Dance is more than just an art form for the two girls, Lærke and Julie. It is a passion that has bound them together since childhood and forms the foundation of their current professional lives. Julie and Lærke's story is an example of how friendship and work can be balanced - and outputs multiplied by great factors - while maintaining personal values.
We meet Julie & Lærke in a dance studio in central Aarhus. The herringbone parquet floor and the distinctly older surroundings stand in stark contrast to the jogging suite the girls enter the room wearing.
Both girls have been dancing since the ages of two and four, respectively. Dance has been a source of freedom and self-expression for them. "Dance creates a sense of space" Lærke says, and it is precisely this feeling of freedom that has driven them to further develop their dance skills over the years.
Julie and Lærke have almost always danced together, and now they both dance at Planum in Aarhus. They belong to a dance group called I AM X SERENITY, which includes 14 other girls. "It's our own little family" Lærke describes.
After their first dance video on TikTok went viral back in late 2021, things took off quickly. "It all started as a joke," the girls say, but the day after the TikTok was uploaded, Julie realized that the video had been taken off. They then made another TikTok video in connection with a show in Aarhus, which also went viral. From there, more and more dance videos were posted on their profile, and the girls gradually realized the potential as they became more widespread and known on the platform. Calling themselves “DemFraTikTok” translating to “Them from TikTok” they began receiving inquiries and were given the opportunity to create a dance choreography for D1MA's "Come My Way." This sudden attention and demand brought about significant opportunities, but it also required taking a decisive step.
The girls continue to practice a new dance in the studio with a view of Aarhus Railway Station, where they mention that they have a partnership with several studios in Aarhus where they both dance and teach a team in dance.
"The job was really limiting" Lærke admits about the decision they both made to quit their previous after-school jobs. They didn't want anything to restrict their creativity and growth as dancers. It was important for them to pursue their passion and seize the opportunity that lay before them. "We didn't want to lose ourselves in it." Julie emphasizes, explaining that it was too much pressure to juggle school, dance, and a part-time job.
"The most important thing for us is to have fun."
Julie and Lærke have experienced being too stressed in the past. Therefore, they made a choice to structure their work in a way that doesn't overwhelm them individually. Julie is responsible for keeping the TikTok profile running by editing and posting videos, as well as responding to comments and the like, while Lærke handles the practical aspects such as booking venues, managing finances, and meeting deadlines. "We handle everything ourselves; we don't have an agency behind us", Julie comments regarding their choice to divide the tasks, emphasizing that they do everything to avoid stress.
The girls are now 19 and 20 years old, happily dancing with 42 million views on TikTok, but it's all about balance, and in their journey as dancers and friends, Lærke and Julie have a few key points where they never compromise.
Prioritizing school is worthwhile
Education remains a priority for both of them as they understand the importance of having a solid foundation for their future. "My parents have always said that as long as I do my best in school, they will support me in everything I do," Lærke says.
Maintaining the Friendship
Despite the financial aspect of their collaboration, Julie and Lærke make a great effort to maintain their friendship. They are aware of the importance of separating their professional relationship from their personal one, but also the value that exists from their personal connection and relation to each other. They respect each other's different qualities and complement each other well. Even when they are busy with their dance projects, they prioritize spending time together as friends and strengthening their bond outside of work. As they say, "Our greatest strength is that we are two" - They know that a solid friendship is crucial for maintaining their long-lasting collaboration and thriving both personally and professionally.
The Joy of Dance
Julie and Lærke have found joy and freedom in dancing since they were young, and they want to preserve that joy. "Your passion should drive the work" says Lærke, emphasizing that it's the dance itself, not the money, that motivates them. Julie adds, "We don't want to lose ourselves in it" highlighting the start of their TikTok career, saying, "We started just because it was fun."