2 August 2021 21:26
16th February 1951 – 4th June 2021
Elisabeth Schaldemose, former ballet dancer, founder of Copenhagen Ballet Academy and Ballet in Lolland & Falster, have passed away on the 4th of June 2021 after a long battle against cancer. Elisabeth was born on the 16th of February 1951 in Fynsgade, Århus, by a father who was a local machine operator and a mother who was a hairdresser. The family expanded later with a little brother Lars.
As a child during school, Elisabeth had a difficult time following her mathematic classes, which her father was very strict about. On the contrary, she was excellent in Danish, arts, and creativity classes, where she could draw, paint, and express her imaginative mind. At a young age, she dreamt about dancing ballet, but her father was against the idea and had refused to take her to ballet classes as he regarded it as silly and ridiculous. It was only until she moved away from home as 19-year-old, where dancing could finally become a reality.
Elisabeth had a professional career as a ballet dancer, where she danced Columbine and other ballets at the pantomime theatre in Copenhagen Tivoli, over a number of years.
In 1983, Elisabeth founded and led the Copenhagen Ballet Academy for 38 years. Aside from being the principal of the ballet school, she always found time to learn more about dance and teaching. She became RAD certified ballet teacher, due to the fascination of the system and teaching approach. She always thought dancing and teaching was a constant learning process, and her curiosity had led her to a BA(Hons) in dance education at the University of Surrey in 2008.
Elisabeth had a nice cottage in Lolland, where she would spend her time enjoying nature and the animals that would visit her pond, especially the frogs. In 2012, Elisabeth realized that there were no ballet classes available in Lolland, and many from the area thought ballet was only suited for certain type of people. This had led to the foundation of Ballet in Lolland & Falster, where the philosophy behind it was to make ballet available to everyone regardless of age, gender, or skill. The aim was to share ballet to everyone and show the joy of dancing.
Her way of teaching was inspired by a quotation from the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard” Never underestimate a child”, which were truly expressed through her passionate, enthusiastic, and encouraging approach towards her students. Through the years, Elisabeth had taught and cared for more than 700 students. Elisabeth’s creativity was also expressed through her choreographies and costumes. She would often sow costumes after ballet classes and always made sure everything was well-fit.
Elisabeth will always be remembered as the loving, caring and dedicated ballet teacher who have touched many hearts.