Born in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, Jade Clayton took her first dance lessons at the local dance school (The Riley School of Performing Arts) at the age of eight before joining the Royal Ballet School in London full time in 1999. From 1999 to 2004 she studied at the Royal Ballet Lower School and from 2004 to 2007 at the Royal Ballet Upper School, White Lodge. Alongside the Royal Ballet syllabus, she took exams from the Royal Academy of Dance until Advanced 2 level, passing with Distinction. While at the Royal Ballet School she danced in the annual end-of-year performances (1999–2006) and also performed in various galas representing the school, including a gala at Buckingham Palace in 2005, where she performed in Pas de trois in Paquita. As a child, she performed with the San Francisco Ballet (2000) and the Royal Ballet Company (2000/01) in Swan Lake. While still a student, she performed with the Royal Ballet Company in The Nutcracker (1999–2002) as a Party Guest and a Mouse in the battle scene, and again in 2006/07 as a Snowflake.
In 2007 with the Royal Ballet Company she toured Mexico and the USA with Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty. At the age of 17 she was a finalist of the Young British Dancer of the Year competition and awarded a commendation. After graduating in 2007, she joined the Czech National Ballet in Prague, in 2011 was named a demi-soloist and in 2012 a soloist,. The most significant roles of her repertoire included Aurora and Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, Bianca in Othello and Clara in the dream, the Spanish Dance, the Arabian Dance, the Waltz – soli in Yuri Vamos’s ballet The Nutcracker – A Christmas Carol, Pas de six in Act III of Napoli, Pas de trois in Swan Lake, a Companion in Giselle, Pas de trois in Swan Lake and Medora in Le Corsaire within the mixed bill Ballet Mania, the titular role in the ballet fairy tale Goldilocks (choreography: Jan Kodet) and the lead role in Cinderella (choreography: Jean-Christophe Maillot). As regards the modern repertoire, she danced in Petr Zuska’s choreographies Brel – Vysotsky – Kryl / Solo for Three and Le sacre du printemps, and in Christopher Bruce’s Rooster.