Kirsten Allen’s true passion has always been ballet. She says it is in dance that she finds a sense of community and humanity. Feelings that have recently become more real than ever.
“It was heartbreaking to watch what was happening in Ukraine and so I thought if I contacted someone from my industry, the world of ballet, they would respond and we could communicate on how I can help,” Allen said.
It was through the world of ballet that Allen was able to connect with Oleksii Potiomkin, another dancer in Ukraine who had been forced to put aside his true passion to take up arms for Ukraine.
“I was asking, ‘what do you need most?’ Allen said. “And he said, ‘well Kirsten, I don’t have a helmet.’
Allen immediately got to work that night, looking for a way to get much-needed protection for her new friend.
“I had never in my life looked for tactical gear, I never held a gun,” Allen said. “I’m a ballet dancer myself, which is definitely out of my sense of normality, but we became good friends and I wanted to help out.”
Within days, she had a plan.
“We created this channel thanks to two other ballet dancers in Amsterdam,” Allen said. “[We connected with] another named Oleksii and another named Stanislaus, two ballet dancers. I shipped supplies to them and they set up a convoy through Poland to get the items to western Ukraine, then a friend of Oleksii drove them to him.
Now she launched a Fundraising hoping to get more supplies into the country.
“I can’t watch it and sit back and do nothing,” Allen said. “I have to do something. My heart is bleeding for these people.