A Very Young Dancer....The rest of the story

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by barbk, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    Messages:
    6,012
  2. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,478
    I wonder if I could find a copy of the original--I never read that one, but I had another of the author's books, "A Very Young Rider"...funny, how this girl's with horses now, and Very Young Rider got a 'where are they now' thing recently (though sadly that was because the older sister in that book, who went to Germany to ride and married and older trainer there, was killed recently when a young horse flipped on her.)
     
  3. Artistic Skaters

    Artistic Skaters Drawing Figures

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    4,290
    I remember when the book first came out. Enjoyed the article & printed a copy to send to an old friend. Thanks for sharing.
     
  4. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Messages:
    5,348
    I owned "A Very Young Gymnast"

    Both books are available on Amazon, as well as "A Very Young Skater"
     
  5. Louise

    Louise Banned Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Messages:
    560
    One of my favorite books as a child. At least she seems somewhat happy. The dancing lifestyle is brutal, and many (most?) young girls entering puberty start disordered eating. I could not imagine how pressure packed studying at SAB was. Even worse when you are 13 and your body starts changing for the worse for a dancing career. There always seems to be a thinner girl behind you ready to kick you off the assembly line. Her multiple absences seem to support that she wasn't into it anymore (unless she was a genuinely sick girl, but I'd bet it was just from dancing stress).

    Interestingly, I watched on Youtube a puff piece on Katherine Healy who became a prima ballerina. She left it after a decade and what I found interesting was she described her dancing career in almost all negative terms. Vicious, ugly, nasty. And she was a prima. Can you imagine if you never achieve that level and are just in the corps and know you could be replaced tomorrow? Most of my dancer friends from school ended up dropping it when they were graduated from high school. The couple who stayed only last two or three years since they weren't going anywhere in the company. One even started her own company (it's small but still what an achievement) and choreographs and performs to this day (she's in her 40s, god I'm getting old).

    Thanks for posting this. Yeah as a kid I wondered whatever happened to her, and there was no internet to look for her. Nice article and she seems at peace.

    ETA: Here's the Youtube puff piece on Katherine. Yes, she was the subject of "A Very Young Skater". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WumPvDo1lwg
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  6. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,478
    It sounds like she just wasn't that into it, not even necessarily her body. She wasn't really there long enough that her body would have changed significantly from when she was admitted--but how many 13-year-olds really can commit to something as The Rest of Your Professional Life? In Suzanne Farrel's book she describes the letter with requirements for her admission (at 15, IIRC) and they were NOT joking about absences.

    Who was the Very Young Skater? (Heck, knowing FSU, they could be around here....)
     
  7. LuckyCharm

    LuckyCharm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Messages:
    3,878
    Interestingly, it was Katherine Healy, which is why I was confused when I opened the article. I expected it tho be about her. I didn't realize there was a whole series of "Very Young" books. Who was the gymnast?
     
  8. dramagrrl

    dramagrrl Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2001
    Messages:
    823
    The gymnast was Torrance York, who is now an award-winning photographer.
     
  9. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Messages:
    2,473
    That book had a picture of six-year-old Kyoko Ina, too.
     
  10. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    7,493
  11. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Messages:
    7,659
    I loved and still have my copy of A Very Young Dancer. It was a 5th birthday gift with nice inscription from Mommy and Daddy. :) My mom was a ballet dancer, though never professional, and I took ballet from 4-8 (when I promptly threw it over for skating). When I was older, I bought the skating and gymnast ones myself. They're lovely books.