Ballet dancing is considered a sculpture visible for a moment. A tiresome and demanding task, it asks for endless practice from very young ages, and offers very little as a tangible return. There’s no painting to hang in a museum, no book to put on a shelf, no record to play; ballet dancers perfect and employ their craft for one reason alone: The love of the art. It is the pure ambition to do what you love and be great at it. That’s why there are no bad ballet dancers; only great ones and those that never become one. This love, this spirit, and this demand for greatness has been captured and utilised by Den Norske Ballettskole (DNBS) – The Norwegian Ballet School.

WHAT’S HOT: Bærum Kulturhus (Baerum Concert Hall) for Ballet Gala 2016 by the Norwegian Ballet School (DNBS), June 11-12.

Sunday ballet class at Den Norske Ballett Skole (The National Norwegian Ballet School)

Sunday ballet class at Den Norske Ballettskole (The Norwegian Ballet School)

The Beginning

Den Norske Ballettskole (DNBS) was founded by Siri Aarset Johansen and Irene Aarset Jansson. The two sisters have been very close ever since they can remember. In spite of being advised against dance and asked to pursue a different career, the two were passionate, and in 2005 the sisters put together all their resources to establish a ballet school. Today, the school has about 450 students and ambitions to reach a higher level. The founders are looking for sponsorship that would allow the school to have a new studio with high ceilings to practice pas de deux.


Irene Aarset Jansson and Siri Aarset Johansen, the founders of the Norwegian Ballet school (DNBS)

The Ambition

The Norwegian Ballet School teaches ballet to children as young as six, and has higher levels up to a masterclass, where they train their students to compete in ballet competitions on national and international levels. According to the founders, their ambition is “to show that Norwegians can be just as good in ballet as we are on skis”. To this end, they teach using the Russian Ballet style known as the Vaganova Method.

The Vaganova Method

This method is a mix of French and Italian and a few other styles, and has produced some of the greatest dancers in the world. Through this style, they try to engrain a harmony between the torso and limbs in the dancers. It has been described as “a single dance handwriting”. It is an exquisite experience to watch the graceful movements of their well-trained students. There is no argument over the fact that these children and young adults are dedicated and hardworking practitioners of their craft. Why, one of the Ballet School’s most prominent students is Kristine Moe. At the tender age of sixteen, she’s achieved enough of a level of talent in their masterclass that she has been accepted into the Vaganova Academy, and is being groomed for international competitions.

It is Discipline and Love

Den Norske Ballettskole (DNBS) has multiple accolades and a nice studio, but what really makes this ballet school special is what it gives to its students. The students have hopes. They are as malleable as they hope to make their bodies. The teachers mentioned how one of them, Maren Skrede, was cured of her scoliosis through the health benefits of ballet training. This school nurtures them, gives their bodies and personalities another role to enjoy. It requires discipline, sacrifice, endless effort, and the patience to travel down a very long road, but the end has a flourish of triumph, like a Rocky Balboa movie.


Filippa Arntsen Vik (14), a promising, upcoming talent, joined DNBS in 2012.

Students of the Norwegian Ballet School performing in Bærum Kulturhus (Baerum Concert hall):

Place to visit: Bærum Kulturhus  (Baerum Concert Hall)

Baerum Concert Hall situated 10 km west of Oslo. Norwegian and international theater plays, dance and music. About 550 large and small events in various venues. The entire program for 2016 is here.

Baerum Concert Hall is situated 10 km west of Oslo. It features Norwegian and international theatre plays, dance, and music, with about 550 large and small events in various venues. The entire program for 2016 is here.


Photos by Dina Johnsen / Text by Akif Rashid