This is a very insightful book about the inside world of professional ballet training. Being a former professional dancer, and a ballet teacher for 30 years, I have to say this is one of the most honest views of pre-professional training I have ever read. If a young dancer wants to go off to New York to train at these "pre-professional" company schools, this books shows the real life goings on. Ms. Wenger-Landis shows us the deep joy, hurt, and depression which very sensitive teens will deal with when on their way to a professional career. There is no glossing over the pain, wonder, dedication and devotion which ballet students have to deal with everyday. I am not sure why this specific type of training is truly necessary. I have been through it myself, as have many of my former students. I think there are other, better ways to train young people. Yet, this book tells us a true and real story of a young sensitive burgeoning artist, what she goes through, and her deepest...
As a ballet enthusiast I definitely enjoyed this book. But the interesting thing was that even my husband, who knows very little about ballet, thought it was entertaining and enjoyed reading it, too! The characters are fun to follow and their stories are not over-exaggerated (like in some other ballet stories). For anyone who wants a peek into the real world of ballerinas' lives at the top schools in this country, this is it!
The author has created a sympathetic heroine, one whose struggles and aspirations keep you turning pages, hoping for the best.
Even more important, the author knows the ballet world thoroughly, and provides a look into the life of professional ballet and what training at that level entails -- the physical pain, yes, but also the friendships, the rivalries, the competition, the challenge and terror of working with world-class teachers.
Not just a good read, but an education.
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