Ballerina Sarah Hay can now add “leading lady” to her already impressive list of accomplishments. A ballet dancer since age 8, Hay currently dances as a soloist for the Semperoper Ballet in Dresden, Germany, while also finding time to star in Starz’s new ballet drama, Flesh and Bone, which is set to premiere November 8. While Hay is familiar with dancing on screen—she previously appeared as one of the dancers in Black Swan—this is her first lead role with actual dialogue to memorize and emotions to convey verbally.
In the eight-episode series, Hay plays Claire, a “talented but emotionally troubled dancer” new to a company in New York City. The story focuses on the dark side of the ballet world, as dancers not only spend punishing hours perfecting their craft, but also must deal with the rivalry and jealousy intrinsic to such a competitive world. It’s a world Hay is very familiar with, so when we spoke with her, we got the inside scoop on growing up in the ballet world, and the sacrifices she’s had to make to become one of its brightest stars. Click through the gallery to read what she told us.