Historically, society has underestimated art as a profession, under the belief that success can only be achieved through college education and through the traditional careers. Little by little, this social perception has evolved, recognizing the true value of arts and acknowledging the human need for quality entertainment. Later, artists were roughly able to make a living and, of course, make their well-deserved money.
Today, dancing is one of the arts that is continuously considered more as a hobby than profession. There are some exceptions of outstanding dancers like Dustin Ripkens, who has managed to be an accomplished, well-known dancer thanks to his discipline, effort, and consistency in training. His case serves as an inspiration to commit to your own strengths and desires.
Dustin was born in Germany in 1989, and since then, he always had the determination to become a dancer. He began jazz dancing classes at the young age of 12, then he did ballet at 16, and later once he turned 18, he dedicated himself to contemporary dance. All this knowledge was shown at school presentations and weddings. Eventually, he created the dancing group “Dark Flames,” a step that would mark his career from then on.
Convinced that dancing was more than a passion, he was sure this was his form of living. This made him move to London to study dance and musical theater at Performers College, one of the most prestigious art schools in the United Kingdom. This opened many doors for him, letting him showcase and gaining relevance, until he won the “Best Male Award” for his extraordinary skills in dance and choreography.
This accomplishment pushed him to presentations of much higher standards that eventually started to do abroad performances. The first one was in Missouri, United States to be part of “Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons,” a tribute show that was presented during the Christmas season at the iconic Kings Castle Theater.
Dustin knew that his career was already reaching another level, and in 2013, he decided to go to the Mecca of Cinema and the Arts, Los Angeles, the city where he knew he could have infinite opportunities to work hand in hand with great artists, a challenge that he took on, and until today, he assures that it has given him great satisfaction. For 7 years he was part of “Mystic India: The World Tour,” a Bollywood show that tells the history of Indian culture through dance and music, with which he managed to tour throughout the United States, Canada, and South Africa. More than 500,000 people had the opportunity to see him on stage.
It was in 2018 when one of the most important and recognized entertainment companies in the United States, LA Follies, made him part of its company to be a dancer, then a titular dancer, rehearsal director, and choreographic assistant for different productions. He even collaborated in several opportunities with the company’s casting selection. At this time, he had the privilege of performing for Halloween Monster Mash, Bollywood in Irvine, Lincoln Military Housing, Hollywood Hills meets Gatsby, Holy Moly, Sesame Street, Gatsby & LaLaLand DTLA, Biltmore Hotel, San Diego Gatsby, Houdini Estate Foundation, Walnut Village, among others. Jazz, ballet, hip-hop, swing, contemporary dance, and even some special talents such as dance in pairs, with fire, or with special props were part of his outstanding abilities.
Later, in 2019 he was chosen to be a cast member of “Morning Meltdown 100,” part of BeachBody on demand, a group of more than 2 million subscribers that has an exercise and training program that has been seen by more than 25 million people and which has as its image the very popular Jericho Mc Matthews. Thanks to Dustin’s experience in online dance classes due to the pandemic, he was given the opportunity to be the test group manager, then the choreography tech. Eventually he became the rehearsal director and right-hand man of the new training program and exercises that are based in dancing. This can only be seen on demand and is part of the BeachBody offer called “Let’s Get Up” led by Shaun T’s. This program launched in 2021 and has broken all records.
Dustin is unique in his style, a living proof that dancing is a dignified, profitable, and very successful way of life—something that has led him to be recognized worldwide and to perform in the most incredible places of the art scene and the most far-reaching shows, such as The Royal Variety Performance, the traditional event held in England and attended by members of the British royal family. He has worked with companies such as Heineken, NETmundial, Universal Studios, Text Santa, and Disney. He has been to over 12 different live dance shows with stage performances, and has been on countless TV shows, commercials, music videos. He has simply believed in one philosophy: the power of dance.