Iana Salenko was born in Kiev on 19 July 1983 and began dance lessons at the age of 12. She received further training at the Pisarev Ballet School, Donetsk, from which she graduated in 2000. From 2000 to 2002 Salenko performed with the Donetsk Ballet, before joining the National Ballet of Ukraine. She joined the Berlin State Ballet as a demi-soloist in 2005, and was promoted to soloist in 2006 and to principal dancer in 2007. Her roles with the company include the Sylph in La Sylphide, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Juliet in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet, Olga in Cranko's Onegin and the title roles in Esmeralda and La Péri. She joined the Royal Ballet as a guest artist for the 2013/14 season to dance Kitri in Carlos Acosta's production of Don Quixote, followed by Odette-Odile in Swan Lake. During the 2015/16 season she appeared as Juliet in Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet, in George Balanchine's Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, as the Young Girl in Frederick Ashton's The Two Pigeons, as the Sugarplum Fairy in Peter Wright's The Nutcracker, and in the title role in Giselle. During the 2016/17 she is scheduled to appear in The Nutcracker, as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty and in the "Diamonds" section of Balanchine's Jewels.