Although not internationally famous (and born Canadian), there are few people fitting my column on Norwegians related to dance more than Heather Hebbert!

When I was 3, my parents and I moved to Bodø in northern Norway, a city that would be my home for the next 16 years of my life. I had already told my parents I wanted to dance, so my mother did some research, and found canadian born Heather Hebbert. She started a ballet studio in Bodø in 1980, and taught hordes of girls – and the occasional boy – ballet, tap, jazz and modern dance until she passed the studio on to Pia M. F. øien, a former student, in 2000. For many of us, she served as a second mother as well, teaching much more than ballet. Heather took her role serious – up through the years, I know that manners, self-conscience and lots of healthy principles are just a few of the things I can thank her for.

But passing on her ballet-studio did not mean the kids of Bodø had seen the last of Heather. Today, she teaches both theoretical and practical dance in the local high-school’s dance program, and runs the company “Moving Art” together with Johanne Jakhelln Constant.

Why did you come to Norway?

I came to Trondheim in 1976 to teach at Trondheim Ballet Studio.

Was it hard opening a ballet studio in a city where most people didn’t have any connection to dance and ballet?

Bodø has had ballet for many years. Ann Karin Bodøgård (She ran a competing ballet studio for many years in Bodø) was already established before I came. I was determined to succeed in making the dance studio a success because it was my life . There was just no question in my mind, that I would succeed.

How do you feel about being such an important person in so many people’s life?

I have never felt that I was an important person, I just followed my dream of sharing the love of dance to others.

You worked a lot with your studio for many years. Was it a hard decision to pass it on?

There is a time for everything. I had the studio, the aerobic centre and I had started the dance course at the high school.

It just became too much and I felt that I would rather teach during the day , after teaching evenings for more that 20 years. I wasn’t sad, as I felt Pia would do a good job.

Is there anything you are extra proud of as a  teacher?

I feel proud with the fact that many people have found the same joy as I have in the world of dance.

Tell me about moving art?!

I felt that it was the right time to start a professional company in Bodø,with the return of Johanne.

She had fabulous experience with running a dance company and I knew many people to make help the company get on it`s feet.

It is a struggle to get financing , but I am a fighter and don`t give up easily. I really hope we succeed in getting government financing so that Bodø can be proud of having a professional dance company that can inspire the up and coming dancers of the next generation . It is a art form which enriches so many other forms of art