Perfect Parade Patter: passion (at her mother’s knee) for South American sounds

During the World Dance Festival the Parade Brunssum is transformed into an international rhythmic hub of dance and music. Which cannot be achieved without the help of over 300 volunteers. Looking for the Perfect Parade Patter we talk to some of them. After the love of Adriana, we now find volunteer Leonie brimming with passion. That eventually took her across Europe… Another must-read story!

“My connection with the Parade?”, Leonie asks. “That goes way back. To my childhood, actually. You could say I learned it at my mother’s knee. It’s no surprise I’ve always been fascinated by folklore and especially South American music and dance. Come to think of it, maybe it’s because of the Parade. In the end, it even became the topic of my studies.” 

Hello Europe

After her bachelor study ‘Music theatre’ at the Tilburg school of music, Leonie did the Master of Music ‘World music’ at the Rotterdam music school. She was still studying when she attended the Parade in 2008. “There, I met the Argentinian music and dance company Compañia Sentires, which led to some very nice friendships. At some point, they heard me sing a few songs of Marise Monte, the Brazilian singer whose music my study focused on. And then they asked me, “Hey, why don’t you come and perform with us?” It didn’t take me long to decide and as a result I toured across Europe with this company between 2008 and 2017 on a regular basis,”, Leonie says, beaming. She pauses and then goes on with great gusto: “It is so absolutely fabulous to be part of such a group for weeks and months on end. An experience never to forget. For that I’m eternally grateful to the Parade!”

Passion as part of daily life

What started as a fascination has since then been a passionate part of Leonie’s daily life. As a professional performer she likes to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for (musical) music, dance and theatre with others. It is not surprising that she founded her own theatre school, Music theatre Zuid, for everyone with the same passion and drive to grow. “It makes me intensely happy. My ultimate dream? Well, I have several, but it would be really awesome to be a performer at the Parade myself one time, with Brazilian or Argentinian music, perhaps even with my friends from Compañia Sentires.”

First-class culture tasting

When asked if she’s looking forward to this year’s edition, we hear a loud YES. She concludes with what – in her view – is the icing on the cake: “The Parade has a very special atmosphere and it’s always so much fun. You can really immerse yourself in the different cultures, with people actually coming from there. It’s lovely to see all the different customs and to see how all cultures merge together. You are really part of it and as such, it’s like a first-class culture tasting. That is quite a rare thing to experience!”

This year the Parade is from 30 June to 3 July and Leonie will assist the group from Chili as an interpreter.