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Publisher's Summary

This program is read by the author.

Award-winning New York City Ballet soloist Georgina Pazcoguin, aka the Rogue Ballerina, gives listeners 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 one-of-a-kind account that guarantees you'll never view a ballerina or a ballet the same way again.

A Macmillan Audio production from Henry Holt and Company

©2021 Georgina Pazcoguin (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Don't expect just tulle and toe shoes. In this fascinating insider's tale, NYCB dancer Pazcoguin reveals her world. . . . A striking debut." —People

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  • Overall
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Pure joy!

I never leave book reviews, but I loved this book. It lifted my spirits while working while also providing a tale of a wild life filled with memories, beauty, art, heartache, struggle, and resilience. I’ve never been to a professional ballet, but after this book I will have to make it a priority. Georgina’s voice is a dream I would listen to her read any book ever. Seriously this woman needs her own podcast. Receiving the inside story about such a guarded treasure as the New York City Ballet made this Wyoming gal feel both fancy and realize that anyone can become as graceful as a ballerina if she puts her mind to it. This audiobook was amazing and I will definitely be listening (living vicariously through it) to it again.

5 people found this helpful

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It’s a hoot!

She’s smart, confident and sassy with great behind the scene tales of the upper echelon of the ballet world.

2 people found this helpful

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amazing life, drive & integrity

The behind the stage look at the world of ballet is intricate and embracing. the challenges and rewards seem to be boundless you have to comparison to the other Arts is overwhelmingly interesting. very good read.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

You don’t need to know anything about ballet to enjoy this book. The author reads the story delightfully! It’s a fun, suspenseful, life in the ballet, a journey very unique. As a former ballerina I can attest to the patriarchal and lily white world. I love her imitation of Peter Martins!!! Golden. This is a darkly funny book and glimpse into The elite ballet company of the world. Thank you Georgina for telling your story, you are making the world a better place.

1 person found this helpful

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Horrible narration

Intriguing inside view of behind the scenes at New York City ballet and what it takes to be a member of this company. Although I enjoyed the story very much I couldn’t stand the author’s narration finding her to be completely annoying. Also profane language throughout which was just not necessary and seemed contrived.

1 person found this helpful

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Distracting narrator

The author tried too hard when reading this. it might be better if you read the book and don't have the distracted voices. It almost seemed as if the author tried to force the stories to be dramatic.

1 person found this helpful

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A beautiful swan

I loved listening to Gina tell her story. Her bravery and shining personality come to life in this book.

1 person found this helpful

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Awesome Listening

This story is Empowering and beautiful
It Is a Great listen and I loved every minute