Instructor of the month: Neeltje

Words byHayley Hayley

Tell us about yourself

Although I spent my very first year on earth living in Tanzania, I was raised in Amsterdam West by my mom and dad, my older brother and sister (who are twins) and my eldest sister, who was adopted from Tanzania and is actually also a mother to me. It was an amazing time!

At an early age I started performing in professional musicals and films – Lepel, Verder dan de Maan, Spetter, Taartman, Pinokkio, Annie etc – but loved to study as well. I studied Forensic Science before beginning work with the police. I’m still involved in that field today, working as a consultant criminal analyst. Despite this more studious side of me, I was always still involved in a slightly more creative scene; I became a windsurfing instructor and started working as a coach and teacher for beta-subjects for high school students. As if there wasn’t already a lot on my plate, I also run my own company ColourBAM! Art & Entertainment together with my partner and bestie Diula. 

Though all of my roles may be quite different, there is a common thread: I love to use my enthusiasm to motivate others and to get them to a higher level. 

Every day is different, and I love that. It may sound really chaotic to many others, but it really works for me, and I really believe that this alternating is what makes me so energetic. I love to explore and experience. I just can’t get enough of every kind of exciting life adventure or meeting people along the way.

5 facts people might not know about you

#1. I wear a 34.5 shoe, so I actually don’t fit in even the smallest size 36 Rocycle shoes.

#2. After a Ro’ride, I struggle to keep myself from stopping into every herring shop to eat salmon or herring. #AddictedToFish  

#3. I LOVE board sports, acroyoga and riding my motorcycle! All with my awesome boyfriend Wout.

#4. Every year I snowboard down the Belalp wearing a 60s banana suit.

#5. I live next to my best friends Diula & Esmee. We can sneak through my secret (DIY) hole in the balcony to get to each other’s houses. How cool is that?!

If you weren’t a Rocycle instructor, what would you like to be?

Almost anything could be fun for a day, I think!!! 

Well actually I basically do that anyway! I think this is the perfect balance for me, alternating between different jobs to keep up my energy physically as well as mentally. 

Why should people take your classes?

I think I must have fallen into a jar of sugar when I was born. I have a lot of energy that I love to channel to motivate others. ‘Don’t wait for the perfect moment; take the moment and make it perfect.’ I believe that energy feeds energy. And that a positive and disciplined mind-set is something that you have to own and practice deliberately. Embracing what you have and creating the rest, remembering that you aren’t alone and exchanging with others. And of course this can be (very!) tough because struggles are inevitable. But how you deal with them is a choice. I believe challenges make us stronger. And I’ll try to get that energy and strength out of your mind and body in my class.

I also like to focus on the core. I’m really diligent about my groovy music choice and the composition of my whole class. I love to be inspired by what happens in the room. The vibe is always different, and I like to play with that. All that aside, I like to get to know the riders and let them feel that I see and respect them, both inside and outside the class. 

So if you like funk, afro and groovy sounds, if you like to step out of your busy life for a moment to release stress and work your ass off with a little bit of entertainment, then I’ll see you in class! 

Which song is your guilty pleasure?

Love on Top by Beyonce! Or maybe We Go Together from Grease.

But for Rocycle, it would have to be Mundian to bach ke by Panjabi MC.

What is the best Rocycle advice you have been given?

It’s not about being better than your neighbor; it’s about being better than yourself each time. Challenge yourself and become the hero of your own story, your life. Action = reaction. 

Who was your childhood hero?

Besides my family (yeah, I know it’s corny, but it is so true), it would be Inspector Gadget, Sporty Spice & Meester Sluyter (primary school hero teacher).

Name 3 words to best describe your post-Ro’Ride feeling?

Something like: ‘WAAAAAAAAH’, which is my language for:




..and Yaaasss

All with capital letters.

Words to live by…

Don’t wait for the perfect moment; take this moment, and make it perfect. 

All-time favorite Rocycle song?

Nickodemis n’dini (Tal M Klein Remix) feat. Ismael Kouyate!!!

What is your favorite ride of the week? 

My theme rides, particularly those my riders dress up for! And because these rides are about once a week, they always feel special. 

What is happiness to you?

I like the formula:   happiness = perception of events  –  expectations.
Soooo surprise yourself, and make memories by exploring and exchanging energy with others.

What has been your most memorable moment of your Ro’career so far?

My first class, with Joey, sitting in the front row. I thought I was sporty and coordinated… NOT! He thrilled me, pushed me, entertained me and made me fall in love with Rocycle, all at the same time. ‘Lekkerrr horrrr’ (as Joey would say). 

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Listen to Neeltjes’ Favorites on Spotify and join het All Time Favorite ride this month.