The Ballerina Mindset: How to Protect Your Mental Health While Striving for Excellence

Megan Fairchild. Penguin Life, $17 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-0-14-313604-0
Fairchild debuts with a compendium of hard-earned wisdom she picked up during her 17 years as a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. After moving from Utah to New York City to study ballet at age 16 in 2000, Fairchild found that, in the insular dance world, “the idea of not expecting perfection from oneself didn’t even seem like an option.” After enduring crippling anxiety, Fairchild sought peace with Transcendental Meditation, and passes on lessons gleaned from putting the practice to use, such as learning not to script out an outcome before an experience (“anxiety lives in the anticipation”), figuring out how to stay strong in the face of negative feedback, forging a healthy relationship with food (no small feat in the ballet milieu), resting when necessary and not feeling bad about it, creating balance between work and play, and not being afraid to fail (“life is hard enough even if we aren’t on our own side”). Mixed in with the advice are outtakes from her life outside of ballet, with highlights being her role in a Broadway musical, getting married (twice), and having three daughters. Fairchild provides type A readers eminently practical and practiced advice for dancing ahead in life without the drama. Agent: Pamela Cooper, the Cooper Co. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 10/15/2021
Release date: 12/07/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-525-50765-9
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