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Norwegian National Ballet talent: Wilhelmsen Ballet Academy

The Wilhelmsen Ballet Academy is the Norwegian National Ballet initiative aimed at talented young ballet dancers and the first of its kind in Norway.

“It represents a milestone in ballet talent development. The Wilhelmsen Ballet Academy gives talented young ballet dancers from around the country the opportunity to become a ballet dancer no matter where they live,” says Ingrid Lorentzen, head of the Norwegian National Ballet. 

The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet has its own ballet school and Norwegian National Ballet 2, a company for young dancers ages 17 to 23 years. The new ballet academy is a development programme for children and young people in two age groups: 10-16 years and 16-18 years. 

The Wilhelmsen Ballet Academy is a comprehensive initiative aimed at young talents from around the country, where the development of technical skill and strength goes hand in hand with a focus on the physical and mental health of the dancers.

The head of the academy is Richard Suttie, who is the assistant ballet director of the National Ballet. Throughout the year, the Norwegian National Ballet’s leading educators and former soloists provide guidance to young dancers during assemblies at the Oslo Opera House and regionally. Through the academy, the Norwegian National Ballet works closely with regional ballet professionals and contributes to their development. 

The Wilhelmsen Ballet Academy has become a reality thanks to the support of the Tom Wilhelmsen Foundation and Talent Norge.  

First cohort to start in autumn 2023

We are starting up in the autumn of 2023 and the main programme during the first season will be offered to a group of students aged 10-16 years.

·        The goal is to develop and support dancers who aim to continue their ballet training at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts or similar academies abroad.

·       Around two assemblies will be held each month, either locally or in Oslo, for an entire weekend and give young talents the possibility to receive close, professional guidance in small groups. The assemblies in Oslo will also offer the opportunity for programme participants to train together with others on the same or higher levels. The academy will cover the travel and accommodation costs for students and educators attending the assemblies in Oslo.

·        Instruction at the students’ local institution will continue to be a significant and important element in their development and local instructors will also be given the opportunity to provide extra guidance to students at the academy in the weeks between the assemblies.

·        The academy students will participate in the Norwegian National Ballet’s summer course in June, when repertoire works will also be rehearsed and they will perform together with other students from the course. 

Tryouts for the academy

The goal of the Wilhelmsen Ballet Academy is to bring together students exhibiting the highest skill levels from schools around the country. The tryout process will entail an open tryout class with a tryout jury consisting of experienced ballet educators. 

For questions or more information, contact the head of the Wilhelmsen Ballet Academy, Richard Suttie, at