Soloist with the Australian Ballet Company, Laura Tong, and her husband, ballet teacher Tristan Message, welcomed their son Henry during the winter months.

Laura was born in New Zealand, and began dancing at the age of four. She studied at the English National Ballet School, graduating in 2004 and then joining the English National Ballet. She joined the Australian Ballet in 2004, and was promoted to soloist in 2009.

Tristan graduated from the Australian Ballet School in 1999, and joined the Australian Ballet the following year. In 2002 he travelled to Europe on a scholarship, and was promoted to soloist in 2005. After training as a teacher, he joined the staff of the Australian Ballet School full time in 2009.

Thanks to the new family-friendly policies at the Australian Ballet Company, Laura was able to continue performing until she was 18 weeks pregant, and then put on “safe duties”, which included working in the research and public relations side of the ballet organisation. She continued to do daily ballet classes until the final stages of her pregnancy. Laura is currently on maternity leave.