“I am unique because my journey is unique, my experiences in life, my thoughts, my words, and my actions make me unique.”
Known for being the personification of art and her contribution to dance, Nikhita Winkler says she cannot remember when her passion for the world of art started, but she does believe ,in the words of Pablo Picaso, “all children are artists, the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up”.
She believes that the greatness of every child is in the gifts that they are born with and it is therefore the responsibility of parents to be in tune with the talents that their children have and guide them to further develop these. “I believe that even before I discovered my love for dancing, my mom did.”
While in high school, she knew that she wanted to own a dance school in Namibia. Winkler has a fire inside her, which drives her to achieve her heart’s desires. “I don’t wait, I follow my heart fearlessly and I get started”
At only 15 years old, she started managing a group of four dancers under the name ‘Disturbance’. The group performed with local artists including Lil D, KK, Paradox and Wambu Seun.
This was the first step for the young enthusiast but her heart was still full of plans. During this time, she dreamt of dancing in the world and studying dance in New York. Winkler knew that Namibia did not have the education and exposure she needed for her artistic growth. With this in mind, she planned to leave the country before completing high school or immediately after.
Although her family could not afford to pay for her to study abroad, that did not stop her from dreaming. In 2009, she was awarded a scholarship to complete her schooling at the United World College in Norway, where she studied for two years. She later ended up in New York, where she studied dance performance on a four-year scholarship at Skidmore College, where she graduated in 2015.
Some of her highlights include performing in the Big Apple, being recruited on the internet to audition for ‘America’s Got Talent’ and appearing in an international Dance Teachers magazine after she won a video dance competition.
After graduating, and having been abroad for six years, Winkler returned to her motherland despite opportunities to continue studies in the United States.
“I needed to reintroduce myself to the Namibian way of life in order to establish my dance school in society.” She has been building her brand in the land of the brave for the past five years.
As an artist, Covid-19 challenged Winkler to explore other ways of keeping her work relevant. She started providing free dance classes live from social media and with this, reached a diverse audience. She also created a platform that sheds more light on the work of creatives through conversation every Friday on the Nikhita Winkler Dance Theatre Facebook page.
“The aim of these creative conversations is to connect artists, educate communities, uplift individuals and create opportunities beyond borders,” she says.
The dance academy is diverse and meets international standards of excellence, according to Winkler. “We teach our students how to be disciplined, conscious beings and how to be proud of their authenticity.”
The school, which is in Andimba Toivo ya Toivo Street, Southern Square office 10, recently introduced classes for children between the ages of three and five. They cater for all ages and mainly focus on the therapeutic use of dance. They also offer classes for weddings, corporate teambuilding and private lessons and can be reached at [email protected]
10. Fun Facts:
(1) She gives herself full body massages.
(2) Eminem was her biggest celebrity crush when she was a teenager so she learned many of his songs by heart. On road trips, she raps to Eminem to stay awake on the road.
(3) She has four tattoos and four piercings.
(4) While at the United World College in Norway, she won the award for Miss Popularity and The Funkiest Hairstyles.
(5) She never watched TV as a child and now can't watch a movie without falling asleep.