Meet Lori Boggan; adult dancer, perinatal wellness counselor, founder of Ballet Gothenburg, and expat!

These days, there is little doubt that the adult dance community is a vibrant and active part of the broader ballet world.  When it came time for Orza to search for our very first team of Orza Artists, opening our search to this undeniably impactful coterie of dancers was a no brainer.

As we formed our new team of OA’s we were thrilled to welcome Lori Boggan, an adult dancer, licensed nurse, founder of a perinatal wellness center, AND founder and director of Ballet Gothenburg, in Sweden.

Recently, we were able to chat with Lori and dive a bit deeper into her fascinating story.

ORZA: Tell us bit about your early relationship with dance.

LB: I started dancing “late” in life—at 14. Ballet was my first love. I dreamed of dancing professionally, but after spending some time dancing in New York City, training at The Ailey School, I turned to nursing instead. My dream school was always the School of American Ballet.

ORZA: OK, so fast forward a decade or so and you live nine months out of the year in Sweden! Tell us EVERYTHING.

LB:  I am originally from the east coast. Sixteen years ago, while working as a travel nurse, I met my ‘Swede’ and moved to Sweden with him. I learned Swedish, took my nursing boards, and was licensed there.  After a few years of hospital work I found myself burned-out from bedside nursing. I decided to start working for myself and opened a perinatal wellness center helping parents-to-be and new parents. I had danced here and there through nursing school—but it wasn’t until I moved to Sweden that I really began dancing (and teaching) again.

ORZA: How did the idea for Ballet Gothenburg come about?

LB: I opened Ballet Gothenburg six years ago and watched the community grow. 2023 saw the formation of our adult troupe.  We are a tribe of nurses, doctors, professors, scientists, parents, and students. Together we represent over 25 countries! We dance for wellness, joy, and to encourage others to do the same.

ORZA: What do you think accounts for the current rapid growth of the adult dance community?

LB: I think it’s a blend of former pre professional students (like me) that took a different career path but found themselves missing dance, and adults looking for a fun physical activity. Personally, I’ve found that the older I get, the less I care about hitting a double or triple pirouette and instead, simply enjoy the movement and moment. I also witness firsthand the therapeutic effect is has on my students. I have students with chronic health conditions that struggle in everyday life, but never miss a class because they say it helps them so much!

ORZA: What’s next for Ballet Gothenburg?

LB: I wanted to create a space that supported what I felt was lacking in the ballet world, for people like me. Ballet Gothenburg provides an opportunity for all levels of adult dancers. For years, adult dancers found themselves in drop-in style classes alongside all levels of dancers (including professionals) which offered little to no breakdown of steps, and no corrections offered. While these classes have their place, I wanted to create a curriculum where adult students could move through levels from beginner to advanced. We have been lucky to bring these dancers through to some outdoor performances, and next I am setting my sights on a theater performance. Personally, I will continue to dance and perform as long as my body allows it, and I’ll encourage others to do the same!

ORZA: Tell us about your experience with the Orza Pro One ballet shoe!

LB: “The instant I put on my pair of Orza Pro Ones I felt supported in a way I have never felt in a ballet shoe before. It’s like a warm hug for the feet. They were carefully designed with a dancer’s safety and wellness in mind which warms this nurse’s heart. It has been the greatest gift. Thank you, team Orza!”

Thank you, Lori, for sharing a bit of your world with us— we love dancing with you!

February 12, 2024

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