What it Takes to be a Ballet Dancer – Liné van Zyl



Blood, sweat & sacrifice: In the world of dance, practice really does make perfect, and a better case in Dubai than Liné van Zyl there is not. Namibian-born to South African parents, Liné knew from the age of seven that the only passion she wanted to pursue in life was her ballet. In grade one, Liné and her parents decided that she would be homeschooled, allowing her the flexibility to combine studying with a rigorous dance training routine. 


When most people see a talented dancer, they see balance and coordination. What they don’t tend to see is all the hard work and rigorous training that goes into it behind the scenes, especially in a field of dance like Ballet that looks so simple and elegant, but takes years of hard work to perfect. 


Dancing, Ballet in particular, is something very close to Liné’s heart, and she has dedicated 13 years to the sport. Liné wants nothing more than to improve, and become a healthier, stronger, better version of herself. She has explored contemporary and modern dance, jazz, acrobatics, rhythmic gymnastics, as well as long distance running, sprinting, crossfit, swimming, and equestrianism, in addition to ballet. 


“It has also allowed me to meet all kinds of talented, ambitious people who are just as passionate about dance and sports as I am,” she said.


Another breakthrough came when Liné was offered a scholarship at the top Ballet school in Scotland, she accepted but chose to defer her attendance until next year. “For now, I’m still exploring and just doing what I love. My sister is a well known photographer in Dubai and a few years back we started working together on projects that combined photography and dance to spread awareness of the multicultural art society in Dubai. Since then, I’ve taken on projects of my own and it’s brought along so many amazing and unforgettable experiences that I get to show the world through Instagram,” she said.


More recently Liné has developed an interest in teaching and has started assisting coaches for Ballet and Gymnastics. In order to stay fit and on top of her performance, Liné workouts at home or at a nearby gym during the weekends where she works on her weaknesses.


Liné has also taken part in UAE schools fitness games, performed solo dances, choreographed several dances, and received an amazing opportunity to attend private lessons at the Royal Opera House in London with one of the principal dancers of the Royal Ballet.



2017 has been an incredible and life changing journey for Liné. In May, she won a 1st place award for the Under 19 Category at the UAE Teens Fitness & Sports awards ceremony. “When I heard about the competition, I immediately signed up. Constant training can get tedious so it's healthy focus on other priorities as well” said Liné. During her preparation for the competition, she was also training for an upcoming Ballet exam, academic mid years, and a dance show. It is no surprise that Liné already has a lot of exciting projects planned for 2018. “I’m so thankful to everyone who’s supported me and continues to stand by my side throughout my journey, always inspiring me to work harder, and share my story” she said. 


We have no doubt that Liné van Zyl will achieve great things in life. Good luck!