- Tell us a little bit about you and your company/brand?
I am originally from Belgium but I’ve lived in Dubai for the past 22 years now, of which I have been dancing for over 15 years. I co-founded the James & Alex Dance Studios back in April 2012, with a vision to improve the overall dance offering in the city. Today I am the proud owner of one of the top dance venues in Dubai, located in the heard of Media City, offering over 15 different dance styles for both adults and children.
- Who or what inspires you?
My driving force for what I do was, and continues to be, the greatest feeling of happiness and freedom each and every time I dance. It is a feeling so strong and so powerful that unleashes my creativity and drives a certain confidence, making me feel liberated and strong after every dance. And it is this very sensation that I thrive to pass on to my students, for them to fall in love with dance and to pursue it with passion.
- What would be your perfect weekend in Dubai?
My perfect Dubai weekend consists of kicking off with a workout on Friday morning to get the energy going, followed by a nice healthy breakfast. After that, head to a hotel to spend the day by the pool/beach, enjoying the sun, the vibes and a few cocktails, before heading home for a chilled evening. The next day would start with some sort of outdoor activity – paddle boarding, wake boarding, diving, etc. – followed by a nice lunch (preferably somewhere new), then an afternoon meal-prepping for the week and an early evening visit to the cinema.
- What is your favourite hair salon, spa or place to go in Dubai to relax?
My favourite salon in the city would most definitely be The Cure in Media City, where I’ve been going for over a decade now. This place doesn’t feel like all these commercial nail salons out there and the staff are not only very professional and talented, but they are also extremely friendly.
- What’s your favourite restaurant in Dubai?
That’s a tough one! I love food and I love so many restaurants in Dubai, but if I’d have to pick out a few, I’d say Couqley, The Maine & Coya.
- What is your favourite holiday destination?
Traveling for me has to have a good balance of historical and culinary discovery, as well as entertainment. So as cliché as it may sound, the city that I love going to the most is Paris. All the streets lead to endless discoveries, it has an unbeatable charm, the food is to die for and it never ceases to amaze me.
- If you could only take one product with you to a desert island, what would it be?
Sunscreen! Moisturizing and protecting against the sun… bingo.
- What is your top beauty or skincare tip?
In a city as hot and dusty as Dubai, I think the number one beauty tip is not related to any product… My number one tip is to stay hydrated! Drink at least 2 litters of water a day.
- Where is your favourite place to shop for all things beauty, health or wellness?
Having a very busy schedule (as most of us do out here), I prefer shopping online. In the comfort of my sofa, I have access to endless options, often at a better price too, plus there’s always that satisfaction of receiving a parcel in the middle of the day. J
- If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Be prepared for the unexpected… and some more! No matter how solid your business plan is, there will always be a curve ball coming at you when you least expect it, and if you’re not ready for it, it might just throw you off. Setting up your own business isn’t all plain sailing as you may think, but the satisfaction of building your own “thing” is worth the blood, sweat and tears.