A-Z Challenge – B is for Beryl Grey

BerylGraygreyscaleMy A-Z autobiographical bites.

You probably need to be as old as I am to even remember Dame Beryl Grey. Prima ballerina, first Western dancer ever invited to dance with the Bolshoi Ballet despite the Cold War, who dreamed as a scholarship student of having to save the day at short notice by going on in Margot Fonteyn’s place – and who did, at the age of 14.

She and my mother had been BFF and when she was dancing in Johannesburg as Odette / Odile one year she arranged for me – aged 8 – to be allowed to join the corps in rehearsals for Swan Lake. I dreamed I’d be so brilliant they’d include me as a small, pudgy but astonishingly talented cygnet in the production but not all ballet dreams come true.

Her visit was quite a shock, not only realising how hard dancers have to work at rehearsals, but learning that our house-guest did two hours of exercise before even coming down to breakfast, every day of her life. Every day!  I gave up ballet soon afterwards.

3 thoughts on “A-Z Challenge – B is for Beryl Grey

  1. Just now found your comment on my post and thank you very much for it! Your experience was quite different from mine, though. Loved reading about Dame Beryl! I knew ballerinas had to practice a lot, but I surely didn’t know about the two hours before breakfast! I must admit that I made up the name of my ballet “teacher.” The lessons were so long ago (65 years ago) that I’ve forgotten her real name, but I know it started with a B. Thanks!

  2. My daughter is a ballet dancer so I have seen firsthand the amount of time and dedication it takes, but then anything that is worthwhile takes a lot of time, hard work and patience. Keep up the good work in the challenge and thanks for taking the time to read my blog.

  3. All types of dance require great discipline, but I think ballet is like the most demanding and difficult of them all. It is also like the most sublime. I like ballet very much.
    Thank you for your visit. Have a wonderful B day!

    Father Dragon Writes

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