About

Totally Driven Online Academy

FOR DANCERS AND CHOREOGRAPHERS WHO WANT TO…

Escape The “Surviving Artist”
Trap, Enjoy Doing What They Love & Translate Their Dreams into Actions

…Whilst Making a Difference in the World

&

Creating Exciting Dance projects (both on the stage and in the dance studio)

Regardless of how long you’ve been working as a freelance artist, we’re a community of change-makers, dance artists, coaches & consultants that can’t wait to support you in your journey!

Every single dance artist has something powerful to give to the world. They deserve to have space, time and resources to create shows, set up classes and curate exciting dance events, whilst making a bigger impact in the world.

Maybe you’re here because you don’t know how to make yourself seen, heard & trusted amongst “decision-makers” a.k.a. theaters, funding bodies, arts organizations, dance companies, production companies, producers and event companies.

Maybe you’re here because you’re not making the income you want, you are often stuck in “the artist’s survival mode”, even though you have life-changing creativity and artistic ideas to share.

Maybe you’re here because you’re burned out & exhausted, running daily from a daytime job that pays the bills to intense rehearsals for sporadic, but important, gigs – and need you need to find a way to create a sustainable income from dance so you can enjoy a lifestyle with more freedom.

Maybe you’re here because you’re already working as a dance artist, but you want to land more meaningful gigs – you know you have a purpose and you want to attract more artistic opportunities that are in line with your higher purpose.

Maybe you’re here because nobody else ‘understands’ your vision (its lonely being an artist out there to change the world sometimes!), you don’t fit the mold, you know you have something unique to give to the world through dance, and you want to be part of a community of like-minded dance entrepreneurs.

Whatever reason you’re here, welcome!

Let’s start, right now. You’re about to discover the steps to:

  • generate financial resources for your dance projects (from funding bodies, trusts and foundations for example)
  • earn a regular and sustainable income from your dance business, which reflects your unique artistic voice, and the values you stand for, without sacrificing your time, health, or relationships!

As well as:

  • how to remain creative while building your business (so you don’t loose yourself under some admin overload, your priority is and must remain… dance!)
  • how to nurture your dance theatre explorations in the rehearsal process, expand your performance skills and choreographic approach

We’ll dive deep into structuring your business to be sustainable from day one…instead of falling down the path of artists who are surviving month-by-month and meaningless jobs that enslave you!

You’ll discover how to quickly be seen as an exciting & trusted artist to your market (…and why success has nothing to do with your how many degrees you have, nor how many celebrities you have danced for)

And you’ll learn how to grow a following on social media, build a mailing list, and gain clients by doing what you love: sharing artistic content that inspires dance students, peer artists & producers.

The best part?

You will stop doubting your creative abilities and start expressing yourself as a dance artist with confidence again.

You’ll connect back to your purpose which is to impact people’s lives through dance and a whole range of artistic expressions.

You’ll have more time and mental space to focus on your artistic outputs again (shows, classes, dance projects), instead of worrying about money.

Take some new actions, give this a chance, and you’ll see different results.

Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results”

A huge part of building your unique dance business will be about:

  • understanding money and budgets
  • understanding why and when funding bodies decide to support artists
  • understanding how to make your artistic work truly stand out
  • understanding how to negotiate with clients
  • understanding how to set up your own dance projects, so you don’t entirely depend on others to book you for workshops and gigs

It is time to take charge of your future, financially, artistically.

You already have the dream. The only things that are stopping you right now are either the challenge to put that dream into words, or learn how to make it happen step by step (from team building, to marketing, to fundraising). And that’s where TOTALLY DRIVEN comes in, providing you will all the support you need.

Creating meaningful artistic experiences to impact many 

That’s what we do here. You’ll hear stories from dancers and choreographers like you – who started with nothing but a vision of a class, event or show, and a desire to share their talent with others, to inspire, heal or simply entertain people.

These dancers found a way to build an amazing business that enhanced their life, and benefitted others.

We understand creative beings, we are visionaries, we dream big, and we have 1000‘s of ideas.

A lot of people just don’t ‘get’ us, sometimes friends and family think you’re crazy and want you to get a ‘real job’. Your partner or your parents are skeptical because the money isn’t coming in yet.

Or perhaps people laugh when you say you want to leave a print in the 4 corners of the world.

Well here, we don’t judge.

In fact, we’re as stupidly-ambitious as you.

“Being realistic is the most common path to mediocrity.” – Will Smith

The World Needs Artists Like You 
(More than ever.)

Artists have brought joy and happiness to the crowds since civilizations were born.

Artists have also demonstrated they were able to resist oppression, fight for justice and change the world.

Dance brings people together, it creates social cohesion. It heals, it nurtures, it makes space for well-being.

