Arms Out Like Wings is an anecdotal memoir about my seven years spent in a ballet boarding school from 1969 to 1976 aged nine to seventeen . A ‘Pygmalion-esque’ story that takes me from my crowded, loving council house home of siblings, cockney, lorry driver Dad and Italian seamstress Mother, to a Rolls Royce gliding through London, tinkling piano music in corridors and marquees on the lawn. This book will give you an in site into a young ballet dancers life. The initial spark, training, literal blood sweat and tears, close friendships, pranks, pain, disappointment, injury, romance and sacrifices.
I am putting it out first as a podcast as that seems to be the most straight forward way of introducing it and hopefully once we have completed all the podcasts and produced an audiobook it will eventually be in print too. There’s nothing like a real book.
Why Arms Out Like Wings? Well, dancers love describing movements in animal terms. My yoga teacher says “arms out like wings” almost every class when we lift from a forward bend and it always reminds me of my ballet training as we often thought of our arms as wings and not just in the context of Swan Lake. So, that title just stuck and I kind of like it though it may become The Ballet School or just The School at some point.
I got really excited about the concept of a podcast. I have always loved stories read aloud. Then I suddenly thought that it would be lovely to add music from ballet classes. The pianists who play for ballet classes are so talented. Their playing can carry you through a class even on days when your body just wants to give up. I love ballet pianists! My husband found a brilliant pianist Ray Lindsay. When we asked him if we could use his music for this project he said yes straight away – how wonderful! We are so thankful to him. His music is perfect.