Dana Stephensen

Senior Dancer with the Australian Ballet

S2 Ep39

Dana Stephensen

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My guest today is Dana Stephensen, Senior Artist with the Australian Ballet Company and a mother of 3 children, including twin girls,

At the age of three Dana began her dance training with Davidia Lind in jazz, tap, ballet and singing in her hometown of Brisbane. She later trained with Mary Heath and Sandra Ashley before studying with the Queensland Dance School of Excellence in 2001, obtaining her Royal Academy of Dance Solo Seal.

Dana joined The Australian Ballet School in 2002. In her graduating year she was seconded to The Australian Ballet to perform in various seasons before joining the company full-time in 2005. She has since enjoyed international tours to Los Angeles, New York, UK, Auckland, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Paris. At the end of 2008, Dana was awarded the Khitercs Hirai Scholarship, which enabled her to gain invaluable experience training with numerous ballet companies in Europe. Dana was promoted to coryphée (a leading dancer in a corps) in 2010 and went on to win the Telstra Ballet Dancer Award later that year. She was promoted to soloist in 2014 and to senior artist in 2018.

In 2020 Dana took what she thought was to be her final dance with the company, at that stage 11 weeks pregnant with her twin girls with fiancé Lachy Gillespie AKA the Purple Wiggle.

Today Dana shares her story of her experience with post natal depression and anxiety, and how she used her ballet as therapy to aid in her recovery.

I also indulge my own curiosity of the ballet world so we talk a lot about ballet!

**This episode contains discussion around post natal depression and anxiety**

Read more about Dana and follow her on instagram

Dana would love you to visit :

www.cope.com.au

www.panda.com.au

www.gigetfoundation.org.au

..

Upcoming Australian ballet Shows

Read and listen to the part of Swan Lake I was trying to describe

Read the Sydney Morning Herald article

Read about Wayne McGregor and Dyad 1929

Connect with the podcast

Music used in this episode is in the public domain and therefore not subject to copyright, and is taken from the ballets Swan Lake, Peter and the Wolf, The Nutcracker and Giselle.

Photo by Jeff Busby of Dana performing in the ballet The Sleeping Beauty.

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