Larisa Lezhnina was born in Saint Petersburg and studied dance at the "Vaganova" dance Academy and in 1987 she joined the Kirov Ballet in Saint Petersburg becoming a soloist in 1990. In 1994 she was nominated lead dancer of the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam.
Some of the most important roles she has interpreted include: Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, Clara in Nutcracker, Maria in Fontana by Bakhcisarai, Swanilda in Coppelia, Tatiana in Onegin as well as the title roles in Giselle, Cinderella and La Silfide.
She has also been the protagonist of other dance classics among which La Fille mal gardée, Legend of Love, Paquita, Etudes, Diana and Acteon.
She has performed in choreographies by Balanchine (Serenade, Diamonds, Rubies, Violin Concerto, Concerto Barocco, Apollo, Symphony in C, Theme and Variations, Duo Concertante), Hans van Manen (5 Tangos, Trois Gnosiennes, Metaforen) and also by Frederick Ashton, Jerome Robbins, Antony Tudor, Yuri Grigorovich, John Cranko, William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp.
During her career she has danced in the United States, Europe, Japan and South America.