My name is Joel Juht, also known as JJ, and I was born in Estonia on 14th February 1981. In short, I am an artist, a coach, an athlete, an adventurer, and an entrepreneur.

For the past 25 years, I have been involved in the popularization of street culture, youth development, entrepreneurship, and management. During the past 10 years I have added sports challenges to my life, although I have considered movement and activity important before that. Different experiences have taught me discipline and how to stay true to myself in difficult times.

My driving force is music, adventure, fear, and new knowledge. I have been performing on various stages for over 30 years and I still enjoy it.

My larger goal is to inspire more people to take action and leave their fears behind and I want to help them become a better version of themselves. I have always liked real life stories about real people. That is why I want to share my story to motivate others to take action – whether it is in dance, sports, business, or everyday life.

I believe that anything is possible if you work hard for it!!

Everything is possible!

Despite having played various sports in the past, I hated running. To step out of my comfort zone, I started doing ultra runs. I was told I could not do it. Most of us probably have someone somewhere who constantly puts our dreams down and tells us that they are not achievable. The world mass-produces negativity because it sells better, and many people are absorbed by it and consume it.

I believe that people should contribute more of their resources into positive projects and initiatives to reduce the impact of negativity!

Let the proof be that I was able to do it! Today I run with great joy.

In 2023, I won one of the most difficult ultramarathons in the world, Fire and Ice Ultra in Iceland (250-kilometer course). 

In 2022, I was the only Estonian to finish the 500-kilometer Lapland Arctic Ultra ultramarathon in the Arctic. This had been my goal for five years and I achieved it!

In 2021, I completed the Winter Extreme Challenge in Estonia, which was 360 kilometres long.

In 2020, Rovaniemi 150 Ultra Race Lapland – 150 kilometres. I achieved 3rd place on foot.

In 2019, I completed the 252-kilometer Wings for Life charity run from Tallinn to Võru and completed the world’s coldest and toughest ultramarathon, the Yukon Arctic Ultra extreme race, which was 692 kilometres long.

In 2018, I completed a 130-kilometer charity run from Tallinn to Pärnu.

In 2017, I completed a 137-kilometer charity run from Tallinn to Jõgeva and participated in the desert race Marathon Des Sables 32, which was 247 kilometres long.

An artist and a street culture promoter through and through

For the longest time in my life, since 1993, I have been involved in the promotion of street dance culture across Estonia. I am mainly known as a dancer, coach, and choreographer.

I have been a member of Estonia’s first hip-hop dance group called 34U, have been a choreographer for singers and bands both in Estonia and abroad, won dance competitions, worked as a dance teacher and a choreographer for over 20 years and founded the first street dance school in Estonia, the JJ-Street Dance Company, together with the biggest youth club Urban Style.

Since 2021, I have channelled my thoughts and personal experiences into hip-hop music and released several singles under the name JJ (for example, in collaboration with rapper Culpas “Nukitsa laul” and “Meeldib Ei Meeldi”).

I also consider the launch of the Estonian Street Dancers Association in 2021, where I am still the chairman of the board, a great success. This organization has made a significant contribution in shaping and promoting the image of street dance at a high level.

Fight Against „No“

Many people think that everything in life has just come easily to me, and I have not had to work very hard. In 2020 I published a book “Fight Against „No“”, which is about how I have had to fight against „no“ for an answer and which I dedicated to all those who believed in me and encouraged me to dream, act and strive even further.

I hope that my tortuous journey inspires people to strive to improve themselves. I do not consider myself the best, the most skilled or the most handsome, but I think that no matter what, we should always try to move forward and be grateful for what we have already been given.

In the book, I talk about how to believe in yourself and deal with the struggles that come when being told „no“ all the time.

Seven thoughts from my book:

