arms out like wings

an anecdotal memoir about my seven years spent in a ballet boarding school from 1969 to 1976 aged nine to seventeen

“”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.

Bush Davies School

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 4

Ray Lindsay

I am so happy that Ray Lindsey allowed me to use his beautiful Piano Music for Ballet Classes.  I had such a strong vision of how the podcasts of my book. Arms Out Like Wings would be realised and Ray’s music simply hit the spot. Ray is pianist with Pennsylvania Ballet. Previously with Kansas City Ballet, Minnesota Dance Theatre, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. You can see and buy his work online here.

You can also find many videos on YouTube by Ray. The video below seems like a good one to use as it was released by the Beatles in 1965 making it the right period for the start of my book.  Click play and relax . . .