Meet Valérie, a passionate leader, dancer and founder of Danse Bloom - a supportive, collaborative space for youth to grow and develop while staying active through dance.
Valérie is a Québécoise who had longed dreamed of living in Vancouver and made the cross-country move in 2016. Combining her 13 years of experience working with youth and her passion for dance, a hobby she has pursued since she was 7 years old, Valérie successfully launched Danse Bloom earlier this year.
We sat down with Valérie to learn more about her journey and her experience with YWiB.
What inspired you to join YWiB and what are you hoping to get out of the membership?
I was looking to join a group of engaged women and to create new friendships. I discovered YWiB online and decided to show up to an event. I found a supportive and fun group that embraces diversity.
My objectives in joining YWiB have been to invest in my confidence and to push my personal boundaries. The Blueprint Mentorship program offered me the opportunity to not only work on those goals, but much more! I am privileged to have Ludovica Mazzucato as my mentor, an inspiring woman who believed in me since day one.
What are you focused on right now?
I’ve been working on my first entrepreneurship project, Danse Bloom. Danse Bloom is a youth dance community for young dancers to connect, to learn, to be inspired and to inspire others. Through our online presence, we want to create a positive impact by talking about the benefits of dance in our daily life and by featuring diverse dance artists.
Danse Bloom is hosting their first event this November! What can you tell us about it?
On November 3rd, we will have our first event in Vancouver for young dancers called Bloom Day. It will be a day filled with speaker series, workshops, and the opportunity to dive into conversations around how fields such as Technology, Education and Health are closely tied to dance. We have 13 local speakers coming together to share their journey and expertise with our Bloomies. It will be a unique opportunity for youth to connect, regardless of their background, and to lift one another up.
What is the day in the life of an entrepreneur like for you?
My days vary constantly, but it always starts with coffee! Since working on Danse Bloom, I spend quite some time creating, researching, planning and meeting people. I wear many hats and I absolutely love it! I feel challenged and eager to always learn more. What I enjoy the most is meeting passionate dancers to hear about their journeys and to see how Danse Bloom can support them.
If there was one piece of advice you wish someone had given you before beginning your career, what would it be?
Know your community and don’t hesitate to ask for support. I wished I would have learned earlier about the benefits of mentorship. It is an empowering process to be supported by someone of experience with an external view. It makes you accountable! People are surprisingly generous of their time. Know your strengths and when to ask for support. Your people will show up.
What do you do to unwind? Do you have any hobbies?
Dance! Either in a studio or in my living room, it doesn't matter. I also attend as many dance performances as possible.
Meditation helps me to release stress and come back to the present.
British Columbia is a beautiful province, I love walking and biking on the seaside or going for a hike in the mountains.
What’s the best place you’ve travelled to and why?
Nicaragua. I lived 3 months in Estelí volunteering at schools. We painted murals all over the city with youth coming from vulnerable situations through the organization Funarte. It was such a challenging experience but it opened my mind on so many levels.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Such a good question... 5 years ago, I could have never told you where I would be today. I wish to be surrounded by Danse Bloom community and see the impact of this project on youth. This is what I am working toward at the moment.
Who are you most interested in connecting with?
I am looking to connect with artists and creatives as well as with arts and tech companies with a desire to impact young dancers. More collaborative events are in creation and I am always looking for like-minded partners.
Valérie’s curious nature and adventurous spirit has led her down a very interesting path and we can’t wait to hear what the future holds for both Valérie and Danse Bloom!