On maybe be synonymous with running performance, but the brand’s latest campaign is about all kinds of movement.

Movement is an integral part of society. The way we walk to work or how we drink our coffee are seamless expressions of humanity, with every one of us unique in our gestures and actions. Whether you’re a top-performing athlete or an everyday dancer, On’s recent campaign sparks curiosity about what it means to move.

Set in the urban backdrop of Berlin’s historic airbase on Tempelhofer Feld, the campaign, ‘Move like a Human’, uses contemporary dance as a way to celebrate all forms of movement. An adaptation of ‘In C’ by Berlin-based choreographer and artistic director Sasha Waltz, professional dancers, including world-renowned choreographer, dancer, and director Justin Peck, work within a framework of movements freely. They interact, respond, lead, and follow through their body — much like how we as a society navigate our way through cities and spaces.

On’s signature shoes, like the Cloud X 3 Shift, Cloudnova, Cloudnova Form, Cloudswift 3, and the Cloudnova Flux, all come alive on the runways of the misty Berlin landmark. Born in the Swiss Alps, the brand’s mission is 'to ignite the human spirit through movement', and this campaign by On is a beautiful nod to that.

Inspired by the campaign, we sat down with four dancers from different backgrounds to find out what movement means to them and where their creative inspirations lie.

Highsnobiety, Highsnobiety

Michele Zanette: dancer, choreographer and creative

What does movement mean to you? 

Movement is an instrument. Could be a representation of whatever you feel in the moment or whatever you want make people feel just by using your body; it’s a strong instrument to communicate.

How did you get into your current practice?

I started dancing when I was around 13 years old, mainly watching movies and music videos. It’s been a journey, but I started taking it seriously only later on in my life when I realized I could have something to offer.

Was there a moment where you realized this is what I have to do to feel fulfilled in my work?

Definitely, you can have a natural gift, but you can’t step into certain rooms if you’re not trained or have discipline. Obviously, if dancing is just your passion and you have no lucrative or growth purposes, you can limit yourself to not learning or moving outside your own box. I would say my transition went from this is my passion to, this is what I want to do, and I want to do it properly.

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What inspires your work most?

Life is probably an obvious thing to say, but it’s really it. I believe all types of art are able to represent moments, feelings, colors, and shapes; I observe a lot of what surrounds me on a daily basis.

Who has been one of the most influential people in your life when it comes to dance?

I would probably say my old dance teacher in Italy; she was just different from the teachers I saw at hip-hop competitions in my town at that time. I wasn’t really sure if this was really what I wanted to do, and she helped me a lot — she saw something in me before I did.

How would you describe your personal dance style? What three words come to mind?

Fluid, intentional, spacious.

What is your favorite piece from the On collection?

The green Exlporer shorts are my go-to!

What is one of the best benefits, from your experience, when it comes to dance and movement?

Freedom in expression and being able to travel the world, visit places and connect with people I would probably never connect with if this wasn’t my profession.

What do you like most about On as a brand when it comes to encouraging movement?

The fact that it encourages every individual to actually move. If you’re not a dancer or whatever other type of athlete, it’s fine, but step out, touch whatever you’re living in, feel it, explore, take initiative! I think it’s beautiful.

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Vehbi can Yesil: dancer

What does movement mean to you? 

The best option is to get to know yourself. Your movements tell you who you are.

How did you get into your current practice?

I read a lot of books to train my mindset, especially if I’m training; I’m using this knowledge during the dance to achieve the next level of my movements.

Was there a moment where you thought, 'this is what I have to do to feel fulfilled in my work?'

I thought I had to win a lot of events, but after I did, I realized that wasn’t it. To be fulfilled in my work is the training which I do every other day — and it’s not just for the body; it’s for the soul and mind.

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How would you describe your personal dance style?

Explosive, no filter, energized.

How do On’s products/collection help you when it comes to movement and being on the go?

As a krump artist doing a lot of mobility and other training, you need to get as comfortable as it gets. On’s product gives you the extra lightness that you need for the details in your movement. Clothing is really important in dance, and if it's light, you don’t have any boundaries.

What is your favorite piece from the collection?

The Ultra Pants and the Active Jacket.

What is one of the best benefits, from your experience, when it comes to dance and movement?

It teaches you about different cultures. Dance and movement expand your mindset, it's like stretching for your brain, you achieve different movements if you stretch yourself constantly.

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Darcey Simmons: dancer

What does movement mean to you?

It means freedom. To pause. To take yourself away from the world for some time and be completely present and carefree in that moment.

How did you get into dance?

I started dancing when I was three years old, and I haven’t stopped since. I believe I am where I am today because I stayed driven and honest. I embrace who I am and my own past experiences, good or bad, they’re a part of me.

What inspires your work the most?

Definitely, my best friends who uplift me constantly to become the best version of myself.

Three words that come to mind for your dance style?

Individual, versatile, and pure.

How do On’s products help enhance practice?

I’ve recently been in rehearsals for a theatre show coming to London's West End. Wearing On’s Cloud X 3 Shift has enabled me to look after my feet and calves as we have been doing lots of flips and lifts, landing heavy on the feet, and they have been protecting me from that. Also, with the gym wear, I can get through an eight-hour rehearsal and not feel like all of my clothing has been ruined from the sweat.

I love that the brand encourages you to be yourself because ultimately, to indulge in movement in general, you have to be comfortable with who you are as a person.

What is the best benefit from dance in your experience? 

Keeping your body, heart, and mind healthy.

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Biel Figueredo: dancer

What does movement mean to you?

Movement is a way of communicating my feelings and emotions in a way that words can’t.

How did you get into your current practice?

As a young boy, I began my dance education in my home of Brazil, and at the age of 12, I was invited to attend the John Cranko School, where I spent six years training. After graduating, I was offered a contract with the Stuttgart Ballet, where I work today!

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Three words that come to mind for your dance style?

Fluid, delicate and musical.

How do On’s pieces help you when it comes to movement and being on the go?

On products are incredibly comfortable, and it makes me feel really free and light. I can reach my full range of movement with no worries.

I love that On has brought together dancers to share their stories of how movement benefits us and can bring joy. By sharing our stories, we hope that others can find joy in movement in their day-to-day lives as it is proven to promote happiness and health in lifestyle!

We may all move differently, but we all move like a human. Shop On’s collection here and in select stores worldwide.

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