The Brussels Bike Hundred

100 portraits, stories and bicycles

We’re teaming up with Bike for Brussels to put together a 100-strong selection of local heroes shaping the city each in their own way. From designers and DJs to performers and publishers, these are the creatives riding Brussels forward.

Jessica Batut

Jessica Batut, 1979

Dancer and actress

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

I’m a freelance performer. I was born in Brussels, studied theatre and dance in France and worked for different choreographers and directors in both countries. I was part of the cabaret Les Nuits Bas Nylon in Brussels and I played for various kinds of theatre pieces, however today I’m only involved in dance and movies.

How has Brussels shaped you as an individual as well as your professional activities?

I grew up in Forest/Vorst and had the chance to study at L’école en couleur, where I learnt a sense of creativity and curiosity. I saw a lot of dance shows when I was young, which gave me the desire to do my job. I feel like there is always a way to get by in Brussels; I remember when I was a kid, we found almost all our furniture on the streets. There is – or used to be – a cheap alternative for almost everything. I learned how to find my way and use the city at a very young age.

List three things you like the most about Brussels.

  • My friends: I feel like people always have a bit of spare time to hang out and spend quality time. The friendships I have here are very strong and based on trust.
  • The art life
  • Night shops and fritkots that stay open late.

I feel like there is always a way to get by in Brussels.

List three deciding factors that converted you to bicycle use.

  • It’s cheap.
  • Biking allows me to be autonomous and not rely on public transport. Even on a rainy day, I’d rather ride my bike than take the bus.
  • I love exercising and cycling keeps me in shape – I’m not afraid of hills.

What are your favourite bike routes in Brussels?

The path along the canal is very pleasant because it’s separate from the cars and I like this area. I would very much like to see a new cycle path on the pedestrian zone too.