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Off Balance: The Real World of Ballet by…

Off Balance: The Real World of Ballet

by Suzanne Gordon

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I had only read one book about ballet and all about how difficult it is to be a dancer before reading Off Balance. Off Balance was pretty much the same theme. I found the entire book to be well written but extremely depressing. Having no experience with the world of ballet I had to take Gordon's word for it. Dancers are unhealthy, prone to injury, anorexia, and mental issues; they are socially stunted and obsessed with pleasing their teachers. Dancers don't have formal educations, family lives, or productive interests outside of dance. The family of a dancer makes sacrifices above and beyond normal expectations. Dancers earn woefully little and they don't get vacation pay. Workloads are exhausting yet they can get fired at a moments notice. The entire book is like this. Open any page and you will find something negative about the world of ballet. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Sep 11, 2009 |
Scary, but all too true! Though I do think (hope) things are somewhat better now than when this book first came out. The very fact that the NYC ballet now has a wellness consultant is one very positive sign-and I do believe many more dancers and dance teachers are much more knowledgeable about anorexia nervosa and bulimia than they were in the 80's, but the competition is still very harsh. ( )
  jrduffy | Jul 20, 2009 |
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