I’m Berit, better known as Beertje (Dutch for little bear).
I feel like I have been a part of this ‘world’ since I was a kid. Maybe that’s because my parents took me to cultural, historical and imaginative events since I was born 🙂
In 2007, when I was 7, they took me to the bathhouses at Archeon in Alphen aan den Rijn. There I saw how a girl was playing her harp and I was just instantly mesmerized! After staring a little while, the girl let me try to play on her harp. I instantly fell in love with the instrument. About three years later my parents took me and my sisters to a music school. There I tried several instruments: accordion, violin and… harp! And what a surprise: I chose to learn how to play the harp. I got my first lessons from Ans, the mother of Jenny from Omnia. Ans always saw talent in me and helped me through my ‘wax on, wax off’ period.
When her hands no longer allowed her to teach me, Coca from Kelten zonder Grenzen took over and she learned me a lot of my favourite Celtic songs. Now I still play harp and also guitar, ukulele, a bit of piano and I like to sing. For a while my sisters and I made music video’s under the name of Saam Veral and recently I started a little band Berkenwerk with Erik and Hannie. But making music is not all I do…
I have plenty of hobbies and interests: I love going to festivals: Castlefest, Keltfest, Elfia, Zomerfolk, CaDansa and more. I like to draw, paint, write, read, puzzle, play games, bake stuff. I am interested in everything that has to do with psychology, philosophy, biology, photography, architecture, classical antiquity and nature. But there is another hobby that’s very special to me…
I stopped dancing Ballroom and Latin. It didn’t made me feel the way I wanted it to. Then I discovered Balfolk dancing and my eyes opened! I have danced these dances for years now and at some point in November 2016, when I was 16, everybody around me was complaining that there were no balls nearby. So I thought “What if I could organise a ball here?”. The “here” became Alphen aan den Rijn and the event was a blast! Ever since I have been organising 4 balls per year as Beertjes Bals. Last Midwinter Fair at Archeon I even got to give Balfolk workshops. While I was organising, I got to know a lot of bands and artists and that finally made me a Bands Contact at CeltCast!
A little while ago, I was told CeltCast needed someone to program some new playlists. What a coincidence I like programming! The last thing I now like to do for CeltCast is checking the albums we get to hear if there are songs that fit in the CeltCast music format.
And who knows what other lovely things I will be doing for CeltCast in the future…! 🙂