Esmiana Jani


Esmiana Jani (originally from Albania) of Broomall, Pennsylvania, is in her fifth season with The Washington Ballet Company after two seasons with The Washington Ballet Studio Company. She began training at the age of five in Greece. At age eight, Jani began dancing with the Academy of International Ballet (AIB) and Performing Arts in Media, PA. She has been studying ballet in the Bolshoi Conservatory style and performing ballet in the traditions of the Bolshoi for more than 10 years under Anastasia Babayeva and Denis Gronostayskiy, both graduates of the Bolshoi Academy in Moscow. At age 14, she became a member of International Ballet Classique, AIB’s pre-professional training company, performing throughout the region. Jani was a semi-finalist in the 2010 Jackson International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi; earned Third Place Senior Classical 2010 Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) in Philadelphia and was a participant in YAGP New York City Finals 2002-2011. Recently at a competitive New York City gala, Jani was chosen as one of the “Albanian American Success Stories.”


Photo by XMB Photography.

Q&A with Esmiana Jani

What makes you different than other dancers? Style? Technique? What about your style, specifically, is different?

Although I enjoy performing an eclectic blend of various styles of ballet, I bring to all my performances many years of training in the Vaganova Method that is unique to the Russian school of ballet. I believe that what is important in a ballet dancer is that she should be fluid, not static. This is one of the advantages of Russian schooling.

What has been your favorite part about living in Washington DC?

For me, the fundamental focus of living in our Nation’s capital is not only living in a bustling, energetic metropolitan city with an international focus but more importantly it is being part of the Washington Ballet that is a recognized polished diamond in the cultural life of DC. Being a part of the Washington Ballet has become a family for me where I can grow and thrive and learn and perform.

This is your first year as a company dancer with The Washington Ballet. What are you most looking forward to this season?

I know that my daily experiences and performance opportunities with TWB Studio Company has provided me with a broad range of unique and cherished training opportunities. It has also offered me many professional performance experiences that allowed me to look inward and to explore my technique and my emotions and to watch my own growth with the goal of becoming a company dancer. Now I look forward to the new season of beautiful ballets.