Susanne Barkhald Sandberg and Thorbjørn Solvoll Urskog started dancing the boogie woogie together in 2003, and have been competing internationally since October 2004. On 20th of August 2011, they achieved their dream goal and became main class World Champions. Besides competing, they teach on a weekly basis for university students in their dance club NTNUI Dans in Trondheim. In the last couple of years they have also been teaching at international Boogie Woogie and Lindy Hop festivals. In Bulgaria they got their 3rd World Championship award.
BG Dancer: Hi Thorbjørn, how do you feel as 3 times winner of the World Championships in Boogie Woogie style?
Thorbjørn: I feel firstly happy and glad that I can be a part of a so fun and positive sport as Boogie Woogie. And to be World Champion in a sport like this just feel fantastic. I also feel privileged to be able to travel around the world and do what I love the most, namely dancing
Thorbjørn: I started dancing at the age of 15 in a local dance-school in my home-town together with my partner Susanne. I had never danced before, but I enjoyed it so much that I asked my teacher if I could take the advanced class at the same time if I promised to work hard. During the first month Susanne and I improved a lot and the teacher asked if we could go to a competition to represent the dance club. After thinking about this we went to the competition and after that everything just kept growing, until what you see today.
BG Dancer: Which category (fast or slow) you like more? What is the specific in the two categories?
Thorbjørn: The two categories are very different. The slow is more elegant, and really shows the audience which is the good dancers, and which dancers that still have some work left. The fast is more energetic, and is also friendlier for the audience, since everything is going so fast. I have always been a person that loves techniquality, so i always loved the slow, however i train more for the fast round since the fast dance in the competition is weighted more than the slow.
Thorbjørn: I love to push myself and see if i can do things that no person have done before me, and of course the feeling of being on top of the world, and know you are the best because you work so hard for it. This feeling is priceless.
BG Dancer: As the boogie-woogie is not choreographed I guess is challenge always to interpret the music with figures or this is the interesting part of the dance?
Thorbjørn Yes, it’s true that the dance is not danced as a full choreography, so a lot of time is spend by listen to music and understand how different songs and music genres are structured, so in a dance I can look into the “future”
Thorbjørn About the tricks it depends on the difficulty, but we spend a lot of time watching other dances to be inspired. And when we learn a new trick we always make sure it is working in the correct speed before we use them in competition. So I would say it varies between 2 weeks and 6 months from we start to we finish a trick in competition
BG Dancer: What would you like to wish to the Bulgarian Dance Community?
Thorbjørn I would like to say that it is so cool that the Bulgarian dance community has started to grow and appear on competitions. It is always hard in the first part, but if they continue to work I know Bulgaria will rise and present good dancers in the future. Keep on dancing.