Dance makes people think and question.

Engaging in creative activities develops solution-orientated mindsets.

Dance teaches us live skills we can then apply to all areas of our lives.

Creativity brightens up our days, and uncovers new possibilities.

Artistic expression brings creative solutions to a world that has many struggles to face.

“Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are always the ones who usually do.”

– Steve Jobs

It means people & businesses out there are looking for artists like you to help them. Whether you want to set up weekly dance classes, create a show for a brand, set up a dance competition, or choreograph a political piece of work… there are individuals, trusts, foundations, funding bodies, theaters and businesses willing to pay!

The question isn’t “Can you help them?” because I know you’re good enough.

The real question is, “Are you prepared to take new actions, get out of your comfort zone, develop new habits, nurture your business skills and embrace your fullest potential?”

If you’re willing to learn new content, and join our community of fellow dancers / choreographers, you can soon start achieving results that will transform your artistic path.

Now, this course is NOT a course where you learn how to audition, or how to get an agent as a dancer.

This course and coaching program is about you taking fully charge of your future as an artist. This is not a course about waiting for others to give you an opportunity to be on stage, and passively wait for an agent to invite you to an audition.

The Totally Driven program is for dancers and choreographers who build dance projects, and bring high profile collaborators to them.

I have one question for you right now. Do you feel like you’re in the right place?

If no, that’s cool. This isn’t for everybody.

But if you’re feeling good about this, subscribe below to join our community and download your free guidebook.

CLICK LINK

So, Who The Heck Am I, Anyway?

I’m Cindy Claes…

First & foremost, my goal is to help you translate your artistic dreams into clear actions and fully live your purpose.


Not only that – but I want to help you:

  1. Create a sustainable income: by understanding money, budgets, funding applications and business structures that will make you leave the survival life style and step into abundance
  2. The ability to serve hundreds of followers and clients whilst enjoying more free time to travel, train, and be creative.

I’ve been a coach, dancer, choreographer and teacher for years.

I have a background in Dancehall, Hiphop, Krump and Theatre. I choreograph mainly social- political dance theatre shows, I still perform on stage, I have set up many international dance exchanges… and now I help dance artists to turn their dreams into clear projects, and turn their talent into a real income stream.

After struggling to make a reliable monthly income working as a dance artist in London, going from one rehearsal and teaching gig to another for years, feeling exhausted, barely making ends meet, and FINALLY finding some success… I knew I wanted to start helping others like me.

Once I built a “real” dance business that could generate money and grow without me working all the time, I realized…

1. I can be an artist AND have the skills of an entrepreneur. Too many dancers brainwash themselves that “they aren’t good at business”.

2. I can build a business that does not require me to swop my time for money. I CAN, in the dance world, build a system that generates passive income.

3. I CAN recruit and hire a team that works for me. I don’t have to do it all alone by myself.

4. Being more & more & more BUSY won’t make me more successful. WORKING SMARTER, NOT HARDER is the key. I can be SUCCESSFUL AND FREE.

At first, I took the typical advice given by arts organizations and some producers… and to be fair, I made more money and got to choreograph more shows.

…but I hated my life.

My diary was full of admin, I spent more time behind the laptop than I did in the dance studio.

Because I hadn’t created a dance business.

I’d created an admin job for myself.

The point of it all was so that I would BE AN ARTIST and have more…

…FREEDOM & CREATIVE TIME.

I have never had a serious injury, however I have had several minor injuries that prevented me from dancing and teaching on a regular basis.

I had to cancel all my rehearsals and classes sometimes for weeks at the time, until I got back to health.

Fortunately, I always recovered weeks later. And I am still performing now.

But my ‘business’? That didn’t go so well.

I realized that I never had a business. It was a job, which took everything out of me. I was never allowed time off, whether it be due to illness or for holidays. 

I finally got the courage to rebrand my whoek company, ‘start over’, re-build my business and its structure.

But this time it was different.
I would no longer create an income that depended solely on me.

I vowed to create a business that served my lifestyle and my creative purpose… instead of my life serving my business.

I decided that I would not sacrifice my days… my health…my personal relationships… for the sake of dance.

Instead, I would have it all!

I would grow a dance business that supported my dance projects and my lifestyle.

A dance business that would ALSO empower other dancers and choreographers to build their dreams and impact the world with THEIR creative ideas.

And that’s what I did.

I first set up a professional development program in Los Angeles, a Krumping Theatre workshop series, which ended with a show in Hollywood! This project became the seed of a renown professional development program I set up called 1000 Pieces Puzzle. It attracted European fundings, and was supported by Zinnema, an arts organization in Brussels. Participants came from Belgium, USA, Jamaica and the UK.

