If This “Ballet” Commercial Doesn’t Upset You, Then I Don’t Know What Will! [Video]

Free People Clothing has offended the ballet community
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Free People Clothing has offended the ballet community


If This “Ballet” Commercial Doesn’t Upset You, Then I Don’t Know What Will!

Before you jump to watch the video below, read the short text below and picture in your mind what the person saying this would look like:

“I don’t even think about it at this point. I just express myself and I let myself go. I don’t think about what I’m gonna do, I just do it.

I’ve been dancing since I was three. My mother put me into it. And ever since I’ve loved it. It’s so useful, because now I understand my body, I understand how it moves and I also know how to express myself in a manner that people can see.

It definitely gave me discipline. You learn to take direction, especially for ballet because it’s so structural. But, eventually you just get comfortable with something. The more you feel it, the more it transcends and the more you see it in a performance.

It’s not just about yourself, it’s about the people you’re dancing with or the audience you’re connecting to. No matter how good the person is, if you connect with someone while you’re looking at them, it’s because they’re showing their emotions when they’re dancing.

They’re not just dancing.

You have to feel it, you have to want to do it. That’s why it’s a passion for me, because I really want to do it, It inspires me to move. I can’t imagine my life without it.”

Free People Clothing came out with a commercial advertising their dancing line.

Now watch the video below and see what YOU think and feel about it.

If This “Ballet” Commercial Doesn’t Upset You, Then I Don’t Know What Will!

Here’s the video advertisement.

Video from Free People chanel on YouTube.

What response did Free People Clothing get?

Here are just a few:

“This is OFFENSIVE to dancers out there.”

If This “Ballet” Commercial Doesn’t Upset You, Then I Don’t Know What Will!

On Facebook, dancers filled Free People’s wall with upsetting comments.

Hilary Tone wrote:

“Hi Free People. Just another dancer here to express her utter dismay at your irresponsible and dangerous dancewear video and photos. It is very clear that you not only failed to cast dancers for a shoot that required them, but that you failed to do your homework when it comes to what’s safe and what’s not for amateurs. I respectfully ask that you apologize to your models for putting them in danger and to the dance community for offending our art form, and that you reconsider this marketing campaign. Thank you.

Dance South added:

Dancentre South Free people this ad is such a slap in the face to trained dancers everywhere. I cringed watching her awful technique (obviously untrained or beginner at best) and hopefully she didn’t get injured during filming as she has no business in pointe shoes. Shame on you!

Amani Skalacki The woman in this adv is clearly NOT a dancer. She is a model who just happens to be thin & somewhat flexible. She probably watched a few dance clips on YouTube. Everything she attempts is without grace, rhythm, proper dance posture & alignment. Free People is clearly of the mindset that any publicity is good publicity and they are clearly far less connected to their consumer. This is insulting and silly. It’s Saturday Night Live worthy at best. Way to assume your customers are stupid Free People! Here’s an idea stop promoting from within & hire someone who is in step with current cultural trends in the arts & fashion.


The Huffington Post had it’s share of outraged commenters:

Free People Parody Video. Free People Ballet Commercial. Movement commercial. Dance and athletic clothing line. This video details the strength and passion of a dancer. Ballet is one of the hardest skills to train for. Barre work is amazing a so good for the body. Bad dance video. The best bad dance video. Worst dancer on YouTube.

The Huffington Post: ‘The Unconvincing Ballet Ad That Has Dancers Everywhere Fuming’:


Here’s a recap of the images from the video:





Need I say more?

Now it’s your turn!

If you’re moved to express your thoughts below, PLEASE do. We love hearing from you guys!


  1. Whoopsie. Hopefully they can do damage control and hire real dancers that have worked their tails off. My career is in marketing and I can’t believe their marketing team thought this would be a good idea. Love their clothes but they need to fix this!

  2. They already relaunched with Ballet Zaida dancers….so this is outdated. Check out the new photography. It is stunning!

  3. I am a professional dancer and a teacher. This video upsets me and is insulting! I spend a lot of time training young dancers and teaching them proper technique. The woman in the commercial lacks proper training and experience and should not be featured in this commercial. Dance is a complex art form that requires a lot of strength, flexibility, and dedication. Dancers are athletes and are the one of the most dedicated groups of artists I know. I applaud businesses and companies for using dancers as an example of true artistry, deduction, strength, flexibility, and athletics, however this company failed to do that. This commercial should be removed from their marketing!!

  4. Everything up to 0:33 I find no issue with. She is portraying a person with passion who loves to dance. If they stopped there the commercial would be representative of every person who loves dance, whether it was ballet, jazz, tap, modern, etc. The second she put pointe shoes on she no longer is representative of any person with a passion for dance, she is a representative of a specific group of persons known as ballerinas. You cannot dance en pointe without working hard and earning those shoes and ballerinas the world over should, and have every right, to be upset.

    • Pamela,
      Well said! I don’t think I’ve could have done such a good job at describing what’s right and wrong with this commercial.
      Thanks for your comments!

  5. Oh My Gosh!!!

  6. I have had some dance training since I was a child, but no where near enough to call myself a true trained technical dancer. I liked the words spoken in the ad. However, even as a person with minimal dance training, it is blatantly obvious that this girls is not a true dancer. I am not sure why a real dancer would not have been chosen for this ad. Being a dancer is not something that you can fake, especially when it comes to ballet. This ad would have been a slam dunk if the girl were a real dancer. This ad did not make me want to buy their dance wear. The fact that they were too cheap, too uninformed, did not care enough, or whatever the case was that they did not care to hire a real dancer makes me feel that their cloths will exhibit little attention to detail, poor execution, and will be fake imitations of the look, feel, and function of what real dance attire should be.

  7. Oh my god this is horrible. Horrible technique, I’m 12 and I have been dancing since I was 4 and I am way way better than this chick. I have a few things to say:
    1. Chucking a random somewhat flexible skinny model up on pointe without training is clearly DANGEROUS. There is a high high risk that she either came close to or did break her ankles.
    2.Her technique is very poor. Who holds their fingers like that? I think she’s trying to attempt is a 5th position like that. Horribly poor technique. 3. They need to hire a real dancer!!!

  8. Free People “Clothing”……..I looked at the “clothing” in this video. I listened to her words while looking at how the “clothing” fit and moved with her. She is a dancer…..I didn’t particularly care to critique her work. I love the “clothing”!!!


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