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Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.

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Photography, dance, yoga, Artists on Tumblr, breakdancing, flexibility, germany, User Feature, Instagram,

Feats of Incredible Strength and Flexibility with @rubberlegz

For more breakdance contortionism, follow @rubberlegz on Instagram.

Professional dancer Rauf Yasit (@rubberlegz) can stretch into such seemingly impossible shapes that you might think he has no bones in his body. His self-portraits on Instagram are called “Freezes” that he says require him to “click, run, and quickly get into the pose.” Some positions he can hold for only a few seconds, others for much longer. “With time you get to know your body,” he says. “You grow into it.”

The son of a folk dance teacher from Kurdistan who would make him perform traditional Kurdish dances at weddings, Rauf fell in love with breakdancing as a 12-year-old in Germany. His life as Rubber Legz began when an early back injury forced him to take a different approach, shifting his focus from acrobatics to flexibility. He started watching contortion videos and integrated elements of yoga into his breakdance moves. Rauf is now a full-time dancer with his stage group, Flying Steps, who are currently on tour in Germany. He’s also at work on a book that will feature his poses across the landscapes of Reykjavik, Iceland. He says he wants to “express pure and beautiful things” with his dancing and credits the Instagram community as a motivation for pushing the boundaries of his art—and flexibility.

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art, illustration, mexico, dance, teen, latin america, User Feature, Instagram,

Drawing on Emotion with @literaluis

For more of Luis’s sketches, follow @literaluis on Instagram.

"I’ve been doodling since I can remember. At times, it even becomes a totally unconscious act. No blank sheet of paper is safe with me as long as there’s a pen or pencil around,” says 17-year-old Mexico sketch artist and dancer Luis Ruiz (@literaluis). Luis characterizes his style as cartoon-like and says he never intends for his characters to really resemble the subject. “The relevance I see in them doesn’t lie in who they are, but what they would say if they were able to speak,” he explains.

Luis finds creative inspiration from listening to others. “My favorite things to sketch are portraits because of how much they reveal about a being or a person: a nostalgic gaze, lips sealed as if they had something important to say, even the way hair is styled. The possibilities are endless.” Relating to his subjects is also a part of Luis’s creative process. He explains, “I enjoy seeing the contrast between my characters’ portraits and my own. By standing next to them, I am reminded that they are a part of me and that their feelings were once my own. Nowadays everyone is eager to share their own story, however only a few are keen to listen. Listening to someone else makes you realize how human we all truly are and how our emotions aren’t as alienated as we may portray them.”

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weekend hashtag project, WHPdancers, dance, ballet,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPdancers

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes & hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

This weekend’s tag was #WHPdancers, which asked participants to take creative photos and videos of dancers. Every Monday we feature some of our favorite submissions from the project, but be sure to check out the rest here.

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WHPdancers, weekend hashtag project, dance, ballet,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPdancers

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes & hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

After hearing tips from Russia dancer and Instagrammer Darian Volkova (@darian_volkova) in an earlier post this week, this weekend’s goal is to take creative photos and videos of dancers. Some tips to get you started:

  • Dancers often like to pose for the camera. Have a friend or acquaintance who’s a professional dancer? Offer to let him or her use your photos and videos in exchange for posing. Remember, though, that anyone can be a dancer! Turn on the music, grab your friends and family and capture the fun of the moment.
  • Your setting will be key to the kind of story your photo or video tells. For a more classic look, seek out dramatic light and empty spaces. (You may even be able to shoot in a dance school or studio if you secure advance permission.) If you want a more contemporary feel, seek out somewhere where dance would be unexpected like a crowded street, supermarket or wherever your imagination may take you.
  • Finally, if you’re shooting video, try to limit the amount of motion. It’s difficult to follow a moving dancer if your camera is moving, too, so try and keep your phone still while your dancer moves (or vice versa).

PROJECT RULES: Please only add the #WHPdancers hashtag to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own photographs and videos to the project. Any image or video taken then tagged over the weekend is eligible to be featured right here Monday morning!

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Jonah Bokaer, dance, user feature,

Frozen Dance with @jonah_bokaer

Since introducing video, we’ve seen movement and sound bring dance to to new dimensions. From @lilbuckdalegend's improvisational jookin’ to the pirouettes of the @ballerinaproject_ to @palmyhk's break dancing, dancers have brought their choreography to life on Instagram. American dancer Jonah Bokaer (@jonah_bokaer), however, is flipping that expectation for movement on its head. He applies his background in animation and motion-capture techniques to his choreography and shares the resulting routines through a series of frozen moments.

"I first started using Instagram this year. It fascinated me that people change their content so quickly, so rapidly and with such diversity. I decided to turn the scale in the other direction: to tunnel deeper and deeper into the same image vocabulary and to create variations in the same image to call further attention to movement detail," he says. From those focused moments emerged a new series: "Then came the idea that, in fact, I was actually making a dance frame by frame."

To create these post-by-post Instagram performances, Jonah has a multi-step process: “I create the animations first, rehearse the performance, decide and finalize the visual scenery and then have a colleague do the photography.” Some of his performances have produced over 3,000 images! To experience your own personal performance of Jonah’s work, be sure to follow @jonah_bokaer.