Talking about this book? Be sure to tag it using #SwanDive #NetGalley
"A page-turner." —The New York Times
Award-winning New York City Ballet soloist Georgina Pazcoguin, aka the Rogue Ballerina, gives readers a backstage tour of the real world of elite ballet—the gritty, hilarious, sometimes shocking truth you don’t see from the orchestra circle.
In this love letter to the art of dance and the sport that has been her livelihood, NYCB’s first Asian American female soloist Georgina Pazcoguin lays bare her unfiltered story of leaving small-town Pennsylvania for New York City and training amid the unique demands of being a hybrid professional athlete/artist, all before finishing high school. She pitches us into the fascinating, whirling shoes of dancers in one of the most revered ballet companies in the world with an unapologetic sense of humor about the cutthroat, survival-of-the-fittest mentality at NYCB. Some swan dives are literal: even in the ballet, there are plenty of face-plants, backstage fights, late-night parties, and raucous company bonding sessions.
Rocked by scandal in the wake of the #MeToo movement, NYCB sits at an inflection point, inching toward progress in a strictly traditional culture, and Pazcoguin doesn’t shy away from ballet’s dark side. She continues to be one of the few dancers openly speaking up against the sexual harassment, mental abuse, and racism that in the past went unrecognized or was tacitly accepted as par for the course—all of which she has painfully experienced firsthand.
Tying together Pazcoguin’s fight for equality in the ballet with her infectious and deeply moving passion for her craft, Swan Dive is a page-turning, one-of-a-kind account that guarantees you'll never view a ballerina or a ballet the same way again.
"Always arresting onstage, Georgina Pazcoguin gives us a take on the ballet world that is witty and from the heart. An eye-opening read."
“A thoroughly captivating read. Determination and passion are the cornerstones of Georgina’s magic onstage and off, and her humor and wit make this peek behind the curtain like no other dance memoir. Her courage in the face of adversity is to be admired.”
“Georgina has led quite the journey to become the woman she is today. She exemplifies a natural, nostalgic showgirl attitude combined with the sensitivity and precision of a life in ballet.”
“This is a fearless book written with a courageous, blazing spirit. Georgina’s story compels you to look at yours as fiercely as she examines hers.”
—Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of Define American and author of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen
“Georgina Pazcoguin has brought the glories of ballet and technique into a new light. She is refinement and explosion wrapped into a woman whose personal style is ready for the runway. She can captivate an opera house as easily as she can earn the adoration of a young fan. . . . You will find Swan Dive to be a wild ride dancing between risk and balance, legacy and possibility.”
“While the juicy details of beautiful people behaving badly are beguiling, it’s Pazcoguin’s unsparing criticism of the industry that begs an encore. This is potent stuff.”