Anna Ol


Anna Ol – PRINCIPAL DANCER WITH THE Dutch National Ballet

Team Zarely: When did you start ballet lessons?

Anna Ol: I started ballet classes when I was 5 years old. It was a small ballet school with classical ballet classes. Since that time, I started dreaming of becoming ballerina. When I was ten, I started professional ballet classes.


Team Zarely: Did you decide to be a ballerina by yourself or was it your parents’ decision?

Anna Ol: My parents and I made the decision together. They didn’t even expect I was serious about ballet. They just wanted me to develop different skills.


Team Zarely: What do you think is the hardest part being a dancer?

Anna Ol: The hardest part is everyday work even despite physical pain, that’s my opinion. Sometimes the rest is needed. However, they say that ‘’to keep up with the times, you need to run’’ - it is true for professional ballet. Being a ballerina, you can’t stop for a long time. Even 2 days without class could be harmful. I like what Mikhail Baryshnikov said, it’s my motto: ‘’You shouldn’t dance better than someone, you should dance better than you.’’


Anna Ol, ballet dancer

Team Zarely: If any young dancers were to ask you for some advice. What would it be?

Anna Ol: I guess it would be two things. Firstly, never stop before you succeed in your dream. Secondly, don’t try to imitate someone. Be yourself. Every dancer has their own and, I am absolutely sure, totally unique path. It is more interesting to see someone’s individuality, not someone’s ‘reflection’ onstage.


Team Zarely: What do you dream of?

Anna Ol: Well, I really want to have a kitty… I like animals very much, but because of my tough schedule, I can’t have pets at home, as pets require a certain amount of time dedicated to them.


Team Zarely:What do you think is the main talent or ability for a ballerina? 

Anna Ol: The most important thing for the dancer to have is a strong temper. Actually, it is always hard to name and highlight only one ability or feature. For me it is a combination of a beautiful body with good ballet skills, strong technique,charisma and intellect! I want to see intelligence and an intellectual dancer on stage.


Team Zarely: Do you have any hobbies?

Anna Ol: I have different hobbies. I love embroidery, sewing, reading, solving some logical tasks, depends on the mood I have.


Team Zarely: Is there any sport activity you do in your free time? Like yoga, pilates, jogging etc.?

Anna Ol: I like pilates, I usually practice during my working and free time. It is part of my work, like meditation for me. Pilates is good for keeping the body in shape, giving the opportunity to prepare the body for work and feeling every muscle. In addition, it helps to strengthen the weak parts of the body. A dancer’s body is their tool, it is very important to take care of it. Health and long dancing years depend on the body condition.

Photographs by Casey Heard and Alexander Yakovlev


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