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Born in Belomorsk, Russia, Elina Miettinen moved, with her family to Helsinki, Finland in 1992. At the age of nine, Miettinen was accepted into the special training class at the Helsinki Dance Institute. In 2005, she was given a Pro Dance Scholarship and went to the Amsterdam National Ballet Academy in Holland. In the Autumn of 2006, Miettinen joined the Finnish National Ballet.

In 2002, Miettinen was a finalist in the Scandinavian Ballet Competition in Sweden. In 2005, she was a semi-finalist in the Helsinki International Ballet Competition. In 2007, Miettinen competed in the Scandinavian Ballet Competition and won a prize trip to the International Ballet Competition in Grasse, France where she won a bronze medal. In the Summer of 2007, Miettinen won the Igor Youskevitch Award at the New York International Ballet Competition.

Miettinen joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in January 2008. Her repertory includes one of the Nutcracker's Sisters in The Nutcracker, the Fairy Canari qui chante (Canary), the Gold Fairy and the White Cat in The Sleeping Beauty, a little swan and the Polish Princess in Swan Lake and roles in Bach Partita, Black Tuesday, Company B and Raymonda Divertissements, as well as roles in all the Company's full-length ballets.