Participants and dancers in the program changed their life dramatically after less than a year! They performed internationally, choreographed and toured full-length productions, attracted more and more fundings for their ideas and set up their own arts organizations.

In addition to this, I attracted many awards and fundings pots to create my own shows and productions. My weekly classes were booming. I set up an online T-shirts Store, and developed three online courses.

And most importantly, I’m finally living a fun lifestyle, where I have time to keep training in various dance styles, study new theatre making methods, go on meditation retreats, and take time out to travel abroad.

I have more time for friends, family and relationships.

Its taken me thirteen years of living in London, and twenty years as a dancer, to learn these lessons and get this far (and there’s a lot more I want to achieve in life). But if you’d told me just 5 years ago I’d be living this life I would have called you crazy.

Back then, I was working harder and harder. And it got me nowhere. Just more burned out, and more exhausted, I just had hope that one day it would change.

After years of trying, thousands of pounds / euros / dollars invested in self-development and business courses, a lot of trials and many mistakes… I finally realized the answer was in working smarter, not harder.

I put all my secrets and knowledge together in a system called the Totally Driven Program.

The Totally Driven Program is made of a module course (Dancers Do Business), a creative tool kit (Creative Expansion), AND… weekly group coaching calls where all your questions get answered.

It’s a simple, yet complete package, of 5-step system that any dance artist hungry to set up their own projects, can use to attract more clients, gigs, opportunities, resources and create a business that impacts more people.

I decided to help dancers and choreographers who were in the same struggle as I was to break free, and start creating real happiness and abundance with their talent.

I was also sick of the wannabe ‘business experts’ out there in the arts sector who had never experienced success in “business”. They were as burnt out as I was and never put new fresh innovative business solutions down on the table. They always pushed me in taking on more admin tasks, which resulted in having less and less time for creativity.

So, I set out to change that.

I had already set up many professional development programs that made dancers and choreographers grow into independent leaders.

I was always passionate about international exchanges and didn’t see anyone else focussing on the richness of international encounters to helping dance artists grow a business mindset and gain tools that gives them abundance, creativity and freedom.

What started out as 1000 Pieces Puzzle, soon turned into an online thriving community of dance artists who all desired to fully live their artistic purpose.

What started as just me sharing insights in a dance studio and sharing inspiration on social media, has now become a movement.

Here’s a documentary from one of my 1000 Pieces Puzzle programs

These days, I still a few classes because I love it, I run Dance Theatre workshops, international exchanges, I choreograph shows which are either commissioned by clients or which I set up myself, and I still perform mainly as a solo artist around the world. I also help dancers and choreographers build their ideas from scratch.

I help dance artists through my online courses and online coaching program.

I want to help artists to get their message out and help them create a ripple effect of change and happiness throughout the world.

And I’d love for you to join us in this movement.

Yes, you.

But if you accept this invite, I want you to bring the full you. The real you – the authentic you.

That’s where the express ‘Totally Driven’ really comes from – you bring the fire you have in your belly to the table, and nurture your business skills to re-invigorate your artistic self even more.


The people need to see YOU – your talent, your ideas, your leadership.

Be part of the Totally Driven movement and we’ll help you get your artistic message out there to thousands of people. Time for a true action plan, time to shine. 

 

GET IN TOUCH: info@cindyclaes.com

 

Still reading?

Want to know more about the Totally Driven principles for creating dance projects that gives you the lifestyle you want, whilst inspiring more people than ever before?

Here’s a brief lowdown, plus some guides & resources to start you off…

Totally Driven is made of a core module course called “Dancers Do Business”:

  • clarifying your artistic purpose & creative mission
  • nailing down what you are actually “selling” and to whom
  • giving you the tools to set up a team and build partnerships with big arts organisations
  • taking you through a step-by-step process to understand money and budgets
  • how to apply for fundings, explaining it the easy way
  • as well as a series of Bonuses to make the most out of your social media and improve your leadership skills

In addition to this we offer you “Creative Expansion”, pdf’s and videos that expands your creative thinking, freestyling skills, and dance theatre explorations.

Monthly group coaching calls hold you accountable to keep on track, and help you to never feel stuck again. All your questions are answered on a monthly basis!

I recommend CHECK OUT VIDEO ON TOTALLY DRIVEN

I’m not saying this is ‘easy’ or that you’ll ‘never work again’.

What I’m saying is that its time to work smarter, not harder.

Here are a few questions that I believe are not talked about enough (see if you agree…)

  • How do you remain authentic and consistent as a role model, ‘influencer’, leader – when you don’t have ‘good’ day yourself?
  • How do you set your own boundaries within the negotiation process or clients who want more of your time, energy and sweat?
  • Who do you talk to when you have ‘visionary entrepreneur’ problems that nobody else around you understands?

