It’s not Skal vi danse season, but professional dancer Helene Spilling is relevant like never before. At the weekend we saw her become the theme winner in the Master of Masters on Friday, before she danced on stage with MGP finalist Elsie Bay on Saturday.
And Saturday’s dance number could have ended in a crash.
– The stage is not square like in Skal vi danse. This one had an edge at the front, and there was a lot of smoke on stage. We hardly saw the edge, so we were quite close to both it and Elsie, says the 26-year-old.
Fortunately, everything went well, Elsie Bay went on, and now they will dance again in Trondheim spektrum, where the MGP final will take place. The dream is to dance during Eurovision in Liverpool.
– It would have been absolutely sick. A step up from Skal vi danse, says Spilling.
– Just luck
But it is the Master of Masters that most Norwegians currently associate with Spilling, because around 1.2 million Norwegians sit down when former athletes compete in between.
As mentioned, Spilling won the theme of “precision”, something she says she will live on for a long time.
– I actually don’t know how I managed it. We still talk about the pea pod throwing, it was just luck, I can’t throw, she laughs.
But she also impressed in the balance competition and was left standing at the end, which was in stark contrast to the first few weeks. Spilling was then at the bottom and was saved by Ezinne Okparaebo retiring.
– I had a mental breakdown after two or three days on set. Firstly, I was very stressed because I didn’t want to go out first, and I wanted to prove that sports dancers have something to do, she explains.
Then the solution was to call the home of the roommate Birgit Skarstein, the two of them live together in Oslo.
– Before I left, I was very unsure if I wanted to, because I didn’t get time to train, but she was one of the people who pushed me and said that it was going to be fine. But then it didn’t go very well, so I had to call her, says Spilling, and continues:
– She has said that she felt a little guilty, and called Olaf (Tufte journ. note) to ask him to look after me a little extra.
Good evening Norway met the roommates at the Sports Gala, and asked Skarstein what she said when Spilling called.
– Then I said: “You are very good. You know a lot. You have this under your skin. Just lower your shoulders, it’s not as dangerous as it may seem. Concentrate as narrowly as possible on what you have to do, and don’t think about everything else,” says Skarstein, who won gold in the Paralympics in Tokyo in 2021.
– She is so good, so it went really well, smiles the rower.
Spilling is full of praise for his partner.
– She is my “wing-woman” and “everything in life”, says the dancer in good Norwegian.
The two “found each other” when both participated in Skal vi danse, and now live together in Skarstein’s apartment.
– We don’t own it together, but she behaves as if it were mine. We have never argued, says Spilling.
Not even when one of the ladies has a man home with her.
– There has been a date in between where it has been like this: “Welcome here, here is my roomie by the way, she is just going to chill with us, she and her”, laughs the 26-year-old.