The Sugarless Plum

I was a young dancer who left home at the age of 15 and was a member of the NYC Ballet by the age of 18. By 20 I was starring as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker, dancing roles by Jerome Robbins, and having new ballets created on me by Peter Martins: the company director following the death of George Balanchine.

It was the stuff dreams are made of. It was a magical time. Then my world came crashing down when I was diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes at the age of 21. My body fell apart as I tried desperately to hold on to my dancing and my life. My story is about many things.

On the one hand, it is about Diabetes: the insulin shots, the blood sugar management, the diet, the exercise, and the psychological effects of having a disease. It is about overcoming the hurdles and going on to become a soloist ballerina, performing with the New York City Ballet for 16 years, and then becoming a teacher, coach, and repetiteur for the George Balanchine Trust.

I am proud of the career I had as a ballerina, but my real story is about learning how to live with, honor and respect the self and the body.

My story is about living a full life, and not letting obstacles defeat you and dissuade you from following your heart.

Download a excerpt from The Sugarless Plum.