Danilo in staircase of his house

For this interview, I invited Danilo to sit with me in a café in the Westerpark (Amsterdam). Unlike all other interviews, this one happened in form of a written chat. I typed in the question, Danilo answered spontaneously. Reading it back, he is quite happy with it, although the last lines reminded him of some inspirational quotes that could be found on Instagram. Have a good read!

What do you like about interviews?

Everything. I love that they are exciting and unexpected most of the times. I never know what goes on in other people’s minds and finding out about it makes me feel connected in a way. A bit as if I got closer to the essence of what makes each of us human. Interviews are pure openness and curiosity to me. Kind of a no-judgement zone.

What would you call then a judgment zone?

I find that many people are terrible listeners. That is mainly, because they tend to be busy with their own shit while listening to others. They often end up comparing and projecting issues on the person who tried to talk to them. Like that conversations can easily end up being judgmental and uncomfortable. Not nice for anybody involved.

I totally agree. Do you think that you are more aware of that because you have a background in psychology?

No. I just suffer from not being listened to. I am very social but I have a hard time really opening up. So when I do and someone doesn’t listen it hurts and I feel like I wasted my time. I usually get something between furious and sad in those moments.

Is that now true or totally ironic?


Danilo rubbing his tired eyes

So this was a short answer. After a master in psychology in Bochum you went to Amsterdam for your dance career. Why?

I had 3 study years in Arnhem in between (dance). Deep intuition that this was the right thing for me to do in life. Late adolescence, liberation, free exploring, no dogmas…at least that’s what I thought. And for the most part it was true. Generally I like to live life intuitively. That’s why.

Now I have to jump back to the answer about opening up, sorry. I did not have the feeling it was difficult to get in a deeper conversation with you. I think of you as a really open and curious person.

I am, but I will not take space with personal issues that bother me very easily. I’m much better at listening and giving space. When I share openly, I can easily feel like I’m saying silly things and therefore bore whoever is listening to me. But you’re right. I know that that’s not the impression that I give. People told me.

So the world sees you differently than you actually are?

No, the pictures do correspond quite well. I am very authentic when I listen. And if I’m not in the mood or comfortable enough, I just don’t share as much. But even then, I think that I am as open and receptive as I come across. That’s probably why I love interviews so much, to get back to your question 🙂

You said you like to live your life intuitively. That involved also a lot of moving as you lived for a while in Italy, then in Germany and now in the Netherlands. Do you go for your intuitive decision 100 % no matter what?

No matter what is very total. I’m too rational for a no-matter-what attitude unfortunately. But generally yes. I trust my guts. Eventually I managed to make a sense of all the chapters of my life that can look disconnected from the outside. And they surely reinforced one another and made me who I am today. I am very happy I experienced stuff and still do. It’s not how career books would recommend living life but I enjoyed it a lot so far! Anna Wintour agrees with my life choices by the way.

I just wanted to ask if you think there is a connection between all the professions you did so far- psychologist, dancer, project manager?

Definitely. They all require a lot of openness, curiosity, the will to make things happen, autonomy, discipline, ownership and very important – creativity.

Are these not ingredients that we need anyway in our every day life?

I’d definitely agree on that. However, that’s not how I see a lot of people around me live life. But I’m sure that with empowering (young) people to live life with these ingredients we can guarantee for a good amount of happiness. At least I find it more positive than scaring them with unemployment and unhappy lives, because they won’t be able to buy Gucci bags. A bit pathetic what I just said, but you get my point.

Danilo by the sea in winter


About Danilo

Birthday: 29.09.1983, Cariati (south of Italy)
Siblings: Tancredi Tesi (21.01.1996), currently a law student at the University of Perugia
Profession: Master in psychology and Bachelor in dance. Now working as a project manager at Amsterdam start-up OneFit.
Parents: Mother Ute Kemper (12.10.1963, Recklinghausen (Germany), ergotherapist & yoga teacher), father Massenzio Tesi (04.04.1954, Cariati (Itali), studied political sciences and worked as a real-estate agent)

Nationality: German
Romantic or realistic? Realistic with strong romantic breakthroughs when looking at sunsets and being drunk.
Amount of Facebook friends: 610
Adventure or stability? Adventure. Need for stability is getting stronger over the last years.
Coffee or tea? Coffee in the morning, then herbal tea.
Favorite spot in Amsterdam: The FOAM probably.
If he were a bitterballen he’d be filled with: Fiori di zucca & mozzarella di bufala.