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No Cold Feet for Ballet Dancers: Norwegian Students Win FedEx Global Access Award

July 22, 2009

Though my aunt danced with the Washington Ballet and while I am a huge fan of the television show “So You Think You Can Dance” I myself have two left feet (can’t dance!). That said, I still marvel at the ingenuity of the team of students from Norway that created an innovative pointe shoe for ballet dancers uniquely designed to keep dancers’ feet warm and help prevent injuries.


Their innovative product and demonstrated understanding of global trade and environmental awareness earned the Norwegian team – Toetally UB – the FedEx Global Access Award at the 20th annual Junior Achievement / Young Enterprise European Company of the Year Competition in Rotterdam on July 4.


Featured in the photo associated with this post is the Norwegian team, left to right: Linnea, sales and marketing officer; Viktoria, production administration and HR officer; and Kristian, CEO and finance officer.

Having already earned the title of “National Champion” in their countries of origin, teams of students from 32 countries participated in the competition. Each student company had to create and market an actual product or service.


To determine the winners an international panel of judges intensely scrutinizes each team’s robust business plan, creative stage presentation, professional quality exhibition booth and their performance during their panel interviews with the jury.


The JA Company program promotes innovation, entrepreneurism and trade. Sponsorship of this competition reflects an alignment with our corporate competencies. FedEx is an innovative company that provides entrepreneurs with access to the world marketplace through our powerful global network. Through our support of JA Worldwide and this effective global education program we are able to encourage young entrepreneurs to envision harnessing the access we provide to expand their reach into markets around the globe.


Many of the participants in this competition will go onto become the CEOs and corporate leaders of tomorrow, creating jobs and launching new products and services around the world. FedEx is thrilled to play a part in helping them develop the skills necessary to successfully compete in the global marketplace.

In addition to highlighting the team from Norway in this post, I also want to say how proud I am of the team from Estonia – Touch of Green – as they won the overall competition.


If any of the competitors felt like they were getting “cold feet” (loss of courage) in anticipation of the European Competition, they certainly did not show it! Each one turned in a terrific performance.


    Laurie Cigal says:

    Say, Shane–did you know I teach at a Governors School for Arts and Technology and the dancers here already have a professional portfolio at the age of 13? I went with Chris to see The Nutcracker” ballet here in Richmond and three of my students were in it! The Richmond Ballet has ballet interns from high schools and most of the students end up in Professional Ballet or at the Julliard School of Ballet in New York. I wonder if they know about this JA–I’ll pass on the info you wrote about to the Dance Instructors. As far as having two left feet–think of me after my surgery–I have two right feet! Together we can dance! Love from your sis!

    Debbie says:

    I want to see the shoe!

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