Almost a minute full of summer, groove and effortless ease: the latest Instagram video by Oumi Janta captivates not only us Berliners, but hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Below a bright blue sky, with roller skates laced her feet, the Berliner moves with smooth, understated rhythm across the asphalt of Tempelhofer Feld to accompanying music. The video has already been watched over a million times on Instagram, and even celebrities such as Dutch artist Viviane Sassen and US actress Viola Davis have shared it in recent days.
Oumi Janta posted the video on 22nd June, and still can’t quite grasp the magnitude of the online response to it. “When I posted this video, I had 60,000 followers. Within a week, it has quintupled. That’s crazy,” she says. More than 370,000 people now follow her on Instagram. It really started when the video was shared on Twitter and then appeared on high-reach online platforms such as 9GAG, Reddit and Facebook. As surprised and bewildered as the Berlin-based artist is about the success of her video, she is also very happy: “I am mega happy that so many people write such beautiful things. That’s not always the case with social media.”
Born in Senegal and raised in Berlin, Janta has long shared her passion for roller skating and dancing on Instagram. In her videos she practices new moves or glides to various grooves over Tempelhofer Feld, Berlin’s open-air playground. In good weather she can be found several times a week with like-minded people on the square in front of the gardens. The ground here is smooth and therefore ideal for skating. She also teaches jam skating here as part of the Rollerfusion Club — a mix of roller skating and dance, for which she is celebrated on the asphalt and on Instagram.
Being recognised by people at times is therefore not unfamiliar to her. “I’m an extrovert and love interacting with people,” she says. But when Janta leaves the house now, significantly more people recognise her. She decides to take a few days out to adjust to her newfound fame.
Those who feel inspired by Oumi Janta’s roller skating skills and want to learn jam skating can do so every Wednesday evening on Tempelhofer Feld. Registration is via the Rollerfusion Club. No roller skates? No problem — you can rent them there.
Original text by Ina Hildebrandt
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