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Dana Stephensen's Triple Bill

Episode 4

A rejection letter from the Australian Ballet School and the disappointment that followed changed the trajectory of Dana Stephensen's life.

Today I am speaking with the divine Dana Stephenson. Dana grew up in Brisbane learning tap, jazz and singing, and never dreamed of being a ballerina. But ballet had a way of finding her. And strangely enough, it was a rejection letter from the Australian Ballet School and the disappointment that followed that awakened her passion and changed the trajectory of her life. In this beautifully courageous and candid interview, Dana speaks about her career with the Australian Ballet, managing her thyroid condition and the affect that had on her body image, and being promoted to Senior Artist after becoming a mum. But more than that, Dana opens up about the birth of her twin girls, navigating the loneliness of motherhood in a pandemic, the pressures of parenting with a public figure, and wondrously re-emerging and returning to the stage.

Dana continues to perform as a senior artist with the Australian Ballet, all the while juggling life with her son Jasper, her fiancé Lachlan Gillespie, and their twin girls Lulu and Lottie. To continue to follow all of Dana’s adventures, you can find her on Instagram @dana_stephensen

For support for peri and postpartum depression in Australia, you can find support through the Gidget foundation or PANDA’s support line, their details are in the show notes, or for further aboard, please contact your local services.

Dana and I recorded remotely, with Dana dialling in from Sydney on the land of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation, to which we pay our greatest respects.

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Dana Stephensen and Timothy Coleman in the Australian Ballet’s “Kunstkamer.” Photograph by Daniel Boud.

Dana Stephensen, image courtesy of the Australian Ballet.

Dana Stephensen with her twin girls. Photograph courtesy of Stephensen.

Dana Stephensen in rehearsal at the Australian Ballet. Image courtesy of Stephensen

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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