18.08.20

When Jeny and Anaé dance

Jeny Bonsenge and her student Anae

The Belgian dancer of Congolese origin, Jeny Bonsengue (@jenybsg), 26 years old, together with one of her young pupils, Anaé Romyns (@anae2mad), 10 years old, have been rubbing elbows with the stars ever since a video of one of their performances went viral last October. Three months later, the duo was chosen by Lobby magazine as recipients of their 2019 “buzz of the year” award.

The video was not the first collaboration for this unlikely pair. The breathtaking choreography was set to La Kantagaise, an upbeat track from the Congolese artist, Samarino.

From Brussels to L.A.
On the day that the video was shot, Jeny was celebrating the inauguration of Afrohouse Belgium, her dance school that welcomes, each Wednesday, students from all backgrounds to come dance in a vibrant warehouse located in the center of Brussels. A fiery talent representing proudly her native Africa, Jeny’s intense zest for life shines through her work, which is dedicated to putting her culture on passionate display. But believe it or not, the unexpected—to say the least—fame that came as a result of the captured collaboration with Anaé drew just as much criticism as praise. Though perhaps it’s no surprise—there is a stark contrast between teacher and student here: the former being black, and the latter a natural blonde.
Though it may not suit the naysayers, the two dancers continue to put their undeniable cohesion on display, with a shared passion for embodying tolerance and diversity via their artform. Jeny’s motto “Love has no color” is a message she was eager to share on the set of the Ellen DeGeneres Show in November 2019, which was two weeks and already 16 million views after their viral video was shared. Even more special, the Belgian duo learned from Ellen herself that it was none other than Meghan Markle who had encouraged the world-famous host to fly the pair to the show from Europe. In addition to the trip, Ellen was generous enough to present her two guests with some Ellen Show swag plus two checks for $10,000 each following a live performance that set the entire studio on fire.

Dancing for life
Recognized as the best Afro-Belgian dancer in 2018, Jeny already has more than 12 years of professional success under her belt. Dance has always been her passion, and she had to fight to make it a part of her life and to turn it into a career. Determined to make the most out of her recent flash of fame, which is still gaining international steam, Jeny is riding the momentum as high as it will go. Her recent appearances include the NBA Paris Game 2020 back in January, and a month later on stage with artist Robinio Mundibu as part of the opening act for the popular headliner Fally Ipupa.
Outside of her dance school, and other professional opportunities that are sure to keep coming her way, a major focus for Jeny is her charity project “dance4kids” that supports children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Africa and elsewhere. More great things to come…

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