Mona Berntsen (32) is currently one of Justin Bieber’s dancers on the “Justice World Tour”, but it is not the first time the 32-year-old has worked with the Canadian superstar.
– Now I have worked with him for so many years that we have a very close friendship. We are a large team and a production that works a lot with each other. Then there will be trust and loyalty, Berntsen tells Good Morning Norway.
She is at home in Norway for a couple of days before she turns her nose to Morocco and her first holiday in several years. After that the tour continues.
– Of course it’s hectic, but it’s great after covid to feel like being on stage again.
Earlier this year, Justin Bieber had to cancel several concerts after being diagnosed with the rare Ramsay-Hunt syndrome, which can lead to paralysis of the face, among other things.
– It has been very sad and heavy what happened to him this spring. It came as a shock to both him and us. We thought he was going to catch a cold. That’s what he said first, that he had a bit of a sore throat. I am very grateful that he is now in place again and that he is properly healthy, says Mona Berntsen.
On 7 August, Berntsen had the pleasure of performing in Norway, when Bieber was to play a concert in Trondheim.
– There is something very special about playing at home.
– A bunch of nerds
However, Bieber is far from the first star Mona Berntsen has worked with. Her CV includes names such as Chris Brown, Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake, and in 2019 she was on stage with Madonna during the halftime show at the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel.
– Madonna is an artist I hardly dared to dream about, because it was so far away from my generation. Getting to work with her, and seeing that she has managed to preserve her love for what she does for all these years, was extremely inspiring, says Berntsen.
– She is one of the few who knows the name of everyone in the room. She is so inspiring in every way. Great fun, but strict. It’s because she loves what she does so much. She’s a perfectionist, and I think that’s just fun.
The 32-year-old Norwegian describes the relationship between artists and dancers as close.
– We are the ones who share the stage. We become extremely close and live quite on top of each other. But that is what is so inspiring. We are a bunch of nerds together in a room who love what we do, who are allowed to share that passion together.
From Eiksmarka to Hollywood
The joy of dancing was awakened in Mona Berntsen as a little girl, and after the victory in “So You Think You Can Dance – Scandinavia” in 2008, her career took off. She got a contract with the talent agency Bloc Talent Agency, and at the age of 19 she moved from Eiksmarka in Bærum to the USA.
– When I look back now I think: “God, I was just a child”.
Berntsen could have up to six auditions each day; an existence she describes as bone-hard.
– You enter a room with 800 people, where everyone is good. In the end, you just have to believe in yourself and probably want it yourself. I got maybe 100 nos before I got a yes.
– What do you think is the reason why you have become so good?
– Love of dance. I wouldn’t have lasted if I didn’t love dancing. They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert, but you can’t think like that. You have to love it, says the 32-year-old.
The result of a childhood dream
Mona Berntsen, who has lived the touring life her entire adult career, is open about the fact that at some point she will call it quits.
– I’m signing away large parts of my life to this, I’m away a lot and live in a suitcase. There will probably come a day when I want something different and more.
– Right now I have signed a contract until March next year, so until then I am on tour and doing this, she continues.
Between concerts, training and travelling, the 32-year-old has also debuted as a children’s book author. The goal of the book series “Flow” is to inspire other young people to dream big.
– I am probably the result of a childhood dream. What I make a living from is what I dreamed of as a ten-year-old, says the dancer.
– What is your best advice for young people out there?
– Dare to trust yourself, dare to stand out and believe in yourself.
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