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Jenna Caley, Born to Dance

Episode 8, sponsored by Energetiks

Jenna grew up in Newcastle and started dancing only because a local ballet studio set up shop on the same street as her family home.

Today I’m speaking with the divine Jenna Roberts. Jenna grew up in Newcastle and started dancing only because a local ballet studio set up shop on the same street as her family home. But as fortune would have it, that local studio happened to be the Marie Walton Mahon Dance Academy, as it was known back then. And so Jenna, and little sister Callie, started dancing. For any outsider, it was clear the Robert’s sisters were born to dance—with high arches and long, lean legs, genetics almost pre-determined their careers. By the time Jenna was a teen, she was winning scholarships and accolades before, at 16, she was accepted into the Royal Ballet School in London.

In this courageous and extraordinary conversation, Jenna reveals it’s not always as it seems—we talk about tough years at Royal Ballet School, about crippling home sickness, and then rising to become a principal artist with the Royal Birmingham Ballet. But more than that, Jenna also speaks about the pressures that continue to exist on body image in the dance world—and with that her own experience taking laxatives, the passing of her mum, and her decision to retire at the peak of her career on her own terms. Finally Jenna speaks about her years of infertility and IVF, before making a wonderful and unexpected life decision with her husband, Joe.

Jenna and her husband Joe Caley have just relocated from London, and are now based in Melbourne—where Joe has joined the Australian Ballet as their newest principal artist. Jenna continues to coach and teach the rising starts of dance, all while running her own Pilates studio tailored for dancers and athletes. To continue follow all of Jenna’s adventures, you can find her on Instagram at @Jenna_Caley_Pilates

Jenna and I recorded remotely, with Jenna dialling in from Melbourne on the land of the Kulin people. Jenna’s episode was produced in Sydney on the land of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation, to whom we pay our greatest respects.

We’re delighted that Jenna Robert’s episode of Talking Pointes is sponsored by Energetiks. Energetiks are a sustainable, Australian Made brand that specialise in creating world class dancewear for the stars of tomorrow. Perform and feel your best at every stage of your dance journey in Energetiks’ premium, high performance fabrics. See their entire range online at energetiks.com.au, and for all Talking Pointes listeners there’s a 20% discount on all Energetiks productslisten in for the code!


Claudia Lawson

Claudia Lawson is a dance critic based in Sydney, Australia, writing regularly for ABC Radio National, ABC Arts, and Fjord Review. After graduating with degrees in Law and Forensic Science, Claudia worked as a media lawyer for the ABC, FOXTEL and the BBC in London, where she also co-founded Street Sessions dance company. Returning to Sydney, Claudia studied medicine and now works as a doctor. She is the host of the award-winning Talking Pointes Podcast.


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