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Gina Storm-Jensen (centre) Pas de Douze Swan Lake, Linbury Theatre. Royal Ballet School Performance. Photo Johan Persson

Gina Storm-Jensen (centre) Pas de Douze Swan Lake, Linbury Theatre. Royal Ballet School Performance. Photo Johan Persson

Gina Storm-Jensen, a Dancer's Dream comes True

COVENT GARDEN, LONDON: Eighteen year-old Norwegian dancer, Gina Storm-Jensen, still in the first term of her third year at the Royal Ballet School, has made the meteoric leap into the Royal Ballet Company. 

I asked how she heard the news. “Mr Jolley, the acting director of the school, called me and my dance partner Reece Clarke into the office to talk about the pas de deux we were working on."

We talked for a while then he just said casually, “Oh, and Kevin O’Hare (director of the Royal Ballet) wants to offer you a contract starting Monday”. I didn’t know how to react. I was speechless then I started crying.

Whatever he said afterwards I still don’t know because I was in shock. It wasn’t even starting next year, it was starting Monday and this was Friday! I walked out of the office thinking this is my last day at school … and also thinking “what am I going to wear on Monday?” Because I don’t have to wear a uniform anymore’.

She telephoned her father who was away from home. ‘He thought I must have broken a leg because I was crying so much but the last time I was crying like that was when I got into the finals at the Prix de Lausanne’.

It was at those finals in 2011 that she was spotted by RBS director, Gailene Stock. She was later awarded the Gailene Stock Prize for Most Promising Student 2013.

‘I had gone to the RB Summer School in London when I was 11 and I realised how badly I wanted to come here so I worked and worked and then I did the Prix and they offered me a scholarship.

I got a sponsor, Susan Lyall, who sponsored me for the 3 years. She was also so happy. She said, ‘I knew you’d do it all along’ and I thought ‘I’m glad you did, because I didn’t! I always wanted to come here and always wanted to go the RBS. I didn’t even want to think about getting into the company and now I can’t believe it.’


Gina Storm-Jensen. Photo private

Gina Storm-Jensen. Photo private

Gina like many of the Royal Ballet School students worked regularly with the company. Mostly in corps de ballet and extra roles but last year unusually for a second year she got her chance to dance in Balanchine’s Symphony in C

She remembers, ‘There were lots of 3rd years and I just remember the ballet master pointing at me and saying “you, you go in”.  We were 8 at the back; 6 tiny people and 2 huge people - one of which was me - and it is so fast. And I was thinking, “how am I ever going to move this fast?” but on stage you have to, you’ve no choice.

Pat Neary who was coaching us was so scary. I thought “I’m gonna die – I’m just gonna die” but I did it - and that was the most amazing time I’ve had on stage’. 

And your big dream? ‘Obviously, I want to do really well here but I’m still very young. I just turned 18. My birthday was 20th October so it was a really super birthday present to get into the company 5 days later. I’ll just see how things turn out. I’ll just push and go for it. 

I told my old school in Oslo and I’ve also talked to Ingrid (Lorentzen, the director of Norwegian National Ballet) and everyone is so happy. I hope to go back some time. It’s such a beautiful opera house and the studios are so amazing. The Royal Opera House is amazing too, especially the gym and pilates centre. I feel so spoilt.

Maggie Foyer

November 27, 2013


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