The Unmaking of a Dancer


An autobiographical account of Joan Brady’s struggle to succeed in the fiercely competitive, hothouse world of ballet in spite of her mother opposition — an opposition fuelled by a sense of vengeance at Joan’s determination to win the man her mother had herself coveted for years. Joan does win her man, marries him, has his child — and in her thirties, takes up ballet a second time.



Sunday Telegraph

“As an autobiography of adolescence, it reposes, like the young dancer herself, in the very highest class” Sunday Times

'Evocative...provocative...hilarious...vivid...believeable' New York Times

“Thrilling … superb … harrowingly honest” Financial Times

“Marvellous” Guardian


Joan Brady in George Balanchine’s advanced class at the School of American Ballet in New York, photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson

The Unmaking of a Dancer

The Second revised edition of THE UNMAKING OF A DANCER Published as PROLOGUE in 1995

Download Chapter One