Talking Pointes

John Lam in Motion

Episode Summary

Boston Ballet's legendary principal dancer, John Lam talks about the joys of dance, about finding his sexuality and the moment he came out to his parents.

Episode Notes

This week we head to Boston, where I'm speaking with Boston Ballet's legendary principal dancer, John Lam. John has the most incredible story: His Vietnamese parents were refugees who settled in the US and John, together with his brother and sister grew up in relative poverty in California. Traditional family values meant education was key in John's family, but he accidentally found dance as a young boy when his daycare offered it as an extra activity. And from there, the love affair began. John went on to train at Canada's National Ballet School, and on graduation was offered a position at the Boston Ballet. In this wondrous and beautiful conversation, John talks about the joys of dance, about finding his sexuality and the moment he came out to his parents. But we also talk about more about navigating race and racism in ballet, about meeting his husband, becoming a dad to their two boys, and John's hopes that his parents will one day see him dance.

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Trigger Warning

This episode discusses ideas around suicide. For help for depression and anxiety, turn to Beyond Blue at

Talking Points is produced on the lands of the Gadigal and the Wanegal peoples to whom we pay our greatest respects. Talking Points is produced by Fjord Review. Remember to subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as they're released. If you like us, please leave a five-star review. On the next episode of Talking Points, you'll hear from Dana Stephenson.

Your host and producer is me, Claudia Lawson, with additional production by Penelope Ford and Clint Topic. Sound production and editing is by Martin Peralta at Output Media. For the latest in all things dance, head to