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JURGITA DRONINA - principal dancer with The National Ballet of Canada and lead principal with English National Ballet

Team Zarely: When did you start ballet lessons?

Jurgita Dronina:  I started going to ballet school at the age of 9. Between the age of 9 and 10 The National Ballet School was holding annual auditions for admission to school. I passed and started my 8 years training.

Team Zarely: Have you decided to be a ballerina by yourself or it was your parent's decision?

Jurgita Dronina:  My mother brought me and my sister to see ballet performance at the National Opera&Ballet theater in Lithuania, just before the audition to the school. It was “Snow-white and seven dwarfs” - I fell in love with ballet instantly. I wanted to be on stage and perform since then. I started performing everywhere I could..At home.. small events.. in guests house… All I needed was the music to improvise a dance on, and audience to watch me!  

Pictures courtesy of Alexandar Antonijevic

by Inta Nahapetjan

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

Jurgita Dronina: To always be ready and be in top shape. You never know what will happen in another hour. You never know who is going to call you to replace a performance or offer best guesting opportunity in the entire career. You just have to be ready to dance anything, any time, anywhere.Another big challenge is to be able to perform flawless even on a bad day, because we all have bad days, but audience should never know about them. 

Team Zarely: If any of young dancer would ask you for some advice. What would it be?

Jurgita Dronina: Advice would be really depending on the questions asked. Wether it concerns ballet training, conditioning, performing, tackling on a new role, or insecurity, stage fright or other psychological issues, or even eating disorders..there is so much that has to be addressed and talked in our profession. The best advice is - to first acknowledge the problem and then to not be afraid to ask for help or advice.

Team Zarely: What are you dreaming of? Any dream related to ballet or not.

Jurgita Dronina: To manage to dance huge variety of roles that are already created or still will be created in the ballet world.And I always dream to retire happily and content that I did all I could in this relatively short career. Another dream is to be able to study further once my ballet career is over and start new chapter in my life while still young and ambitious.Besides professional dreams - my everyday dream is pretty simple: To have a healthy and loving family next to me.

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Pictures courtesy of Karolina Kuras

Check out the design inspired by the incredible Jurgita Dronina