Ballet is beautiful to watch. But behind the scenes it’s hell. It’s a racist, fat-shaming, pain-inducing world where back biting and power trips are common. Swan Dive is one ballerina’s tour of this hell. And it’s one crazy ride.
Gina practiced and practiced to perfect her art, ballet dancing. She goes to the prestigious School of American Ballet. She is selected for the New York City Ballet. Eventually, she becomes a soloist there. But at what cost? Not just physically taxed, she is also mentally abused by the sexist and racist ballet culture. Gina rips aside the theater curtains to spill the tea at what being a working ballerina is really like.
Swan Dive is a fascinating memoir. It is so startling that I had to keep reminding myself it was a true story. Thank goodness my mom only made me go to one set of ballet classes when I was young. I would never have lasted two days at either the SAB or NYCB.
Swan Dive is a mesmerizing look at professional ballet. But you don’t have to even like ballet to enjoy it. It is an almost anthropological look into an antiquated culture that few will encounter in real life. However, if you are a dancer, you will adore this insider memoir. 4.5 stars!
Thanks to Henry Holt and Co. and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.