Our History

Maranatha ballet school was established by Ms. Helen Sophia in 1968. During the time, there were only 20 students in the school. The method used was Vaganova, Russian classical ballet technique.

At the time, the school was located on the function room of a Catholic Pedagogy school, Imam Bonjol Semarang, which is currently known as Maria Goretti Junior high.

The numbers of students were increasing throughout the years, only one year after its establishment, the size tripled up to almost 60 students. With increasing number of students, in 1973 the school had to move to the city sport hall (Gedung Olah Raga, Semarang) which is currently Mal Ciputra Semarang.

In 1981, the main studio of Marantha Ballet was opened at Jalan Kalimas Raya 23. To follow the International standard of ballet classroom, the studio was renovated in 1996 and has been used ever since up to now.

In 1990, the city hall, which was located in the heart of the city, was moved to outskirt of Semarang, thus caused the second exodus of the other studio to Gymnastic room of Hotel Graha Santika Semarang. With the bigger hall, in 2006 the second studio was shifted to Study World Center Semarang.

Ms. Helen Sophia was following the development of ballet technique in Europe, when she met Ms. Dewi Rani, a senior ballet teacher from Surabaya who introduced her to the famous Royal academy of dance (RAD) with the academy’s patron HM Queen Elizabeth II. The introductory was so impressive that Helen decided to learn further in London, England, the centre of RAD.

To become part of RAD society, the teachers need to be qualified and fulfill RAD standard. Not only Ms. Helen and other RAD teachers must passed RAD examinations, but also, the studio, uniform and type of shoes used, have to follow the international standard of RAD. Ms. Helen was among few teachers at the time who were qualified RAD teachers. She has attended many RAD courses, and training, and hold RAD license for more than 20 years. Every year since 1968 RAD send its examination board to directly examine Ballerina of all RAD schools, including Maranatha Ballet’s students. The board consists of selected senior RAD teachers from all over the world.

Here are the lists of Examiners who have come to our schools:

Photo Period Examiner Nationality
Photograph of the examiner 1986 Irene Williamson UK
Photograph of the examiner 1987 Ruth Eaton UK
Photograph of the examiner 1988 Maretta Grace UK
Photograph of the examiner 1989 Joan Campbell Hong Kong
Photograph of the examiner 1990 Danielle Taylor UK
Photograph of the examiner 1991 Jeniffer Cummings UK
- 1992 Priscilla Teoh Malaysia
Photograph of the examiner 1993 Joan Campbell Hong Kong
Photograph of the examiner 1994 Jan Mills Australia
Photograph of the examiner 1995 Sandra Griffin Australia
Photograph of the examiner 1996 Robyn Hick Australia
Photograph of the examiner 1997 Joan Campbell Hong Kong
Photograph of the examiner 2000 Yvonne Oldaker Canada
- 2001 Bonnie Auret South Africa
Photograph of the examiner 2002 Gayle Brown UK
- 2003 Janet Palmer UK
- 2004 Sandy Anderton UK
- 2005 Valma Briggs Australia
Photograph of the examiner 2006 Chuan Lu Australia
Photograph of the examiner 2007 Joan Irvine New Zealand
Photograph of the examiner 2008 Belinda Tanner Greece

Note: There were no examinations on 1998-1999 due to security and political problems. RAD did not feel safe to send its examiners to enter Indonesia.

Today, among only limited schools in Indonesia, which hold RAD international license, Maranatha Ballet School is the only school in Central Java that is teaching according to RAD International standard. The RAD standard would allow our ballerina to study overseas or elsewhere RAD school in the world if necessary.

The school has hosted students from Kudus, Tegal, Pati, Weleri, Jogjakarta, Solo, Magelang, Salatiga, and other cities in Central Java who are keen to learn Ballet with International standard. We also have had students from International school, or overseas students from other RAD school who were happened to be in Semarang for private reasons. Up to today, there have been thousands ballerina who have graduated from our school with RAD certificates.

Apart of examinations, each year Maranatha ballet held its annual performance. Parents would be able to see the progress of their children.

Maranatha ballet school has also participated in many social activities. Ballerinas from this school have danced for charity such as orphanage, church social activities and other events.

Today, there are thousands students have learnt ballet under the direct tutelage of Ms. Helen since the school was established forty years ago. It’s not uncommon to see parents who were former ballet students sitting outside the studio waiting for their children dancing in Maranatha ballet’s class. Maranatha ballet school is dancing across decades.

Semarang GOR, 1975

During the 70s

Students at Maria Gorreti

Class at "Gedung Olah Raga"

Helen in London, 1982

In London

Charity at the Cathedral

Charity Night

Maranatha Ballet is dancing across decades

Mrs Ratna & Ms. Eveline

Mrs Ratna & Ms. Eveline
(Mother & Daughter)

Mrs Rini, Aurel and Audrey

Mrs Rini, Aurel and Audrey
(Mother & Daughters)