We had the good fortune of connecting with Caroline Kjeldgaard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Caroline, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I am from Denmark and i am brought up in the suborn to Copenhagen in a gorgeous big house with garden, surrounded by a lake, many parks and easy options for moving around as kids like biking, walking and running. I am the 5th child out of 6 and we always had a lot of animals, could always bring home friends without asking and my grandparents would often visit us as well, well basically our house was open to anyone who needed it. We never locked the door and i literally only have amazing memories of a free childhood where we were supported in being active. The freedom that i experienced growing up, has really being tattooed into my soul because i am a big stander for independence and personal responsibility. I choose these two words carefully and with respect toward them. Independence for me is a huge privilege and it is and has always been, extremely important for me to be able to stand on my own two feet. I have been a professional dancer my whole life (believe or not i started when i was 2,5 years old) and i started travelling alone abroad with my dance partner at the age of 9. However the word independence has evolved for me into something slightly different in the last few years. Last Year i attended a huge business event in Australia and i finally started to open up to some places within me that i hadn’t visited in many years. You see, my childhood was amazing despite the school time. In school i was bullied throughout 7 years and the only way to get through class was to close my soul and not listen, my mom used to say to me “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and it sure did. My inside was hard as a rock and nothing could get in there to the point that i started to feel that something had to change. Until last year i have taken so much pride in “being independent” and never asking for help, always being the strong one, only until i understood that it is the relationships and the connections in your life which is the most important thing to treasure. I have always been a very outgoing and talkative girl but always kept my private life to myself not letting anyone in, because “what if they would hurt me?” Being bullied as a child certainly has taken its torn on me! But i can’t stop and think that it has also given me a present and created the person i am today.Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
well i think i have already touched upon this in the other questions, but i am a professional ballroom dancer (athlete). and have been it my whole life. I started dancing with my brother when i was 2,5 year old and when i was about 9 years i started seriously training, competing and travelling abroad for events. Dancing for me is everything. My love and passion for it really got enforced during the years of school where i saw my practice as my sacred place without bullies. It was my free space where i could go and i wasn’t judged, picked on or anything. I could dance how i wanted, explore and create what i felt like. Dancing really is a mixture of non-verbal communication between two bodies, the musicality, the expression, the movement, the creativity, the styling but also the hard work, the deception, the persistence, the repetition and the perfection of a movement. It is not only hobby – its a lifestyle. It’s everything. People only see the result of all the above and they think “being a dancer is such an easy job” but they forget to think about all the years of repetition, disappointment, training, wrong eating habits not to mention the uncertainty of how to earn your next salary. A dancer does not have a fixed income or a pension to fall back on (which in my eyes is only a privilege) it keeps you hungry to keep improving and keep fighting for the next and for the better.. When i started dancing with Davide, this is where it all got real. Together we have gone through all sacrifices and with our persistence and hunger for more improved our life and our dancing. In the beginning years we looked at our competitors who had financial help from their parents and didn’t have to work hard to pay their lessons, who could sleep in hotels, and focus their day on practicing. We were jealous at them. We were angry at them. a lot. They always won above us and we felt that we had no chance to become and live as proper dancers. But little by little did we find ways to earn more money and eventually in the end of 2013 our career had a turning point. We decided that for the biggest competition of the year (German Open Championships) we didn’t wanted to work 1 month prior. No more carrying toilets and babies for 8 hours only to go to practice exhausted in the evening, and home to sew practice cloth for some extra money. We cut it all out and we went all in! We trained twice a day, slept and recovered and ate well, designed perfect outfits and did mental practices as well visualising our great result. That year we did our first grand result – the 6th place of Rising Start German Open. The year before we were number 169 and nobody saw us coming. No-one believed in us and no-one thought it was real seing us in that final and that made a huge turning point for us. Suddenly people started noticing our dancing, inviting us to compete in their events around the world and we eventually didn’t have to work a normal job again. Now we teach, perform, compete and still travel the world with this passion but we also dive deep into our business side of life. We have a successful affiliate business promoting how you can earn money from your laptop and leverage the internet and now also our new baby www.danceincubation.com where we help people gain intimacy in their relationship through an online course of learning dancing. My passion for dancing has given me the skills of