Improvising on live music at Smile and Swing

"OUR HEARTS SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE...

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY OUR SOULS SHARE THE SAME VOICE "

Mirror effect with Jakub Jakoubek during a photoshoot by Tatyana Kizeeva

Jakub Jakoubek

"Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible"

Nhat Hanh

Jihlava, a small city in the middle of Czech Republic where I come from. If you are into history, kings or mining - I would recommend you to visit. People there enjoy their stability and habits, occasional musical festivals and sports. I’ve been raised to run long distance, to endure any uphill and to never get lost in a forest. Orienteering, among other sports, was my full-time hobby for 8 years until the summer of 2009 - that’s when Jakub met dancing.

My first baby dancing steps were on the rhythm of ballroom Latin music. Although I loved its drill and discipline, I was lacking improvisation. That’s where social dancing got me and, until now, has never let me go. I’ve had the opportunity to taste Salsa, Bachata, and Kizomba. Life treated me with surprises… so when I started my university studies, I met modern dance along with Brazilian Zouk. I entered a dancing theatre group and in the meantime, I started to teach abroad as well as locally in Stolárna, dance study in Brno.

West Coast Swing tried to entice me throughout the years many times but the main impulse came in 2014, when I met Maxence Martin at a crossover event in my dance school. Since then I’m grateful to be on this wonderful ride of my life.

Emeline Rochefeuille

"What is creative living? Any life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than fear"

Elizabeth Gilbert

I spent the first 17 years of my life enjoying an island living in La Réunion, one of the four French overseas territories. Born and raised in Indian Ocean – within a culture that celebrates nature, diversity, hybridity, sharing, cooperation and simplicity – I have been swaying to traditional rhythms of Séga, Maloya and Zouk ever since early childhood. Music and Dance have always been key pillars of my heritage and identity.

I entered the competitive dance world at the age of 12 with Ballroom dancing at Verodanse Studio. I competed more specifically in Solo Latin, in which I was trained by Mark Dooley, Founder and Developer of International Solo Dance Sport in South Africa.

In 2009, in parallel of my sociology/anthropology studies, as I sought to start a new dance form, I bumped into a video of Jordan & Tatiana, and felt drawn to West Coast Swing right away. I took an initiation class in Montpellier and got hooked. I integrated the Mad Swingers association and started to compete and perform in team routines. I also began to teach and travel thanks to Jerôme Fernandez, who saw and believed in my potential before anyone else, including myself. My biggest sensei was and still is Maxence Martin, who gave me a solid knowledge, and an incredible support throughout my ascension in the WCS Community.

During 3 years, I had juggled between my full-time job as a research executive in advertising at Ipsos Paris, and my second life in the dancing scene – as a competitor, teacher, deejay and photographer.

The end of 2016 marked the beginning of my partnership with Jakub and the adventure I throw myself into as full-time nomad professional dancer...

Deep look during a photoshoot by Tatiana Kizeeva
Friendship, love and connection

J'Em

"We should walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected to each other to form one whole unity"

Maria Montessori

We met for the first time at Westie On The Promenade in 2015. Jakub was at that time an international Zouk pro, attending sporadically WCS events as a side hobby. We shared our first dances during that event but back then, the experience left us both unmoved ;p

During the year that followed, Jakub got more and more active in the WCS scene, earning him a dazzling development and success; while Em was increasingly involved in the professional sphere, slowly making her mind about becoming a full-time pro dancer.

In January 2016, we met again on the Budafest dance floor and shared a dance that left us both astounded this time... It felt like we were the perfect extension of the other's body, mind and motion. 

Since then, our exchanges intensified and we got to know each other a bit more, meeting intermittently at festivals all around Europe. 

In June 2016, we got hired "coincidentally" together for a styling workshop weekend in Budapest, run by Adam and Rita, where we had to choreograph and teach together for the first time. At the end of the intensive, the students perceived our pair as an evidence and therefore, suggested that we should partner up...

We were pretty easy to convince... Em resigned her post in France, Jakub dropped out of University, and J'Em was born.

In January 2017 at Budafest, after performing our first collaborative team routine (watch here)Adam and Rita officially announced our partnership in front of one of the biggest crowds registered at WCS festivals so far. Since this announcement, everything went on very quickly.

We created immediately afterwards our first Routine piece, "Chandelier" (watch here) that received a powerful and moving reception worldwide; earning us a fully booked agenda around the globe. What was supposed to be a light collaboration became a full-time partnership. It was the start of our 2-year nomad life traveling and discovering the world hand in hand to share our passion for dancing.

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