ABOUT HELENA BERGGREN
Born and raised in Sweden and for as long as Helena can remember, she always loved dance. Among her fondest memories is often watching her Grandparents joyfully dancing together in their family room. At the age of nine Helena took her very first dance classes in social and ballroom dancing. Disco, hip hop, show jazz, and modern were added to her repertoire over the next several years. At the age of ten she began competing both locally and nationally. By High School which included a junior year abroad as an exchange student in the United States (Minnesota), she was skilled enough to compete as a dancer and co-choreographer on Sweden’s highest ranked dance team. Her High School years resulted in three Swedish National Championships along with top finishes in the Scandinavian and European Championships. She also performed professionally as a team dancer for a Pro-Basketball Team and did competition choreography.
After graduating High School prior to the start of college, Helena completed a one-year Fashion Design program. She loved designing women’s apparel, including dance outfits for herself and others.
Next up was college. Helena enrolled in Orebro University Sweden, to obtain a Business Degree, again including a semester abroad. This time as an Exchange Student at Elon University North Carolina, US. While at Orebro University she was selected for the highly selective specialized Sports Management Program. “I was studying with other top Swedish athletes. My classmates competed in the Olympic Games; my teachers trained both Olympic and Professional athletes. The level of education, achievement, camaraderie and intimacy among the small group of 30 students in my class is something I enjoyed and valued greatly”.
Championship Dancer and Choreographer
Helena’s knowledge in technique, training and choreography was something that she was excited to share with young dance students. She founded, trained, and choreographed her own team consisting of 12-13-year-old beginner to intermediate level dancers. Within their first year of competing the team won the Swedish National Championship title in the junior division. Over the next 5 years the team won three Swedish National Championships in the adult division and represented Sweden in four World Championships (finishing twice as a Semifinalist and once as a Finalist, Top 6 in the World). During this period, Helena served as both choreographer and a dancer with the team. She also did choreography for commercials, other competition teams, live shows and charity events.
Moving to the United States
After twenty successful years, at the age of 28, Helena semi-retired from the world of dance and moved to the United States. Having graduated college with a Business Degree, she started working as a Safety/Quality Auditor in the Wind Energy Industry. While she still did some clothing design as an artistic outlet, ten years out of the Dance World left a creative void in her life. Helena started teaching and attending a few classes, reigniting her passion for dance. This experience convinced her to make a formal return to the dance world. Mentally she was focused, however gone was the strong, lean physique she had molded for so long to thrive in a world of competitive dance. Over time and not maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle, she now weighed in at over 210lbs. “I couldn’t really see it at the time as the weight came on gradually. I tried to stay happy and positive about life. However, the ups and downs of life had affected me mentally and physically over the years as they do all of us. The reality check kicked in one day when I was walking in NYC with my brother and his family, my entire body was aching. It really made me sad. I told myself that I had to change once and for all!”
She had a long way to go and over 70lbs to lose to get back to her competitive weight of approximately 140lbs. Realizing weight plays a major role in our health, quality of life and wellbeing as we age, she decided to start a weight loss/fitness program.
Returning to Dance
Helena followed one diet and exercise plan after another without any success or lasting results. The "30-day" this or that, detoxes, juicing, aerobics, walking, weight training, that “challenge”, and so on; nothing seemed to work or stick. Then it hit her! She was a former professional dancer having been trained by the best including World Champions and Olympic trainers! What was needed was for her to develop her own program based on the expertise she had accrued over the years. To further expand her skills, Helena became Certified as a Yoga instructor. Working at a Holistic Health Clinic for five years gave her knowledge in the area of nutrition and supplements. She also enlisted the aid of an experienced training partner to help fully develop a customized combined cardio, weight training, nutrition and healthy eating plan.
The results were astounding! Following her custom program, she started to see dramatic results. Weight came off quickly and evenly. Within a year she had lost over 50lbs, she felt great vitality, energy, and no sagging skin! She both looked and felt healthy and vibrant.
Her new philosophy, “Working out, exercise and fitness are best when they are fun!” As the core for this she relied on her original expertise and primary passion, dance. Her cardio workouts are based on Cardio Dance routines that she created to work the entire body. Over a year and a half Helena lost over 85lbs and got back to being seriously fit. “That’s when I realized I could actually help people lose weight in a natural and healthy way. No fad diets, tricks, empty promises or dangerous supplements. This success can be duplicated for any age and any body type no matter what their starting point or current level of fitness”. Her custom program designed for the individual includes cardio, strength training, nutrition, diet, hydration, rest, and recovery. A Fully comprehensive "all-in-one program”, no "one size” approach fits all. What is needed are individualized, modified, adjustable programs that consider someone’s fitness level, age, health factors, and diet/exercise preferences.
Today, Helena is the co-owner of Karlskoga DansCenter in Sweden. A dance studio ranked among the best in Europe. Karskoga DansCenter continuously trains dancers that have won multiple National Championship titles and represented Sweden in multiple international Championships. Helena and her Studio Partner, Anna Hentilä Wretling (her original Dance Teacher and also an Olympic Certified Dance Judge/Trainer) together represent a combined success of over 30 Swedish National Championship titles and 10 times top 20 ranking in the world! Building on the success of Karlskoga DansCenter, Helena is launching TOPFLYTTA®. TOPFLYTTA® is to include a dance studio in the United States, Virtual dance classes available Worldwide and a Dance Company.
In addition, Helena continues to explore her other passions in Fashion, Writing, Natural Health, Beauty and Faith. She uses Social Media to share and engage with people and loves to connect with others. You can join her daily on Instagram and Facebook for Fitness, Dance, Fashion, and Faith and join one of her two Private Facebook Groups for Health Insights for the Body, Mind and Soul!
Currently, Helena is working on her first apparel pieces. Releasing a Lifestyle Newsletter and always continuously working on charitable and philanthropic endeavors. When in the US, Helena spends her time primarily shuttling between New York City & Philadelphia PA.