Meet The Real Women Of The Ibiza Dance Scene

Ibiza is a bizarre place. On the one hand it's a loud, in your face, fully immersive circus that gives you all manner of headaches. On the other, it's paradise island – the land of the free.

The Balearic island has one of the richest style and subculture histories in the world; from the hippies in the '60s to the disco '70s to the hardcore '80s and acid house '90s, it's attracted the who's who of the music and style set for more than six decades – and amazingly, continues to do so. What other place on earth has such an immediately identifiable culture?

The crowd in the party district is nothing but diverse, because the only thing people have in common is their love of music and a good time. Given that, it's an incredibly welcoming, celebratory environment where you can be as much or as little of a freak as you like, set to a euphoric soundtrack. "No one here judges like they do in a city, you can be you and be free," is how Rachel Montague, a dancer at Amnesia, put it.

Ahead, we interview five dancers who live and work in Ibiza at DC-10, Destino, Space (RIP) and Ushuaia about their lives on the island. Like the DJs they work alongside, these women have the best view of Ibiza, dancing above thousands of revellers every night. People-watchers, observers, and staunch guards of the authentic Ibiza spirit, they each moved to the island for different reasons, and stayed there for one: true love.

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Name: Terri-lee Blake – Paradise dancer at DC-10

Age:
28

Instagram:
@terrileeblake

Where did you grow up?
I was brought up in Palma de Mallorca from the age of eight, it was so different to London, much more chilled and sunny – I loved every minute of it.

When and why did you start dancing?
I started doing gymnastics when I was 10 and from my first class I knew dancing would be my number one hobby. I moved to Ibiza when I was 21, was offered a job dancing, and been kicking off on that podium ever since!

Why did you move to Ibiza?
I had lived in Mallorca for 14 years and needed a change but didn't want to go too far so I thought why not Ibiza? I ended up doing four seasons and now I fly back every Wednesday from London to dance at my favourite party: Paradise at DC-10.
2 of 10
What’s your favourite thing about Ibiza?
It's the most beautiful island with the best vibe ever.

What’s your least favourite thing about Ibiza?
How commercial it's gotten over the years. Also how the rent is crazy expensive.

How long is your shift? What time do you start/ finish?
I usually get there for 10pm for hair and makeup, get dressed for first set starting at 1.30am and finish at 5.30am.

What do you think about when you’re dancing?
Letting go, enjoying the tunes and just going for it with my girl Nadia. Now and then I'll think 'it's bloody hot in here'.

Do you get unwanted attention? How do you deal with it?
I think all girls do now and then especially in a nightclub with drunk people. First I ignore it, then if that doesn't work I'll tell them to do one and if that doesn’t work there's security in the club who look after us girls.

What do you wish tourists and clubbers knew about you?
I think all dancers would like party people to know that yes, what we do can be very fun, and yeah we've got a shiny dress on, but we are still normal humans, still working, and as soon as we leave the club, comfy clothes and trainers are on and off to bed it is.
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3 of 10
Name: Nadia Chabane (right) – Paradise dancer at DC-10

Age:
34

Instagram: @shabbyann

Where did you grow up?
Grew up in Nottingham, met some amazing friends, loved my school and loved the nightlife as I got older.

When and why did you start dancing?
I started dancing at the age of five and have loved it every day since.

Why did you move to Ibiza? How long have you lived there?
Three of my best friends were going to do the summer in Ibiza in 2004 and I decided to go last minute. I've been there ever since.
4 of 10
What’s your favourite thing about Ibiza?
The fact that every time I land I get the biggest smile on my face because I know I'm home.

What’s your least favourite thing about Ibiza?
How much it's changed with VIPs and the commercial side of it. I remember dancing on tables and no one being bothered and no VIP wristbands in sight!

How long is your shift? What time do you start/ finish?
We start the night at 10pm for hair and make up and finish around 5:30am.

What do you think about when you’re dancing?
I'm so buzzing when I'm dancing I'm not really sure what I'm thinking about, just having it off with my partner Terri and listening to some amazing tunes!!

Do you get unwanted attention? How do you deal with it?
I tend to just ignore unwanted attention. Leave them to it.
5 of 10
Name: Audrey Chablis - Afterlife dancer at Space

Afterlife comes to London on 11th and 12th November

Age: 23

Instagram: @audreychabloz

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a small town in the north of Italy called Aosta. It is a very quiet town, isolated in the mountains. Not a lot happened there. The town was mainly orientated around the ski seasons so I lived there until 18 working as a beautician and also in clubs and bars at the weekend. Later I moved to Milan to pursue my studies and there I changed my profession to start working in clubs as a hostess and PR.

When and why did you start dancing?

Actually two years ago... not a long time. When I was a hostess I was always jealous because I couldn’t dance so I asked to join in even though I had never professionally danced before. They trusted me and now I have been dancing professionally for two years.

What do you wear to work?
When I work for Afterlife at Space I wear an all-white futuristic outfit designed by Erin Gross. The costume includes multiple different edgy pieces including large neck pieces with translucent snakeskin. They are definitely the most fashion-forward costumes on the island! We also wear white contact lenses – like beautiful ghosts in limbo.

What’s your favourite thing about Ibiza?

