Growing up, Niels van den Heuvel learned the value of discipline from his father, modeling himself after him. His father was always teaching him one lesson or another, encouraging him to focus on the task at hand and equipping him with tools and mindsets that would last him a lifetime. Hugely successful in business, Niels’ father showed him the ins and outs of entrepreneurship – while also teaching him to follow his own instincts and trust himself when he felt drawn toward something.
For years, Niels simply assumed that he would go into business, just as his father had. He supposed that in time, he would come upon an entrepreneurial pursuit that captivated his attention. In time, though, his dream changed. Although he had studied marketing and communications in college, his attention shifted elsewhere. Right around the age of 18, he discovered his passion for dance. Shortly thereafter, he joined a dance troupe – Furious Flow – and found himself never more invigorated than he was when his body was in movement.
Niels recognized immediately what had happened: he had found his calling in life, the thing that he enjoyed doing more than anything, the thing that made him feel alive. He worked tirelessly at perfecting his art, his mind never straying from the dance floor. Every moment that he could be, he was in the studio. He was the ideal student, persistent about overcoming any obstacles that he came across and obstinate about remaining open to his teachers. From the spark that had inspired him to take up dancing in the first place, he uncovered a prodigious gift as well. Honing his skills and perfecting his craft, he started to thrive as a dancer.
Studying and training, Niels transitioned from student to teacher. He started teaching classes at Lucia Martha’s Institute of Performing Arts in Amsterdam, in addition to overseeing workshops elsewhere. Little by little, he was making a name for himself as a dancer. He was watching himself morph into the performer and artist he had believed that he could, if only he kept working at it. Through sheer effort and unwavering self-belief, he came into his own as a dancer.
After Nike offered him a role, Niels knew that his life would never be the same. He toured China, dancing and modeling alongside such major figures as Miley Cyrus and LMFAO, appearing on stage at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Amsterdam. His attitude and his energy were infectious, attracting him attention and winning him praise throughout the dance community. Competing on So You Think You Can Dance in the Netherlands, he became a show favorite and safely made the cut for the Top 14.
It was in 2014, however, that Niels took an even more substantial leap forward in his career. Moving from Amsterdam to Las Vegas, he took a leading role in Cirque du Soleil “The Beatles LOVE” show, performing professionally and even signing a contract extension. In 2016, he took a giant leap forward in his dance journey, relocating to Los Angeles. Following that, he danced for such artists as Cher, Erika Jayne, Chayanne, Britney Spears, John Legend, Anna Barbara, and Lele Pons, and he toured with Juan Gabriel and Ricky Martin, in addition to performing in the latter’s residency. On top of that, he danced on the TV shows America’s Got Talent, the Latin American Music Awards, and the Billboard Music Awards. He also served as a choreographer for Holland’s Next Top Model, Nike Industrials, Glennis Grace, and several music videos for renowned international artists. Modeling for Nike and appearing in commercials for Old Navy, Indian Motorcycles, and Harley-Davidson, he has built a prestigious reputation on the skills and talents he has cultivated over the course of a lifetime.
Throughout his career, Niels has remained steadfast about the principles that he has relied on to achieve the success that he has: hard work, focus, and determination. He continues to study dance, thinking of himself as a perpetual student – all while he is performing professionally and teaching others. This open-mindedness has catapulted him to the heights of dance and dance choreography, opening vast insights to him and empowering him to excel as a dancer at the highest level. He is a source of inspiration to those around him, teaching them not only choreography but the right mindsets as well. Infinitely positive and forward-thinking, he prides himself on his ability to motivate others and keep them working toward their shared goals. He is a leader at heart, the lessons that his father imparted to him meshing well with the dance education he has earned for himself over the years.