Scottish Ballet Principal Dancer Roseanna Leney is Redefining the Wellness Space

September 13, 2023

“I was a very shy child growing up,” Roseanna Leney remembers. “My mum took me to ballet lessons because she thought I could do my own thing and not have to speak. It was perfect for me, and eventually it helped grow my confidence.” Another confidence booster came at age 11, when Leney, born in Frimley, England, earned a spot at The Royal Ballet School. “I didn’t really understand what it entailed, but I really wanted it,” she says. Leney started her career with Polish National Ballet, then joined Scottish Ballet in 2016.

a female dancer with brown hair wearing a green dress smiling at the camera
Photo by Teresa Wood.

The once-shy Leney has flourished with Scottish Ballet, tackling dramatic roles, like Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, and becoming a principal in 2022. During the pandemic she became a certified personal trainer and established Balanced With Rosi, to encourage a balanced approach to fitness and food. “I’ve been very adamant about not doing things like ‘What I eat in a day’ videos,” Leney says. “Everyone is different and everyone’s body is different, so I just try to be the kind of person that I’d want the younger version of me to see on social media.”

Her Pre-Performance Routine:

“I like to have calming music playing in the dressing room, and I like to have a good meal a few hours before. I don’t tend to have coffee if I’m doing a main role because I find sometimes it makes me a little bit shaky or heightens the nerves, and I like to feel very in control.”

Becoming Blanche DuBois:

“That was a standout role in my career because it’s really up to her to tell the story. It’s quite a dark story, but it was quite liberating to feel so free onstage—I’ve not felt that before.”

An Unexpected Promotion:

“It was my first performance of The Snow Queen. After curtain call, Christopher Hampson [Scottish Ballet’s artistic director and CEO] walked onstage, which doesn’t usually happen unless it’s a promotion or someone’s last show. I remember being like, ‘Don’t get your hopes up, Rosi.’ When he said my name, I was stunned—it was a bit of an out of body experience.”

Dream Roles:

“Every girl says Juliet, but it’s such a gorgeous role. And I’d also have to say Odette, especially because Scottish Ballet’s Swan Lake is by David Dawson, and he’s a dream choreographer to work with for me.”

Training in Health and Wellness:

“I’ve always had an interest, and when I moved to Poland, I started a nutrition course because I had a little bit of spare time. And then during the pandemic, I signed up for an online personal training course, with in-person exams.”