GermanySocial entrepreneurship

Empowering at risk youth through dancing

Alice Paeske is founder of the social start-up sPERANTO who teaches soft skills through dancing

Social Entrepreneur Spotlight Germany: sPERANTO

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 26 seconds.

On a hot chocolate at Café Alibi near Moritzplatz in East Berlin, Germany

Magic of East Berlin

Boom boom pauuw. Alica is there. Seriously I am energetic myself but she appears like a thunderstorm. That was probably the main reason why I ordered hot chocolate (a guy… hot chocolate… It must have been a strong thunderstorm). It was probably to calm myself down. Anyway we managed to actually sit down after a 10min walk from U-Moritzplatz in East Berlin.

The only reason why we walked that long was that no restaurant suited her well enough… First analysis… A true perfectionista! By the way I love Berlin. Why am I not born here? Damn it.

Social entrepreneur Alica Paeske is a dance talent and changes the mindset of the youth with powerful dance workshops that improve soft skills and confidence.
Social entrepreneur, model and choreograph, Alica Paeske

Call her whirlwind

Alica is from Peine. For all non-Germans that it is near where the Volkswagen car has its headquarters in the North of Germany. I actually even know how tall she is because she is model with her own website. If you’re already getting tired of reading, check out her personal video. Yea, exactly she is dancing like a beautiful whirlwind. Dancing is also the reason for her social start-up sPERANTO which was why we met in East Berlin.

Already in her childhood Alica was always up and running, figuring out new ideas, crafting items to sell and helping the neighborhood. She tried to sell all kinds of handmade things from her family’s house but not everything works out. Her house was in a quiet neighborhood and not close to major roads. Her first steps as an entrepreneur were made and more were about to come.

In her free time she is a whirlwind, too. Not surprisingly, she went in her only week off this year with a bike to an island in Northern Germany only equipped with a tent and no plans. That is what happens if you put whirlwind and thunderstorm together 😉

Call her change agent

sPeranto developed out of her experiences with foreign looking friends of hers that were never allowed to enter night clubs. Just dancing wasn’t allowed. It drove her crazy why honest and good people are not allowed because of a different complexion. She started talking to night club owners and interviewed her friends and others that faced similar prejudiced behavior. Including everyone became her mission and that could only be through one thing… Dancing.

Wanna see what she does? Her project in Berlin has its final show
Sunday, 17th Dec 2017, 4-5pm, Entry 3:30pm
UFAfabrik Tempelhof, Viktoriastraße 10-18, 12105 Berlin

sPERANTO is a dancing project that gives the humble youth an opportunity to express feelings through dancing and increase confidence by designing their own choreography and exposing the own self. Self-discovery is not a by-product of her venture but specifically targeted. With limited financial resources fun activities are usually the first thing that is cut from a youngster’s schedule. However, activities like dancing, singing, piano or other instruments are a way to transform our emotions and cope with disappointments or general fear that tackles us at times. That is what Alica brings back to the community for free.

Alica is a professional dancer and choreographer
sPERANTO dance session with Alica

Dancing for prisoners in the middle east

She is cooperating with the municipality and works with the federal government of Germany as well to enable the humble youth to access absolutely free dance classes. Recently she got into the Social Impact Hub in Berlin where I was early the day. Already been 2 times in Ecuador, Alica follows a project based organization. The next stops will be Lebanon, Jordan and India where she will work mostly in refugee camps and prisons.

This project-based organization has also its own challenges about consistency but she is empowering apprentice teachers that are able to take over after the workshops are over. One successful project in her hometown already runs independently for more than 1.5 years. Please check out her dance videos and the whole idea on her website.

Also to coordinate the growing activities she is aiming at a team of 3-4 people working from Berlin in 2018. So far she has one business partner and several freelancers. I am super excited what is next for her and actually I am sad… I didn’t see her dancing.

26th November 2017, Lake Atitlán, Guatemala

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