I love Ibiza because on the same island we have a place to party and a place to relax with nature and view amazing sunsets. It’s also a good place to be independent if you're a single woman. I enjoy working in Ibiza because in my time living here I have learned three more languages– now I can speak English, French, Spanish and Italian.
6 of 10
What’s your least favourite thing about Ibiza?
I don’t like the fact that some people think they can come to Ibiza and destroy everything. They have no respect for the island.

What do you think about when you’re dancing?
When I dance I’m happy and honestly I don’t think about problems or what I have to do later. I just enjoy my moment.

Do you get unwanted attention? How do you deal with it?

Yes, I get it every day and I have to say I know how to handle it. At Afterlife it's more positive attention because we act more as an art installation rather than club girls dancing – as a group all the girls look really striking together.

What do you wish tourists and clubbers knew about you?
I wish I could change the opinions of people who think we are just stupid girls and that we are here because we cannot do anything else in life. They should know that I always wanted to dance, that I love it and want to do it as long as possible because being in a office in front of a computer would be more stressful than 17 hours dancing in my high heels.

What do you wear when you're not working? Tell us something about Ibiza style...?

Years ago, Ibiza used to have a hippie style. Unfortunately this is changing and Ibiza is becoming a rich island so you start to see people who care a lot about their image. I still trust in the hippie style and am always in shorts with flip flops or sneakers.
7 of 10
Name: Rachel Montague - RUMORS dancer at Destino

RUMORS @ Destino closing party takes place on 16th October

Age:
Peter Pan

Where did you grow up?
I was born in London and raised there until the age of 12. My family decided to move to Canterbury and so I continued my schooling there. I never really liked school – only sport, music and art. So Canterbury became too small for me and I didn't feel it was my home so I moved back to London and began travelling and working all over the world.

When and why did you start dancing?
When I was a baby apparently I danced about all the time. Then for work I was very young, maybe 16, and I danced at a gay night club in Canterbury and absolutely loved it. Since then I have travelled the world dancing for some of the biggest names in music like Sven Vath, Jamie Jones, Loco Dice, Carl Cox, Tiesto, Ricardo Villalobos, Dixon, Richie Hawtin... The list goes on!

Why did you move to Ibiza? How long have you lived there?
Since 2009. Decided to run away from normal life (not that my life was ever normal) and Ibiza was top of the list.

What do you wear to work?
Whatever I wore that day usually! Super colourful hippy clothes usually! I find colour picks up my mood!
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8 of 10
What’s your favourite thing about Ibiza?
No one here judges like they do in a city. You can be you and be free.

What’s your least favourite thing about Ibiza?
August! It's too busy.

How long is your shift? What time do you start/ finish?
I dance far less now than I used to because I model full time now but Monday's I am in charge of the dancers at cocoon (Sven Vath) at Amnesia and I dance with them. We begin makeup around 9pm, start to dance at 1.30am and finish at 5.30am.

What do you think about when you’re dancing?
What I'm thinking depends on whether there's a connection with the DJ/crowd. Either it's like a meditation and for once I am thinking of nothing at all – which is needed as the only time I'm ever not thinking is when I'm dancing or painting/making dreamcatchers (my other business.) Or, if the music sucks I'll be thinking about breakfast or what I'm doing tomorrow!

Do you get unwanted attention? How do you deal with it?
Yes, sometimes. I don't like to be treated like a piece of meat but if I consider it harmless then I just ignore it – it doesn't bother me after so many years of dancing and modelling.

What do you wish tourists and clubbers knew about you?
They can think what they like.
9 of 10
Name: Jessica Holland – ANTS @ Ushuaia

Age:
22

Instagram:
@jessicacholland7

Where did you grow up?
I
In Cambridgeshire in a small town called St Ives.

What was it like growing up there?
It was the perfect place to spend my childhood. I was close to London and all the opportunities it has to offer with all the advantages of growing up in the countryside.

When and why did you start dancing?
I was around two and a half/three when my mum put me in my first ballet class. I was the youngest in the class and did not have the greatest attention span and I stopped after about a year. I picked up dancing again when I was about nine. It quickly became my passion and quickly became my life. At the age of sixteen I was given a place at dance college and a year later I was given a scholarship to continue my three years of training. Since graduating two years ago I have been lucky enough to work in some amazing countries including Italy, South Africa, India, Morocco and now of course Ibiza.

What do you wear to work?
What we wear to work is dependent on what party we are working. For the afternoon it is usually a swimming costume with accessories e.g. sunglasses or a hat. In the evening the costumes become a lot more detailed and extravagant. For David Guetta for example the costumes are bold and colourful to match the production of the stage. For a night like Ants however, we are covered from head to toe. We have a full bodysuit, boots, wig, mask and gloves. Instead of us standing out from the production we blend in with it and become one with it. We do have a truly amazing team here at Ushuaia that always ensures we feel 100% comfortable before we enter the stage.
10 of 10
What’s your favourite thing about Ibiza?
There's something here for everyone. Whether you've come to party, to relax, to shop or simply to explore and see different destinations. Ibiza has it!

What’s your least favourite thing about Ibiza?
I haven’t found that yet…

What do you think about when you're dancing?
I think solely about the music and who I am performing to. It is the only time I can rid my brain of any other thoughts. I like to watch the audience and their reactions to the performance, there's nothing like it.

What do you wish tourists and clubbers knew about you?
I wish they knew exactly how much work and time goes into creating each show and the amount of talented people involved.
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