Dronina in Grand Pas Classique. Angela Sterling.

Spontaneity and Elegance: Dutch National Ballet's Jurgita Dronina Doesn't Get Nervous Before Performing

What qualities do you admire most in other dancers?

Nowadays there are so many dancers who jump, turn, have high extensions, a beautiful body. But quality is much more than ability, because you can always hide your physical flaws: It's musicality, artistry, port de bras. Everything counts.

How nervous do you get before a performance?

I can't even say I'm excited, because it means a little bit nervous, and I'm not: I just look forward to going onstage and sharing what I feel today.


How do you prepare your pointe shoes for performance?

I like old shoes—very soft for the articulation, so they feel like a second skin. I like to speak with my feet, as if I was dancing barefoot. I've worn Gaynor Mindens for 10 years, and I wear the softest shank—otherwise I feel like I'm jumping up and down.

Do you have any pre-performance rituals?

I did before I had my son! I used to nap and have sushi before the shows, but now I don't have time. I live five minutes from the theater, and after rehearsal I pick my son up from kindergarten, I take him home and I make dinner. Then I run back to the theater to get ready for the show.

Do you have a secret talent?

Even people who know me are surprised when I say I like extreme sports. I love motorcycles, climbing, and I would jump from a parachute without a doubt—I've done it.

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How to Support the Black Dance Community, Beyond Social Media

The dance community's response to the death of George Floyd was immediate and sweeping on social media. Dance artists, including Desmond Richardson and Martha Nichols, used their social platforms to make meaningful statements about racial inequality. Theresa Ruth Howard's leadership spurred ballet companies including Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre, and New York City Ballet to pledge #BalletRelevesForBlackLives. Among the most vocal supporters have been dance students, who continue to share the faces and gut-wrenching last words of Black men and women who have died in police custody on their Instagram feeds and Stories.

The work we're doing on social media as a community is important and necessary—and we should keep at it. But now, that momentum must also carry us into taking action. Because to be a true ally, action is required.

A responsible ally amplifies Black voices­­. They choose to listen rather than speak. And they willingly throw their support, and, if they can, their dollars, behind Black dancers and Black dance organizations. Here are some ways you can do your part.

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Class of 2020, These Ballet Stars Have a Heartfelt Video Message Just for You

Congratulations to this year's graduating seniors!

You might not have had the chance to take that long planned-for final bow, but we're here to cheer you on and celebrate all that you've accomplished. And we've brought together stars from across the ballet world to help us; check out the video to hear their best wishes for your futures.

To further fête all of the ballet grads out there, we're also giving away 100 free subscriptions to Pointe... plus, one lucky bunhead will receive a personalized message from one of ballet's biggest stars. Click here to enter!


Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 5/27/2020

Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

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