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About Me

Hi there! I am Michelle Boelee. In short, I am: a nature lover, ecological gardener, Social Psychologist and Cultural Sociologist, dancer and yogi & I love rollerskating, photography and writing.


Some things about me…

∞ Born in 1991
∞ Based in the Netherlands
∞ Dancer at heart
∞ BA in Psychology
∞ MSc in Social Psychology
∞ MA in Arts, Culture & Society
∞ Academic Teacher
∞ Former dance & yoga-teacher
∞ YTT in India in 2017
∞ Plant-based since + 2016
∞ Rollin’ on rollerskates since 2021

∞ Born in 1991, the Netherlands

I was born on a Summer’s evening in a town near the old city of Leiden in the Netherlands, and grew up right on the border of Leiden and that town. Both my parents worked at a furniture store a few doors over, and most of the Boelee family lived either in Leiden or (that town) Leiderdorp. From middle school and starting dance classes in Leiderdorp, to high school (grammar school) in Leiden to University Utrecht and Erasmus Univeristy Rotterdam to having taught dance & yoga classes for about 7 years and working at the University since 2016, I’ve always tried to follow my heart while finding my way in this immense, complicated, and fast-moving world, and I am still figuring out my place and role on this beautiful Earth – contemplating what we humans should strive to want and create, how to be your best self, how and what to love, like, dislike, detest, how to be present, outwards, inwards, how to better ourselves and the world, and what I could possible do with the cards that were dealt to me, and trying to make the best, surviving, dreaming of thriving, hoping for a better world, and in the meantime building, resting, working and just being.

And now a little more about me and dancing…

From an early age onwards I’ve been dancing with a great passion. I started dancing following ballet classes at our local balletschool Kreatief Danscentrum and through the years I’ve developed myself as an all-round dancer, enjoying styles such as Modern / Contemporary, Jazz Ballet, Technical Jazz, Jazz Burlesque, Modern Jazz and Classical Ballet and have tasted many more, such as Afro-Jazz, Dancehall, Jazzy Latin, Ballet Charactère, Traditional Indian dancing, streetdance and Commercial Pop. Through dance I also discovered yoga, which also plays a major role in my life. I discovered yoga a few years ago and it was exactly what my body and mind was craving. I’ve also specialised myself on the area of dancing academically, through a Bachelor Psychology (BSc), Master Sociale Psychologie (MSc) and a Master Culturele Sociologie (MA). More specifically, I focused on “kinaesthetics”: de aesthetical experience of the moving arts, and cultural participation.

∞ Dancer at heart

Even when I’m not dancing…

I will always be a dancer at heart. Even in the periods that I had taken a step back, I was missing it; the classes, performing, friendships, the experience of being in the flow while dancing – but I always kept stretching, doing a little dance move every now and then, and/or doing yoga by myself. Just tuning it down, either to make it work with circumstances, or to match the limited amount of available energy. So, nevertheless, even when I was not doing classes, dancing would evidently remain part of who I am and what my body craves, however small, however big the movements were.

BA Psychology (Social track)


MSc Social Psychology


MA Arts, Culture & Society


YTT Hatha & Vinyasa

(Varkala, India)
Forest- and Nature Management
2023-current day

And a little about me and teaching

I quickly discovered that I wanted to be in close contact with the arts. Not just observing as an academic. As a student I was still dancing, but just one class a week, for fun. And during my studies I noticed I was missing something, although I enjoyed the subject of Psychology a lot as well. But I needed more to feel fulfilled. This turned out to be the combination of a cognitive, creative and physical stimulation. Psychology: cognitive – check, creative – to some degree, but only when writing, but physical? nope. Dancing and teaching dance would fulfilI the rest of my yearn for creativity, and the yearn for physical activity. I wanted to partake more, practice the arts more, and I dreamed to be able to inspire others to find this same passion for the arts and moving.

And there it started: teaching dance & my YYT

This is how I ended up teaching. I went from substituting a few classes to teaching my own courses. Quickly I decided I wanted to follow, to start with, a YTT, besides all of the self study I had already done and also still did at that time. In the summer of 2017 I travelled to Varkala, India, and completed my 200 hours Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga Teacher training.

And there I was: teaching dance & yoga

After completing my training and returning to Leiden, I immediately started teaching of classes such as Vinyasa Flow, Gentle Flow, Hatha Flow, YinYang, Yin, Deep Stretching, Yoga Barre and Meditation. And slowly I also started teaching more and more dance classes, courses such as ballet for kids, jazz for kids and teens and Jazz Burlesque for adults. I also got accepted for the Certificate of Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS) at the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD).

But there’s more: teaching at the Uni

In addition, I also teach at the University. I started teaching at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, where I taught workgroups to (international) arts- and culture students now and then. In the meantime I returned to my academic roots: Psychology. I have been teaching first year Psychology students at the Leiden University since 2018.