  • Be grateful and move on. We should always, no matter what, try to move forward and be grateful for what we have already been given.            
  • Do what you enjoy. It does not matter if the support comes from outside or inside or there is no support at all – you still can do what you enjoy.
  • Walk boldly towards the „light“. When you are young, there is no fear, because there is nothing to take from you. You see a light at the end of the tunnel, and you walk towards it. We should always walk youthfully towards our dreams.
  • Replace „once“ with hard work. You cannot be a tough person if you do not do the work to back it up. If there is no content, you are not tough, you are a mad man. You are not a hip-hopper just because you wrote a rhyme; you are not a street dancer because you took two steps; you are not a DJ because you learned how to mix one beat with another; you are not a singer because you picked up the microphone once and sang. Progress happens and results only come as a result of regular work and never giving up.
  • Do things that you do not like. I hated running, so I started running. If you do not like running, you just have to run more. Your brain then starts to work differently. A person can grow to love everything, but a lot of work has to be done before that happens.
  • Learn to make situations work in your favour. Everyone has things they are not good at, but that is not an indicator. However, the main thing is the ability to make situations work in your favour.
  • Become strong mentally and physically. „Wrestling gave me both courage and character and taught me not to give up,“ Joel admits and quotes the slogan of wrestling coaches: „No pain, no gain!“. „Wrestling made me stronger, both mentally and physically. Find a hobby, an interest or a daily practice that makes you strong – mentally and physically.“

One of the best youth workers in Estonia

Even though I swore that the university would not fit into my life when I was young, youth worker Luule Press invited me to Tallinn University, because when working with young people and setting an example for them, I really needed a higher education.

Studies were difficult – recession, my father’s death, long commute to school and only a few hours of sleep at night, dropping out of school.

My thesis was about street culture in youth work, which was also the first thesis on this topic. I defended my bachelor’s thesis and received an A and became a youth worker. People who called me stupid and illiterate could only sigh with envy. I believe that everyone has things they are not good at, but that is not an indicator. The important thing is the ability to make situations work in your favour.

Today, I have been repeatedly named one of the best youth workers in Estonia.

  • Winter extreme challenge in Estonia 360 km
  • JJ & Culpas - Meeldib Ei Meeldi song
  • JJ & Culpas - Nukits song
  • Chairman of the Estonian Street Dancers Association
  • 130 km charity race from Tallinn to Pärnu
  • Stage movement manager of “See hetk” at the Tallinn City Theatre
  • Winner of the prize “Lastega ja Lastele” 2016, creator of change 2015
  • The mentor of Youth of the Year in the city of Tartu
  • EFFE LABEL 2015-2016. Recognition by the Estonian representation of the European Commission
  • At the opening of the elderly festival, the best of the best in the “Years Full of Brilliance and Dignity” competition, Hip Hop Grannies dance Project was honoured in the category of intergenerational ties
  • In the category “The Great Acts of Tallinn’s youth”, JJ-Street Dance Company project “Cleaning painted walls of Müürivahe Street” was recognised, as they proved that there is a big difference between scribble/tagging and art.
  • Street culture festival JJ-Street Baltic Session was recognised in the category “The Great Acts of Tallinn’s youth”
  • In the category “Small Acts of Tallinn’s youth”, recognition for helping develop street dance and organizing different training sessions and events for young people. I founded  JJ-Street Dance Company in Tallinn, organized Camp of Hip-Hop and street dance festival JJ- Street Baltic Session
  • 2007-2012 opening of the Tele2 Go Live concert tour and choreography
  • Foundation of Estonian House Founders
  • 2007-2016 – the initiator and chief organizer of the first street culture festival in Estonia, JJ-Street Baltic Session
  • Certificate from the founder of Locking dance style, Greg Campbellock Jr.
  • The choreographer for Eha Urbsalu in the Estonian Eurovision
  • Dancer and choreographer for HANNAH
  • Battle of the East, electric boogie, 1st place
  • Choreographer for Lithuanian Eurovision 2nd place, singer RUTA
  • Opening of the Golden Disc
  • Opening of the Vanilla Ninja concert
  • Estonian Championships in Club Dance. Club Atlantis, best male dancer
  • Singer of “Take The Lid Off” on the album “Suvehitt”
  • Choreographer and actor in the film “The Revolution of Pigs”
  • Nightlight Duo in the Estonian Eurovision finals
  • Singer of “Freestyle”
  • Performer at the concert tour Rahvaeurokas
  •  Estonian master in electric boogies
  • To date – the initiator and chief organizer of the first annual street dance camp “Camp of Hip-Hop” in Estonia
  • Establishment of JJ-Street Dance Company, the first street dance school in Estonia
  • Battle of the Year Baltic 2nd place
  • Koolitants competition panel member
  • 2000-2002 – mime in Tallinn Old Town
  • Participation in the TV show “Kuulus või kummaline”
  • 6-hour disco marathon, 1st place
  • Establishment of the first hip-hop dance group in Estonia (34U)
  • Competition “Laulumaias” in Võru, 1st place