When I started dancing ballet again at almost 25 years old, it wasn’t something very popular to do. I remember having a hard time even finding a good school that would offer high quality classes for passionate adult dancers. Shortly after I started my Instagram, to see if there’s anyone out there on the same kind of journey as me. In the beginning there was like a handful of girls like me.
Late starters, or returning after a long break, but we all had this passion and out ambition to get better, to make progress. Over time more and more people joined us and today we are a huge community including dancers from all over the world. Women and men from so many countries, all have their own culture, their own jobs and speak different languages. But when we put on our ballet clothes and start to move we all speak the same language: dance!
Of course we were only sharing each others dance-journey from a far, and I wanted to change that. I wanted to get to know the people, the dancers, the friends I had shared so many struggles and achievements with. So two years ago I was texting with my friend Christine @adultballerina who lives in Paris. We were talking about how great it would be if we could dance together and she said, you should come visit me. I don’t think she was being very serious about it, but I thought, hey, why not!? Little did I know what kind of impact this decision would have… So my Balletbabe Katrin from my home studio and I went on a short trip to Paris for our very first adultballetgang-meetup. Needless to say, that we clicked right away and had the most amazing time talking, exploring and of course dancing together!
For the past two years I tried to do as many trips as possible to meet more and more dancers. I went to London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Kopenhagen, Madrid, Munich, Paris again and made it all the way to San Francisco, Phoenix and Los Angeles. It was and still is such a rewarding and beautiful experience to connect with these amazing dancers that dedicate so much time and effort to what
they love, without ever having the chance to gain any social appreciation for it. Most of them never even get the chance to perform. We had so much to talk about and would totally understand each others weird dance-related problems and hopes. With each and every one of them it felt like meeting a very old friend, like we’ve actually known each other forever. That’s the kind of power dance has.
I love seeing that others started to visit their balletsisters too, and learned what a mind opening and rewarding experience it is to take classes in a different city or country and connect with people that might live entirely different lives, but through the love for dancing are just the same as you. It doesn’t matter what your job is or how much money you make, what you believe in, what social background you’re from. It doesn’t matter what you look like, what language you speak, who you love. Dance doesn’t judge. It’s uniting.
I’m still constantly amazed about the fact that this social media platform helped growing a community that actually cares about their people, that supports each other, checks in on each other and actually visits and spends time with each other. I’m so proud of every single person, that has found their way to dance and a home in this instafamily. In a world with a lot of competition and perfectionism that has a huge impact especially on young people, I think it’s very important to create spaces where people can be themselves, express their feelings and feel safe. I get so many messages from young women that want to dance but lack the confidence and supportsystem to go for it. I want to show them, that dancing is a way of life. It means allowing ourselves to express, to talk through the movements of our bodies. You don’t need to know all the steps and fancy tricks or have a perfect body (whatever that is anyway…). Everyone has a body, and everyone has feelings to express. And that is all you need!