Summer Reading: Books By Dancers

Summer is here! Whether you're hanging out under a beach umbrella or passing the time between rehearsals, it'll be more fun with a book in hand. Check out these ballet page-turnersall written by dancers themselves.

 

Bunheads

By Sophie Flack

This novel follows devoted Manhattan Ballet Company corps member Hannah Ward as she navigates company life. For the most part, things are going smooth, until she meets a college-student musician, Jacob. When sparks fly, Hannah’s life gets shaken up a bit. Although fictional, the novel lends tons of insight to the life of a professional dancer—its author, Sophie Flack, danced with the New York City Ballet for nine years!

 

I Was a Dancer

By Jacques d’Amboise

As Balanchine’s protégé, d’Amboise certainly has a compelling story. He begins by recounting his childhood in Washington Heights and training that the School of American Ballet. We hear about his experiences dancing with Balanchine’s famous muses, as well as the life and death of Balanchine himself.

 

Daria Klimentova: Agony and Ecstasy: My Life in Dance

By Daria Klimentova

This autobiography by English National Ballet’s Daria Klimentova offers an easy-to-read look into the life of the Czech born ballerina. Klimentova begins her story by talking about her upbringing under Soviet rule, and continues right on up to her legendary partnership with Vadim Muntagirov.

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How Can I Stay Motivated While Training at Home?

Ethan Ahuero was having a good year: he was in his first season dancing with Kansas City Ballet II and had been presented with the opportunity to choreograph on the second company. "The day before we shut down I had a rehearsal, and I was so happy," Ahuero says. "The piece was coming together and this was the first time I felt really proud of my creative process."

Suddenly, the coronavirus pandemic brought everything to a halt. With the company's season cut short and the studios closed, Ahuero found himself attempting to continue dancing from home, with his choreography project put on hold. Like many other dancers around the world, Ahuero is dealing with disappointment while struggling to stay motivated.

Keeping up with daily ballet classes may feel difficult right now; inspiration can seem hard to come by when you're following along on Zoom and short on space at home. Below are a few simple tips for finding new ways to stay motivated.

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Courtesy Goh Academy

Pro-Pro Priorities: The Top Skills to Focus on During Your Final Training Years

As told to Rachel Caldwell

Finding the right pre-professional training program can be daunting. Then once you're there, what should you focus on in order to succeed? To shine some light on the topic, we talked to five leading teachers and directors who have seen scores of students move on to flourishing ballet careers. Here's what they suggested for young dancers on the pre-professional track.

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Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 5/21/2020

Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

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