Outperformance = an unwavering conviction + a well-structured process of mental and physical training + a zest for pioneering. This equation will always deliver anticipated results. - Dixie Dansercoer
Polar explorer, author, business leader, public speaker, photographer, and … astronaut??
Dixie Dansercoer admits that while he has explored nearly every hidden corner of our planet, he secretly dreams of one day visiting Mars. It would surprise no one who has ever met him if he didn’t do just that.
For now, Dixie is content to concentrate on the preservation his own planet and the people who inhabit it. In his early twenties, Dixie deepened his respect for our oceans during an extended stay in Hawaii. In the decades which followed, he was privileged to temporarily reside in both the Arctic and the Antarctic during his myriad expeditions.
While enduring repeated harsh & intense experiences in our polar regions, Dixie embodied an infinite esteem for our planet and pledged to return to civilization as a polar ambassador. He has done that with gusto – from his formal engagement as UNICEF Belgium’s Goodwill Ambassador since 2002 and as the 2013 ambassador for the WWF/Coca-Cola Arctic Home Campaign. His participation in less-publicized but equally passionate grass-roots campaigns in Europe and North America have also enabled him to spread his protective yet realistic environmental message.
More importantly, in 1998 Dixie became aware of his untapped human potential during his South Through the Pole Expedition, his record-breaking Antarctic traverse completed with fellow Belgian Alain Hubert. He realized that most humans must be to a degree unaware of their own precious dormant energy. It was a tipping point for him – a culmination of years spent following heroes who accomplished grand goals. When asked if he ever had or currently has any hero, Dixie offered the following honest response:
I did – always had, always will. They are big motivators and fuel the realization of my own dreams. The sports heroes of the 1970’s spoke to me because they represented discipline and hard work, but also they glowed with bliss after victory. I wanted that kind of intensity as well and started to ask myself what tactics I needed to embrace to step by step be victorious in my quests. Cycling and athletics especially, represented an atmosphere of deep emotion. Even though I was a “nobody,” I was IN the competition with them, felt their suffering, and vicariously celebrated their victories.
Names such as bass player Jaco Pastorius, windsurfer Robby Naish, and double-Ironman triathlete Wito De Meulder drip from Dixie’s tongue with reverence.
I discovered that they had the same two hands and two feet, but what set them apart were their dreams, their unwavering perseverance, and their unique style. Anyone who manages to isolate him/herself and excel in his/her specialty is already a proof of focus, drive, and passion. The world we live in today is very demanding and quite oppressive, with too many choices and unimportant “time-eaters.” It has truly become an art to stick to what we do best and try to use our fullest potential. Having evolved from respect for physical challenges to being intrigued by the power of the mind, I now look up to people who can make the difference with their ideas and visions.
When not completing polar adventures or guiding clients on their own expeditions, Dixie spends most of his time running Polar Circles and raising his four children, both demanding activities he shares with his wife and business partner, Julie Brown. When he manages to carve out a bit of personal time, Dixie loves to run, is a devotee of yoga & fitness, reads, putters in his garden, and plays chef in the kitchen.
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Louisiana Avenue – Perrysburg, Ohio – 1974
Julie’s early global discoveries took place on her 3-speed Schwinn bicycle as she meandered into town toward the Way Public Library. Her first taste of independent freedom as a 10-year-old girl led her to the brick building where she spent many hours voraciously reading any book which exposed her to life outside of her relatively isolated Midwestern American town. While her initial travels were vicarious in nature, Julie’s appetite for exploration was – and remains – insatiable. In particular, she read and re-read numerous times the book Dove, which recounted the adventures of a 16-year-old boy named Robin Lee Graham who spent 5 years sailing solo around the globe. The impossible suddenly became very possible.
Julie’s curiosity deepened beyond the obvious geographical discoveries which her international passport would later grant her, and evolved into cultural and human journeys. One similarity struck her as universal: everyone appeared to harbour dreams, everyone expressed the desire to accomplish a goal, but not everyone was able to attain a successful completion of a lofty aim. From Siberia to South America to Spitsbergen to San Francisco, Julie gravitated toward so called “high achievers” in order to absorb their tips and tricks for successful hemle of ls who could only on hard work, dedication, & determination, but was influenced by luck as well.fe & businesaccomplishment. She also paid close attention to people in need – and spent valuable time with those considered by most to be less fortunate – in order to learn profoundly generous lessons from them as well. Success it seemed depended not only on hard work, dedication, & determination, but was influenced by fate and humility as well.
Destiny intervened in 1997 when Julie met Dixie Dansercoer on an airplane in Belgium. Julie immediately sensed that Dixie was one of those unique individuals who not only set out to achieve grand goals, he did so with gusto. Together now for over 15 years, Dixie and Julie have woven their personal and professional lives with the common thread of discovery and a shared passion for excellence and adventure. One of Julie’s most memorable “expeditions” with Dixie was to bring him back to her hometown of Perrysburg and proudly re-explore her hidden corner of the world together with him. Julie & Dixie both harbour a deep respect for their roots, each one recognizing this as an integral first step on any successful journey.
“Dixie reminds me every single day to reach my full potential. Even though we are human and have our natural tendencies toward both high and low performance, I know that by simply attempting to be my best pushes me into the positive performance area every single time. It is an honour to share this philosophy with my life & business partner.”
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Drake Passage – February 2009 - frothing ocean with 12 metre swellsThere are few more dramatic places than these treacherous seas, but it was exactly here that Dixie and Julie first encountered Stefan Maes while on board the Polar Star bound for Antarctica.
Stefan radiated a calm in the storm that few passengers on board the ship were either physically or mentally able to do. The twinkle in his eye during the unusually heavy crossing between South America and Antarctica exposed his inner love for adventure and all its associated risks.
More importantly for Dixie and Julie, they noticed in Stefan an über-organized businessman who was able to manage many tasks simultaneously, and cope with them well. His management skills were deeply needed at Polar Circles, and it was during this trip that Dixie and Julie thought of inviting Stefan to steer their small but growing business. In particular, they were in search of a project manager for the Antarctic ICE Expedition, one that would prove to be logistically über-challenging for everyone involved. Stefan accepted their invitation without hesitation and the rest, they say, is history.
Stefan has spent over three years guiding Dixie and Julie through the delicate corporate complexities of Polar Circles. His expertise extends from the office to the ice, a rare ability to manage perplexing situations before, during, and after their demanding expeditions.
But it is Stefan’s pure love for nature and his deep respect for the polar regions of our globe that keep him on board the Polar Circles ship. His sincerity and dedication have steered Dixie, Julie & their partners toward successful initiatives … from one end of the earth to the other.
Download a complete list of Stefan’s professional accomplishments here: