Skip navigation

By Nina Amir
March 31, 2016


This past November 2015, my son, Julian Amir Lacey, premiered in the lead role of the three-part ballet, Manon, produced by SemperOper Ballett in Dresden, Germany. This famous ballet was choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan, and the MacMillan Foundation chose Julian to perform the principle part in two of six performances.

Julian danced the role of Des Grieux, and partnered Sarah Hay, who played Manon. Hay recently starred in the Starz limited-series Flesh and Bone, was nominated for a Golden Globe and won a Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film.

Manon was Julian’s largest and hardest role to date. However, it was not just technically difficult but artistically and dramatically challenging as well. Many male dancers wait their whole career to perform this particular role, and he did it to rave reviews at the age of 21.

I asked Julian to share what dancing this role was like for him. I hope parents and aspiring young male dancers will find his experience useful.


  • How did you feel and what did you think or feel when the MacMillan Foundation selected you to dance the role of Des Grieux?
  • Why is the role of Des Grieux difficult—not just technically but emotionally and dramatically or artistically?
  • Did you struggle with self doubt at any point, and how did you overcome it?
  • What did it feel like to perform in your first three-part ballet?
  • Do you have any tips for boys who have to get through similar stressful situations when they find themselves in a difficult role?
  • What did you learn from the experience that you can use going forward—or that others can learn from as well?



Read Julian’s response here:


Copyright 2016 Nina Amir

Posts tagged  Nina Amir / My Son Can Dance


<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: