A short conversation with Nina Tonoli

Meet Nina Tonoli, second soloist at the Dutch National Ballet and one of our favorite women to wear the Nunu pieces. We had the chance to ask her a few questions about her life as a professional dancer.


How did you end up being a professional dancer?

I started dancing when I was 9 years old, at my local dance school. Then at age 12 I auditioned for the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp, It was the beginning of my professional education as a ballet dancer. When I was 15, I attended the summer school of the Royal Ballet in London. There was an audition to enter the school. I never thought I would get in but I did and received a three year scholarship.

In my last year in London I had to start searching for a job. Luckily, I received different job offers and I decided to start at the Wienerstaatsballett with Manuel Legrus in Vienna. I danced there for 7 years, getting many opportunities to dance different roles and getting promoted to Soloist. Recently, I moved to The Dutch National Ballet as a second soloist, for the beginning of a new chapter with many new repertoires to dance.


So how does a regular day look like for you?

Our days can be different from week to week. Generally, we start at 10.00h with our warm-up class to start the day. Then we continue with rehearsals for upcoming shows until 18.00 with a 40 minute lunch break in between. When I have shows we start at 11.00, and finish at 16.00 before coming back to the theatre to get ready for the performance in the evening. We have long days and also have to work on weekends sometimes.


Definitely doesn't sound like a 9 to 5. What motivates you to keep on going? 

I guess it's my passion for dancing. I love the feeling performing on a stage, finally getting to show what I have been working on in rehearsals. It's a tough job and if I wouldn't love it, it would be hard to continue with it.

    What's your morning routine?

    I wake up around 8.30h. I have my coffee and breakfast, before heading out to work. I get dressed in my ballet clothes and start to get ready for ballet class.


    How do you maintain your focus throughout the day?

    It's important for us to eat balanced and enough to last the whole day of training. I eat snacks during the day like bananas, nuts for more energy plus my normal big meals. I also take naps before a show or when i have some time during the day. 


    As a professional dancer, what do you consider your biggest challenge?

    My biggest challenge is to stay healthy. Unfortunately my profession is very extreme for the body and sometimes you have to face injuries. Also mentally you have to be very strong. It requires a lot of discipline and a thick skin to become a professional dancer.

    For me it's always a challenge to manage to see my family. I have been used to be away from home from a young age but sometimes i wonder how it would have been if i stayed at home and just have the regular student life.



    Now let's shoot some quick questions!

    How would you describe a modern woman?

    For me I would say a modern woman is confident in her abilities, knows what she wants and is able to practice whatever she loves to do.


    How important is sustainability for you in today’s world?

    I do believe it's important that we are all aware of what is going on with our planet. And that with small changes we could make a big impact.


     What actions do you take on a daily basis?

    I go to work by bicycle or public transport. As a dancer I drink a lot water during the day, so I use a steel bottle which I can refill.


    What small things do you implement in your daily life?

    I try to recycle as much as I can. I always take a shopping bag with me, so I avoid plastic bags.


    How would you describe the way you dress, your personal style? 

    I love clothes that have good quality and are comfortable. My personal style is casual, most of my time I spend in leotards, tutus and warm-up pants. But I do enjoy dressing up once in a while with a more unique piece of clothing.


    What’s one accessory you can’t do without?

    I believe my sneakers are something that I can't get away from so easily. They bring me comfort after a whole day of dancing and you have many different style options these days.



    If you had to describe Nunu Activewear in 3 words, which would those be?

    Elegant, comfortable and timeless.


    What are your personal Nunu favorites? and why?

    I love the leggings from Nunu, the material feels so soft and comfy. they give the perfect shape and stretch for dancing. The balanced sports top is also one of my favorites. It's stylish and supportive at the same time.


    What Nunu pieces do/would you like to combine with other styles of clothing?

    The wide shirt from Nunu is a piece I can easily move in but is also something I could just wear casually in the street with some jeans.


    Any message you would like to send out to all the women out there?

    Surround yourself with positivity and never give up on your passion!

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