Swan Dive

Macmillan Audio. Aug. 2021. 9:11 hrs. ISBN 9781250824769. $26.99. MEMOIR
Pazcoguin, the first Asian American female soloist with the New York City Ballet, provides a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a ballerina and a ballet company. An uproarious, yet sobering glimpse inside the balancing act between an abusive and discriminatory system and Pazcoguin’s love of dance. Listeners will feel as if they are in a private conversation with Pazcoguin as she discusses becoming a professional dancer, costume mishaps, ill-conceived French dance-offs, the truth about the Nutcracker stage snow, and the abuse she endured over her 20-year ballet career. Her narration of the audiobook reflects her passion; humor; and, most importantly, her healing. Amazingly, Pazcoguin hasn’t lost her affection for ballet; through this book and her activism with “the Final Bow for Yellowface,” a movement dedicated to improving Asian representation in ballet, she aims to impact the dance world for the better.
VERDICT Pazcoguin’s memoir delivers laughs, tears, and pain (she once danced with a nail in her shoe!) while giving listeners behind-the-scenes access to the mysterious, beautiful, and often cruel world of professional ballet.
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