Cologne-based Deborah Keser doesn’t have to leave the city to get active outdoors
'You might not have heard of longboard dancing – it's still a growing scene, but it's getting bigger thanks to platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Its origins lie in longboard surfing, where surfers walk up and down their boards using footwork that looks like dancing. These moves are then combined with freestyle tricks that come from skateboarding.
'The best thing about it is that it's still a very young sport, so there are no defined rules – everything is possible. There are some basic steps and tricks to start with, but you're free to develop your riding style. You don't have to be sporty or an excellent dancer either. When I started, I definitely wasn't. But now I've been doing it for a few years; longboard dancing has given me a really good fitness level. It's also great because it forces you outside – you need space to get up enough speed, so you can't do it properly indoors.
'Of course, there are plenty of mental wellbeing benefits to doing something creative outdoors, too. For me, it's more a lifestyle than a sport. During the summer months, I'll often spend whole days on my board. It's a break from everyday life when I skate; I forget about everything else that's happening because I'm so focused.
'Each trick I learn is a new achievement and gives me even more motivation. But most importantly, longboard dancing has also taught me to be patient with myself – some of the tricks took over a year to master. But practice makes perfect, and that rewarding sense of accomplishment when you do unlock a trick? That's a serious confidence booster.'
Follow Deborah's adventures on Instagram @deborah_keser