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Attitude! : eight young dancers come of age at the Ailey School
Fishman, Katharine Davis.
Adult Nonfiction GV1786.A35 F57 2004

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From Publishers' Weekly:

"Attitude" is both a dance position and a state of mind. According to journalist Fishman (Behind the One-Way Mirror: Psychotherapy and Children), dancers need both technique and determination to succeed as professionals. Fishman spent a year at one of the nation's top dance academies to observe eight gifted students and try to ascertain why some, and not others, go on to pursue dance careers. The students, both boys and girls, are from the East Coast and West, gay and straight, naturally talented and hard workers all united by their love of movement. Fascinated by what exactly it takes to succeed professionally in the arts, Fishman writes about the dancers' families, the Ailey School faculty and the psychology of the dancers themselves how do they handle victories, failures, weight issues and injuries? Fishman unknots the question: how much does success depend on talent and how much on motivation? While she cites research on the development of gifted teenagers from authorities such as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Howard Gardner, Fishman doesn't offer definitive answers. But the questions are fascinating. And she portrays the students, whose lives she follows, with sensitivity and respect. B&w photos. Agent, Paul Cirone. (Oct.) Forecast: This will appeal to educators, gifted students and their parents, and those looking for a peek behind the scenes at the training of young dancers. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

For a year, freelance journalist Davis Fishman followed eight teenage students at New York City's Alvin Ailey School, hoping to capture "how talent reveals itself, and what is necessary to keep it alive." In seasonally themed chapters, she shows students wrangling with their dedication to dance: Travis, for instance, also has an interest in photography, and Shamel "lives and breathes dance" but is also coping with the recent death of his mother. Building relationships with teachers, vying for scholarships, and keeping up with schoolwork also complicate the situation. Incorporating the two definitions of attitude (one, a ballet term, and the other, manner or feeling), Davis Fishman creates an absorbing slice of life. Recently, the Oprah Winfrey Foundation donated $1 million toward creating dance scholarships at the Ailey School, so interest will likely be high. This fall, the new Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater also opens its doors. Recommended for all libraries, particularly those targeting YAs, parents, and dance collections. [Coming in December from Stewart, Tabori & Chang is Ailey Spirit: The Journey of an American Dance Company. Ed.] Barbara Kundanis, Batavia P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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