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A headshot of a woman looking forward with dark brown hair and a peach coloured top

Mayuko Iwanaga



Mayuko is from Tokyo, Japan and began training with J.Honda Ballet. After she received 2nd prize in the Youth America Grand Prix Japan in 2020, she continued her training with The Australian Ballet School, European School of Ballet and English National Ballet School. After graduating from the English National Ballet School in 2023, she joined Northern Ballet. 


Learn more about Mayuko

Where were you born and raised? 

I was born in Aichi, Japan and raised in Tokyo, Japan. 

At what age did you start dancing? 

I started ballet at local ballet school when I was five years old. And when I was around 11 years old, I moved to J.Honda Ballet where I was trained with Jitsuo Honda. 

Where did you train? 

I started training with J.Honda Ballet, then I joined The Australian Ballet School. Due to Covid, I joined European School of Ballet for three months in 2021 and then joined English National Ballet School where I graduated in 2023. 


2nd prize in the Youth America Grand Prix Japan semi final 2020. 

Which Northern Ballet role would you most like to dance? 

My favourite role of all time is Giselle. Also I would love to dance Clara in The Nutcracker

Career/training highlights 

Dancing Tchaikovsky pas de deux at English National Ballet School was really special to me. I loved the music and the choreography which was so inspiring. Also dancing one of the five girls in Who cares? by George Balanchine in the summer showcase in 2023. I learned so many things from the rehearsal process and even though it was challenging, I loved dancing every second.  

What do you like most about being a dancer? 

There are so many things that I love about ballet so it’s hard to choose one thing, but one of the things I love most about it is that I can connect to my body and express my feelings through the movement. Also, I love how ballet is delicate and elegant but at the same time it requires so much strength and dedication.  

If you could adapt one work into a ballet what would it be? 

I think it would be really fun if one of the Ghibli productions could be adapted into a ballet.  

What is your favourite book? 

The Hunger Games series.   

What is your favourite post-show meal? 

A good authentic Italian pasta or pizza!! 

How do you like to relax? 

I like to find a good bakery and get pastries and then walk around in nature by myself.  

If you weren’t a dancer what would you be?  

I really don’t know, but I quite like to cook and eat delicious food so may be a chef. I am also interested in the mechanics of the human body, so maybe a doctor too!