovered that every dance style has this 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 soul, you don't dance fully. It's when the dancer shows something coming from the inside, something like energy, enthusiasm, vulnurability, personality, etc...  that the viewer can be reached. 

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, thruthfulness and vulnerabliity.

For me, contemorary dance is a fascinating combination with my job as a psychotherapist: The unpronounceable gets language, the invisible gets form and vulnerability becomes strength. 

Anke Weckx


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Hanne Laperre


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Isalie Van Hyfte


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Isalie Van Hyfte


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Justine Bergèz


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Lies Anseeuw


I am Lies Anseeuw and I am 33 years old.

I am an analytical and structured person, but somehow passionate about chaos.

I often feel like a whirlwind in a small glass of water.

To me dance means expression, experience, kicks and energy. I experience dance dreams in the search for the ultimate balance between letting go and maintaining basic control. 

My influences have come partly through my education at HID, supplemented by experiences in various companies and projects with different choreographers in both modern dance and contemporary dance. My Masters degree in Art Sciences broadened my artistic views and put me in contact with other like minded people. The structured part of my life situates itself in my day job as a product and category manager for a food company, where I try to get meat alternatives into the world. 

Roots Company attracts me because everyone has their own place. Variety is welcomed. There is room for humanity and individuality, making unity a logical consequence.

Benthe De Man


I am Benthe, a 19 year old art lover. I want to achieve my goals and experience the world. This is also the case when it comes to dancing. By nature I am a more soft and gentle personality which also reflects in my dancing. My movement material is mostly soft, fluent, flowing and sincere. 

I've learned to dance for myself, which makes this an intimate experience with my inner self and which allows me to put aside any intrusive thoughts.

While I'm dancing I feel the possibility to live in the now, which for me is harder in other aspects of life. I hope to experience a lot of dance during my further life, to experience a lot of sharing possibilities in dance and to be able to keep it as a sustainable value. 

Dance is a kind of therapy that can offer peace of mind in any kind of mood. In Roots Compagnie people support each other, motivate each other and there is a lot of space for creativity. All these aspects motivated me to be part of this inspiring company