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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