Finnish singer-songwriter Saara Aalto has debuted a powerful new music video for her song, “Dance Like Nobody’s Watching”, which tells the story of a transgender woman’s childhood.

The music video was released in conjunction with UK charity Mermaids, which supports gender diverse and transgender children.



Transgender dancer Jessica Allen – who has previously had roles in Cats and with the English National Ballet Company – stars in the music video.

“I want this song and video to empower anybody who maybe doubts themselves or has others doubt them to see that you can truly be who you are meant to be. Your life can be incredible, beautiful and peaceful.”

– Saara Aalto

Allen transitioned in 2013. As a result of this – and a knee injury – she retired from professional dance. Her role in the music video for “Dance Like Nobody’s Watching” marks her professional debut as her correct gender.

Saara Aalto: ‘Dance Like Nobody’s Watching’ is ‘precious and important’

Aalto – who wrote the song after talking with friends who had similar experiences – said that “Dance Like Nobody’s Watching” is “the most precious and important song of my career so far.

“I want this song and video to empower anybody who maybe doubts themselves or has others doubt them to see that you can truly be who you are meant to be. Your life can be incredible, beautiful and peaceful,” she said.

“It takes courage, strength and ultimately a no fear attitude, but you can do it.

“As an LGBTQ+ artist myself, I have experienced prejudices both personal and professional, but I made my dream of being a singer come true and I want to use this platform to inspire others that you too can lead a lead positive and loving life.”

“The world can be a hostile place for trans kids, this beautiful and emotive piece created by a mainstream artist, tackling some of the key issues faced, gives a platform that will be widely seen and appreciated.”

– Susie Green, CEO of Mermaids

The music video tells the story of a transgender dancer reflecting on her childhood, when she presented as male, and how she became the person she was meant to be.

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The music video for “Dance Like Nobody’s Watching” delves into the challenges faced by transgender children in coming to terms with their identity, but ultimately presents a hopeful and positive message to transgender youth.

Dance Like Nobody's Watching (YouTube)
Dance Like Nobody’s Watching (YouTube)

Susie Green, CEO of Mermaids – the charity that Aalto has released the music video with – said the video provided much needed positive representation of transgender youth.

“We know that this works towards increased acceptance and understanding,” she said.

“The world can be a hostile place for trans kids, this beautiful and emotive piece created by a mainstream artist, tackling some of the key issues faced, gives a platform that will be widely seen and appreciated.”

How Mermaids became a talking point for anti-trans activists

The charity made headlines in December after it was revealed that they were to receive a grant from The Big Lottery Fund to help continue the important work they do with gender diverse and transgender children.

However, TV writer Graham Linehan urged opposition to the funding, which led to a flood of complaints from anti-trans activists.

The Big Lottery Fund subsequently announced that they would review the grant.

Chief executive of Mermaids, Susie Green, said at the time that it was “sad to see that a white, privileged man has decided that he knows better than the parents and young people directly affected, seeking to undermine funding for often lifesaving support for children to achieve their best in the face of bigotry and prejudice.”

However, in response, gamer Harry Brewis set up a fundraiser for the charity, which saw him playing Donkey Kong for 57-hours and raising more than £250,000 for Mermaids.




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