Right on the edge of Stockholm’s Östermalm district is Balettakademien, one of Scandinavia’s largest and most prestigious dance schools. This is where we meet up with Maja Dahlbäck, a second-year student in the Professional Dancers Education with a focus on Modern/Contemporary Dance, for an opportunity to see her moves in the studio that has become her home away from home, and a chat about her everyday life, creativity, fashion and more.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
School starts at 9AM with ballet and then a technique class, which can either be jazz or contemporary. After lunch we have alternating blocks, the latest of which has been ‘moving’, a three-hour class where we go deeper into a certain area. For me, that has been modern and contemporary dance. Once school is done at about 4.30PM, it’s on me to take responsibility for rehabilitation, stretching, and of course everything else that’s part of everyday life.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself as part of a dance company where I continue developing my skills and being challenged, both as a dancer and a human being.
Tell us something you’re proud of.
My whole journey, believing in myself and having the discipline required to get to where I am today are things that I’m proud of.
How and when did you get into dancing, and what’s your inspiration and favorite type of dance?
My parents would probably tell you that I have been dancing ever since I was born, but I didn’t start taking classes until I was 11. Before that, I tried a bunch of other sports and enjoyed them, but nothing got me hooked like dancing did. One reason is that my older sister, who is now a professional dancer, was dancing. You could say that I’ve been following in her footsteps since we both focus on contemporary dance, though we as individual dancers have differing skills.
Where do you draw your inspiration from when it comes to your clothing style?
When I’m not in my dance outfits, I like to experiment with layers a lot. I mostly get inspiration from my friends, but some celebrities also influence my style, Billie Eilish for instance. I try do to most of my shopping second hand, partly for stylistic reasons but mainly due to the climate impact.
What motivates you to be creative?
Creating something that makes people reflect is something that I find interesting and important. In the world of arts, we can bring up topics that might not otherwise be talked about as much.
Can you describe your creative process?
A lot of my creativity comes from improvisation. I put on some nice music that I feel a connection to and let my body move freely, without any demands.
Which subject could you talk about for hours?
Would “dancing” be too boring and expected of an answer? Everything from “what is dance and what isn’t” to discussing the impact art has on human beings and society at large.
Maja is wearing 107 Canvas Off White.