In this episode of TikTok Talks, Mike Boyd speaks with professional dancer Autumn Klein about her rise on TikTok and dancing on the platform generally. Hip hop dances are a super popular trend on TikTok. Still, Autumn Klein—a professionally trained ballet dancer—is tuned into the dance culture on TikTok far beyond just the usual trends.
TikTok Talks: Autumn Klein Talks Being a Professional Dancer on TikTok
Autumn got her start in musical.ly way back in 2017, while she was recovering following a significant injury and surgery. Following the surgery, Autumn was unsure if she would ever be able to dance again. “I realized I was going to go crazy if I didn’t have any creative outlet for that long of a period, especially with so much uncertainty. So I downloaded musical.ly, and I started editing my own videos to put on Instagram, and I just started getting lots of views on musical.ly, and it got me hooked. And I realized, there’s no ballet on this app.” The lack of professional dancers on a platform like musical.ly was a perfect white space for Autumn to fill.
“I never saw another professional American dancer on musically the entire time,” she says, before adding, “The best time to get people interested in classical arts is when they’re young. Because usually if you don’t—you’re not exposed to ballet as a young person, you’re not going to buy a ticket as an adult. So the fact that the audience was growing really fast and it just felt like I could do something and expose them to something I really love that they might never see otherwise, it just, it got me really invested, and it’s… I’ve just kept going.” The musical.ly days of 2017 were a long time ago. Autumn (her TikTok handle is @askdance) has since amassed 2.4 million followers on the platform, delivering to her fans everything from dance tutorials to skits that rely on video editing.
Autumn also has some advice for young creators on how to grow on the platform: “I would say the best advice I got that I always tell people is just make content, make everything you can think of. Even if there’s that little voice, it’s like, ‘this could be really terrible’. It could be really terrible. Some of what you make will be terrible. And later on, you’ll be like, why did I make that? That was bad, but the process of creating and going through figuring out how you can change your ideas into a video, even if you can’t really actuate it in the beginning, it’s a learning process. You’re going to get better. You’re going to develop your voice.”
Boyd and Autumn cover a lot more ground in this interview. They chat about the differences between Instagram and TikTok, her process for producing videos, and some of her favorite dance accounts on the platform. She also has some very sage advice: “If you’re just doing something to be famous, you’re going to get burnt out.”
There are so many more gems in this interview than could be covered here, so if you’d like to learn more about Autumn, make sure to watch the full interview! And also, keep your eyes on all of ONE37pm’s social channels (and Youtube) in the coming weeks, as Autumn’s interview is just one of many TikTok Talks we will be conducting with successful (and up and coming) TikTokkers.