Danceteam is turning over a new leaf, as beloved Maria has passed on the reigns of leadership to a new leading lady, Heidi Viimaranta. Experienced and enthusiastic Heidi has already started in her new role as the CEO of Danceteam International, and it’s about time we all get to know her!
Heidi, tell us about yourself and how you ended up here!
“It’s the old story; a small town girl with a passion for the arts in general. When I was a kid, I was always dancing, drawing, painting, witing, playing an instrument, singing or riding my bike to theatre practices. Thank goodness I had parents who had enough patience, compassion and enthusiasm for a kid that wanted to have so many hobbies! That kid grew up to love exactly the same things she used to love as a child, and before she knew it, she had become part of the professional dance world. After eight years of working professionally in the field, plus 3,5 years of doing her own thing in Prague, she moved back to Finland, and received a call from her buddy. The next thing she knew, she had become the new CEO of Danceteam International. That’s my story in a nutshell.
I’m also known to be a wife, a dog lover, mother of chinchillas, a jedi in training, a nerd (obviously), a loving and supporting aunt of a young and promising dancer, a comic artist, co-founder of my own synthesizer company, a game master at a room escape company, a massage therapist and someone who makes a point of admitting her mistakes, and always learning from them.”
To sum that up, the old job interview classic: describe yourself in three words.
“A realiable, realistically positive mediator. Yeah, I know, that was three and a half concepts, and five words, so I guess that also makes me a rule bender…”
How are you familiar with the dance community?
“As a toddler I found walking too boring, so I just skipped that, and went straight to dancing around on my tiptoes – true story! I’ve been on my dance journey ever since. I started with kids’ ballet, jazz, tap dancing and flamenco, and later fell in love with Bollywood, Indian folkdances and classical Indian dances, which I am still practicing today. I began my professional dance journey in 2007, when I started working as a secretary at EtnoFitness, and was taken in as a teacher apprentice. I attended several teacher training workshops every year to learn dance pedagogics from my mentor, Katia Ebuske, and other professional trainers. I also got certified as a FAF group fitness instructor. Later I became the studio executive of EtnoFitness, and have grown up to be a fully professional dance instructor. As I have previously worked in a management position in this field, I’d say I know the tricks and trades of the dance world pretty well!”
What was your first introduction to Danceteam like?
“The first Danceteam show I attended was in 2013, and I immediately fell in love with the vibe, energy and heart of this team. Danceteam’s enthusiasm was so incredibly infectious! You guys really made an impression, I was blown away!”
Last but not least; what are your plans for our crazy dance family?