Erasmus Pro – a good way into the professional life

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After graduating from BA's Professional Dancers Education, Johanna Ekström went on an internship to Rillieux-la-Pape in France via Erasmus Pro. She is doing her internship at YuPi, which is part of the company CCNR Yuval Pick - a company that every year takes in a number of young dancers at the start of their careers.

Johanna Ekström, alumn BA Stockholm

Why did you choose to go on an exchange with Erasmus Pro?

– I wanted to gain experience working at an international company where there was also room to learn, develop and explore. As a young newly graduated dancer, it is difficult to find a job immediately after graduation. Doing an Erasmus exchange is therefore a very smart way to enter professional life.

What do you get to do on your internship?

– During a normal week, we start at 10.00 a.m. with a morning class for everyone who works or has worked with CCNR. At lunchtime we then have a class with only the YuPi team where we five dancers create together. So far, we have been working with a repertoire from the choreographer Yuval Pick, but now we will soon start creating our tour which will take place in the summer and autumn of 2024. We usually end the days around 18:00.

How does it feel so far?

– It feels good! We are only five dancers in the youth company YuPi, so we’ve gotten very close to each other. It has really created an environment to be able to explore, develop and just to be your creative self.

What have you taken with you from the education at BA into your practice?

– During the years at BA, I learned a lot about how during a creative process I can be independent in my specific artistry, but at the same time be flexible and follow another person's perspective. I have a lot of use for this right now.

How do you think you will benefit from the exchange in the future?

– Most of it will probably come in handy in the future! Having worked abroad with a modern company and touring around another country are very useful experiences to have as a dancer.

What is the most fun about being a professional dancer, and what is the biggest challenge?

– Just the thought that the power is now completely in my hands is a fantastic feeling. It gives me a new kick of creativity and curiosity to explore who I am as a dancer and what interests me in this industry. The biggest challenge for me right now is finding time for rehabilitation and quiet moments. Sometimes it can be good to stop, look around and listen to your body. This is often forgotten on my part.

What does the dance world look like today, do you see any trends?

– Something we work a lot with here at CCNR is using the voice in connection with movement. Both in our own creation and during the morning classes. It's something I've noticed is a pattern throughout almost every class.