discipline, persistence, consistency, getting back up when you fall down-attitude. It fills me up with the change to be creative, explore, be in charge, show vulnerability. I want people to know that i am more than “just” a dancer. I have a brain a heart and a soul. I am competitive of nature but i am also kind, like to listen, learn and hear other peoples wisdom. I am hungry for life and what i can create and who i can help along the way. The more i grow the more i trust myself and the universe around me. I am curious for the next while grateful for where i am.If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Hong Kong: Omg Hong Kong is a city of so many possibilities. The Pandemic gave me so much free time which i have used to also get around and finally se something new and exiting. I would for sure bring my friend Hiking in the mid-levels and on the peak. This is where you see the best view over the city. To be surrounded by nature, mountains and feeling the fresh and clean air up there while looking down over the skyscrapers and all the tangles is an outstanding experience. I would say breathtaking! For Coffee ( I LOOOVE coffee and cafes btw) i would take you to “Winston’s coffee bar” This is a aussie cafe which are making killer ago toasties and the best cappuccino in town! To die for and a real nice place for a 30 min time-out. It is so chill and cozy atmosphere here and i just love the vide of that place. For Brunch we must visit “Baked” .. Baked has become a part of my favourite places. It is owned by a South African chef and they are expanding their places now because they are that sought after. in just 2 years they have gone from zero to the best brunch place in town. no joke.. The portions are enormous but every bite is full of taste and love. They make all kinds of sourdough toasts and THE most dangerous cinnamon bun. It the size of a head and it is so yummy.. To die for actually!! (especially being danish i am very picky when it comes to cinnamon buns!) When i feel i miss Denmark i would pay a visit t Baked for their buns! Okay Davide and i like our food tasty, healthy and with high nutrient value but when we have a cheatmeal we would visit “camionetta”.. Its a tiny pizzeria in Soho but with lots of places on the stairs outside.. It is owned by a cute Italian/french couple and their pizzas are just amazing.. They also serve a killer Aperol spritz and the water pipe bar next door happily sends over their pipes for the guests to indulge and enjoy their time even more..! But lets not forget – Hong Kong is a big City – and like all big cities it is full of glamour and high street fashion and shops. I absolutely love to walk around in central, into the landmark shopping mall and get mesmerised and inspired by all the brands and design they showcase. I am the type of person who walks into a shop and touch everything and try on everything and then walk out again SO high and happy.. I don’t need to “waste” my money in material goods when i can go to the shop and get that feeling fulfilled in the shop. The Victory Habour is a must when visiting Hong Kong! It is the pearl of hong kong and i love my morning walks along the harbour with audible in my ears.. his is were i breath out and charge my batteries for the day ahead. I use my morning walks to learn and to free my mind. Let it run along with dreams, ideas and crazy thoughts.. This is one of my favourite spots for sure! Only this summer did i find the most fantastic beach! If visiting Hong Kong in the summer this is a MUST! Go to High Island East Reservoir and from there you can hike to the beach. Make sure to put comfortable shoes and bring food, drinks and a tent for shadow during the day. This hike is about 30 min but it is in the most beautiful mountains with completely transparent water and turquoise colours. Really outstanding.. The hike there is unbelievable and i enjoyed this summer when we took this trip every sunday with our friends. It takes about 1,5 hours from the city centre to this place but it is SO worth it!!Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I must say that there are 2 shoutouts i would like to give: The first one goes to my Boyfriend and life partner for 10 years, Davide Morelli. We met as we were both searching for a Dancepartner in 2011 to pursue our passion and dreams of becoming the best. We were both 19 and complete broke (with no parents support, just fresh out of high school) and we have just taken each struggle that has come our direction and faced it straight on. When we started dancing together we were number 356 in the world and in 2017 we made our first Final at the world championship, being Danish champions for 3 years and have later won many competitions worldwide. We started by finding small jobs to pay for our dancing and did Plumbing, kindergarten and house cleaning as our main way to earn money with the additional small jobs for friends and family like cutting grass, walking dogs, painting and sewing. We literally did anything we could get our hands on in order to pay for the next lesson, or the next competition dress or a flight. We often slept in the airport as we couldn’t pay for a hotel night and we just never gave up. However this was of course incredibly tiring and hard on our bodies and our search for creating a more sustainable business and way of income began. We continued our dancing career (and we are still active today) but on the side we started doing research on how to leverage your money. This is when we got introduced to the book (my second shoutout) “Rich dad, poor dad” By Robert Kiyosaki which literally changed our view on money overnight! In there we learned the difference of a liability and an asset and how we could invest in property in order to create cashflow. This was a new world to us and from that day we began a ride of different business adventures which also has lead to the birth of www.DanceIncubation.com