Lucinda Dunn needs no introduction for those of us who are fans of the ballet. Dunn reigns supreme as Australia’s longest serving principal Ballerina, having danced with the Australian Ballet for 23 years - and is undoubtedly also one of the nation’s most beloved performers; captivating audiences in every role from Aurora, to Gisele and Manon (which she danced for her farewell performance). Dunn’s career began at the tender age of seventeen when she was offered a place at the Australian Ballet shortly after winning the highly prestigious Prix de Lausanne. From here her career accelerated rapidly, receiving her first promotion to Coryphée in 1992; to Soloist in 1993; Senior Artist in 1995, and in 2002 she was announced as a Principal Artist with the company. In 2008 she also became a mother, giving birth to daughter Claudia with husband Danilo Radojevic, and her second child, Ava in 2011, her most cherished role yet. This didn’t stop Lucinda from dancing however, three weeks after her first child was born she was already back in the studio, and performing in peak form within five months. This incredible strength and unrelenting drive is a trademark of Dunn’s career, and it was her signature combination of pure elegance and unwaning stamina that has forever cemented Dunn’s name in the history books as an Australian icon of the stage.
Whilst Dunn’s newest role is away from the spotlight, it has won her just as many admirers. In 2014 Lucinda turned her attention to the classroom; becoming artistic director of both the Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy, and the Sydney City Youth Ballet where she has fast become a source of constant inspiration and guidance to her students. “Miss Dunn is incredible” says former student and 2015 Genee Gold Medalist Maeve Nolan. “All of us at Tanya Pearson’s - she inspires us every single day. Always coming in with a smile on her face and asking ‘How are you today?’ instead of ‘Let’s just start’; she always wonders what the dancer is feeling.”
The unmistakable success of her students speaks volumes about Lucinda’s skills as a teacher, and her methods prove that teaching technical discipline doesn’t require severity, only a student and a teacher equally committed to achieving success.