Don’t lose yourself in all of this. Get into a program that supports you with this.

I’ll finish by saying this:

We all have friends, romantic partners, family or children that we can use as excuses not to build our dance project. What if instead we used those people as our reasons to succeed… not our excuses to fail?

When you implement the content of the Totally Program, and take the small, simple, but effective daily steps you’ll see changes happen around you, and within you.

You can attract more gigs and opportunities and make a bigger difference. And you can do it without sacrificing your health, time, and relationships in the process.

Let’s go.

SIGN UP – click here

 

Cindy Claes

Choreographer, Creative Director

Dancer, Performer

Dance Entrepreneur

Cindy Claes is an artist wearing many hats: Choreographer & Director, Dancer & Performer, Dance-storyteller & Playwright.


Born and raised in Belgium, Cindy has been based in London since 2005. As a true dance backpacker, she has travelled to Africa, USA, Jamaica, Trinidad, and all over Europe. Her many dance trips abroad allowed her to either train and expand her skills, to work and perform her work as an artist, ot do in-depth choreographic research while collecting invaluable human experiences along the way.

She has been traveling to Jamaica several times to experience Dancehall first hand since 2010. While she trained Dancehall in Kingston, she also did a summer intensive at Edna Manley College to have a better understanding of traditional Jamaican folk. She trained in Los Angeles with Demolition Crew researching Krump culture since 2008.

Cindy trained internationally as a dancer. And her interest for narrative work lead her to study acting and improv comedy in NYC, also screenwriting and writing for comedy in London. She also did an intensive in physical theatre / physical comedy at the international school of Jacques Lecoq in Paris.

Cindy has been the recipient of several awards in London, which supported her many explorations overseas: the Lisa Ullman Traveling Scholarship Fund, ADAD Trailblazers 2013-14, the Bonnie Bird UK New Choreography Fund, Grant for the Arts / Arts Council England, Artist International Development Fund.

She collaborated in Washington DC and Chicago with choreographer and Stepping Master Jakari Sherman, learning about the history of Stepping and exploring this percussive dance form in Theatre.

Influenced by the Hip Hop Theatre movement which has been growing and pushing boundaries since the 90s, Cindy is also passionate about using Dancehall and Krumping in Theatre, telling stories through dance.


As an ADAD Trailblazer, she set up a first Dancehall Theatre Exchange Program between Jamaica and the UK in 2014. Commissioned by the most renown Dance Theatre venue in London, Sadler’s Wells, her show “Wild Card: Dancehall Takeover” was sold out weeks in advance, and made history, being the first full Dancehall Theatre night in London.


Cindy’s aim is to tell electrifying stories through dance. She has presented work internationally (UK, Belgium, Hollywood, San Francisco, Jamaica, etc.). Her unstoppable fountain of energy is her signature. Her shows are artistic earthquakes touching people’s souls and hearts through laughter and tears.


She set up her own dance company in London in 2008. Their earthshaking Dancehall / Krump / Hiphop Theatre productions stand for transformation within society. Dance Theatre is used as a tool to make people think, educate audiences, raise awareness, entertain and bring communities together.

Cindy hit London with her first full-length production in 2011, which fused basketball, Hip Hop, Krumping and Theatre: “Voices in The Alleyway”. She created two new full-length Dancehall Theatre productions in 2013: “Is My Whining Winding You Up?” and “School Fi Wifey” (commissioned by Midland Actors Theatre). She also wrote and directed a very political Dancehall / Hip hop Theatre production in Belgium: “PuzzelB” early 2014, which won the Prize Roger Van De Voorde.

She is currently focussing on her two solos: “Time is ticking, phone is ringing” and “Things aren’t always black or white”.

She was involved as a choreographer in many shows tackling police brutality in a variety of countries: USA / UK / Belgium.

Cindy Claes also sets up yearly international dance exchanges and training programs for emerging choreographers/dancers, providing platforms of professional development, artistic discovery and leadership.

Her flagship exchange “1000 Pieces Puzzle” recently took over Europe. Two explosive editions allowed dancers from the UK / USA / Jamaica / Belgium to collaborate and share skills. (Erasmus+, Zinnema, East London Dance).

Cindy set up a Krumping Theatre project in Los Angeles, which lead to a performance in Hollywood. She also set up several informal Dancehall Theatre exchanges in Kingston with local dancers (supported by Edna Manley College and Dance JA).

Cindy is also a Dance Entrepreneur and strives to empower emerging artists to develop their business skills. She is now running an online program, Totally Driven, so that more artists can translate their dreams into actions.

More info in Cindy Claes’ creative adventures:

www.cindyclaes.com