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Having studied ballet in Johannesburg, Maryon Lane intended to join the Sadler's Wells school. The main Sadler's Wells company, however, had just moved into the Royal Opera House, taking several of its sister company's leading dancers, and new talent was badly needed in Rosebery Avenue. Shortly after her arrival, the 16-year-old Maryon joined Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet, and Frederick Ashton cast her in his new Ravel ballroom ballet Valses Nobles et Sentimentales.

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