Interview with a Principal Ballerina

Interview with Principal Ballerina Lana Jones

We asked the incredible Lana Jones, Principal Artist with The Australian Ballet (you may know her as Aurora, Giselle, or basically every other famous ballerina role) some questions about her life as a dancer.

So, grab a cuppa and see what happens behind the scenes in a professional ballerina's life!

Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerabilities; imperfections are beautiful too.
— Lana Jones

How did it all start?
I was 3 and my mum took me to mime and movement class. 

What does your morning routine look like? 
Get up at 7 and be a mum then head off to work at 10 and am usually running into ballet class!

Similarly, what does your evening routine look like? 
I have two typical evenings: one when I race home from work to tuck in and kiss goodnight our son and the second is to head to the theatre and prepare for a show.

What’s the funniest thing that you’ve ever seen happen on stage? 
My friend's wig - her long black ponytail fell off and left her just in a stocking cap on stage, the funniest part was in her head she was saying "some poor dancer has lost her wig..." - she had no idea!!!!

What’s your favourite ballet?
I love Manon - it has everything in it that I love about ballet, beauty, drama, musicality, storytelling and physicality. 

When you do get time away from plie-ing and pirouetting – what other hobbies do you have?
I'm loving being a mum so we as a family enjoy doing things all together. I have a passion for flowers. I love entertaining. Our dogs are gorgeous and get us out. I also love travelling.

What keeps you coming back to the studio each day? Why do you love ballet?
This question is a big question and my answers have changed over the course of my career but always in there is escapism. I love to portray a character and get swept up in the story, music and physicality.

Who has been your favourite choreographer to work with? 
I would have to say Graeme Murphy - he believes in me. 

Do you ever have moments of self-doubt? How do you get through them? 
Every day!!! I try not to let those thoughts rule. I focus on how fortunate I am to be able to be physical and pursue my dream. 

What's harder - Adage or Allegro?
Adage for me for sure... definitely a grand rond de jame en l'air. 

Do you have any dream roles that you haven’t danced yet? 
Yes; Titania in Onegin and Juliet in a traditional Romeo and Juliet. 

How do you prepare for a new role in a story ballet? Do you research the role or spend time thinking about it? 
Both. Research really helps but your own ideas are important too. Making the character your own and experimenting in the studio. 

Do you have any tips for learning choreography quickly? 
Concentrate on the detail and physically get it into your body. 

What are your thoughts on the current tricks and acrobatic culture in dance? 
I think it's sad that flexibility and high legs seem to be taking over and the focus is on that rather than the artistry. 

Best tips for taking care of your body? 
Definitely eating well, sleep and a healthy positive mind. 

What advice would you give to your teenage self? 
Don't be afraid to show your vulnerabilities; imperfections are beautiful too.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to achieve something big in their lives like you have? Set goals for yourself and be disciplined on yourself. Do it for you and be honest in your work. 

And lastly, give us some of your favourite things!
Colour: purple
Animal: dogs
Music Artist: Adele
Movie: The ones my Husband are in!!!!
Movie quote: All of my Husband's lines!!!