Heather's Reviews > Once a Dancer...: An Autobiography

Once a Dancer... by Allegra Kent
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's review
Dec 04, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: autobiography-biography, dance
Read in December, 2008

You know, I feel like my system for giving stars is totally arbitrary. What’s the criterion? Anyway, I'm rating this one strictly on my level of enjoyment. This was a really engaging read. I was totally sucked in and stayed up late to get my fix. In a lot of ways Allegra Kent's story is very tragic--so many of her decisions weren't based on her own intuition and desire, but on the advice of others, which almost never works out well. Her youth was squandered because she ignored her own inner voice, and her career wasn't what it could have been as a result. I actually know a woman who reminds me of Allegra, but the difference is that this woman is wholly averse to change or self-knowledge. Her fear and arrogance have destined her to a future of more of the same. Allegra, on the other hand, continued to pursue growth and change in her life. She wasn't always able to confront her fears, but dissatisfaction never ceased to motivate her to pursue change when she felt strong enough for it. I admire that, but wonder what might have been had she not let others affect her love of and commitment to dancing for so long; nevertheless, she eventually found peace and equilibrium. At any rate, hearing her describe dance really drew out my own buried love of ballet. I've certainly struggled with my own daemons, but ballet itself, in its purest sense and without some of the negative aspects of dance culture, was one of my greatest loves. It's been about ten years, but I do miss it. I wonder if I just might don my slippers once again.
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