And then came 2022/2023: Pause

But then came the moment I had to take a little break from all teaching and discontinued the CBTS studies due to personal circumstances. It was hard to let go of teaching dance & yoga, but it proved necessary. Dance and yoga will always be important to me, and I’ve been blessed with all the things I’v learned and beautiful experiences along the way. 

And here are we now: Slowly picking up

In the meantime I’ve picked up teaching at the University again. I’ve learned much about myself, and many things changed as well. Recovering from a burn-out takes time. And hardly ever you’ll come out the same. People change, shift, grow, flow, expand, change gears, and try to find their path. For now, I am taking it step by step, week by week, and not all at the same time, anymore. So first, I am back at teaching at the University and still looking to settle, to find a home. And now, starting 2024, I will slowly focus on dancing, myself, again, and we’ll take it from there again. 

Me & Writing

When I’m older, I wanna be…

As a teenager I’ve actually had various dream jobs. Besides my dreams to become a professional (jazz) dancer, dance teacher, or archeologist, I’ve also dreamed about becoming a (fiction) writer. But I never was brave enough to really, really, go for it. Nevertheless, I’ve always written with great pleasure: diaries and notebooks full, poems, many stories, travel stories, academic papers and much more.

Writing is…

Writing have always helped me express and scratch that creative itch in a way, but it also has helped me to order my thoughts, my feelings and opinions. Recently, it has especially been really helpful to organize and give words to the felt urgency surrounding climate change and all that sometimes feels wrong in the world. I am still figuring these things out, but I’ve noticed writing them down helps – to process it, to give it a place and to carefully consider the content. Writing, for me, is a medium to express myself, be creative, and to reflect.

And also a little more about me and photography & film…

In addition to my own little adventures with my camera, in nature closeby or other beautiful and interesting places further away, have I been happy to also have done quite some fun filming and photo projects.

Dance photography

What first started as ‘practicing’ my photography skills grew into being the in-home photographer for the Jazz/Funk band The George. In 2014 I received my first invitation to photograph a dance show. My first photo assignment was the dance show ‘The Wizard of Oz’ of the Balletschool Mirjam Ouwerkerk in the City Theater Zoetermeer. That jumpstarted dance photography.

Filming Projects

I’ve been making pictures and videos for promotional purposes or as art project for some years now, sometimes for other freelancers, but regularly for the dance- and yogastudio Tribes in Leiden for a period. Three times I joined the Tribes Dance Intensive and collaborated on the final artistic product as the filmer and editor, which I will share in my Gallery in my Filming Projects Collection.

More local arts & yoga projects

Other projects I worked on for Tribes were a Yoga photoshoot, portraits for both the &ONE and &TWO productions, making pictures during the general rehearsal of the &THREE production, during the show of &FOUR production and many more end-of-the-semester shows, and a photoshoot for BLOOM. I also assisted at Dansblok, a local dance company, for the production of their Dance movie FLOW.

And of course, family & friends

Besides these projects and my own adventures, I also photograph occasionally for family and friends, making portraits but also capturing special moments, such as the funeral of my uncle and the wedding of my cousin.

Q & A


Dance styles?

I’ve explored and tried many styles, of course, there’s many more to discover, but I’ve developped myself predominantly as a Jazz, Modern / Contemporary and Ballet dancers. I’ve been dancing on the advanced amateur and semi-professional level mostly.


Gardening Philosophy?

Briefly stated, I would say it comes down to ecological gardening, but I’m also inspired by permaculture principles and would love to implement more and more of these principles, connecting the household to the garden (but currently my garden is a good bike ride away). 


Books you've recently read or are reading?

Currently (2023) I am reading Soil, Not Oil by Vandana Shiva. In the past year I’ve read sevearl books on gardening and food forests: ‘Leve de Bodem’ by Anne Marie van Dam & Caroline de Vlaam, ‘Voedselbos: Inspiratie voor ontwerp en beheer’ by Madelon Oostwoud, ‘Ontwerp je eigen voedselbos’ by Louis De Jaeger, ‘Tuinplanten encyclopedie’ by Klaas T. Noordhuis, ‘Creating a Forest Garden’ by Martin Crawford, but also the fiction book ‘Circe’ by Madelyn Still and the book ‘Zen and the art of savinf the planet’ by Thich Nhat Hanh, and I still need and want to finish reading ‘Entangled Life’ by Merlin Sheldrake, ‘Overstory’ by Richard Powers, ‘New Peasantries’ by Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, ‘Het Grote Moestuinboek’ by Elbrich Fennema, and ‘Femina’ by Janina Ramirez.


How can we get in contact?

In case you were looking for some contact info, to for example ask a question or maybe you’re interested in teaming up for a project, I had to take down my contact form due to the crazy amount of spam I was receiving. But let’s try it this way: my email is my first and last name and gmail behind that. I hope this works out!

Let’s collab!

Based in the Netherlands

Leiden, South Holland, area

Writing, Dance, Photography and/or Film Projects

Non-profit website

I do not engage in affiliate marketing, I just share my content for the sake of sharing & fun, and connecting to other like-minded people who would like to perhaps team up.