Tag Archives: Ballet novel Outside the Limelight

The Classical Girl turns five

The Classical Girl, as you longtime readers might know, was a concept I’d created on the eve of 2013. A New Year’s resolution of sorts. My ballet novels were long completed, out being shopped, and I missed researching and living inside the dance world terribly. I knew, as a writer, that it was good to enforce some assignment-like work into my writer’s life. So I dove in, headfirst. I shared more of that story in my two other anniversary posts, The Classical Girl Turns One Year Old and The Classical Girl Turns Three. Thinking of starting a blog of your own?  Wondering how your early visitor numbers compare to someone else’s? You’ll find out there.

As a five-year recap, here are a few stats…

  • 196 posts created and shared
  • 207,951 visitors (in the past 3 years because my Google Analytics data only covers that)
  • 552,000 page views (in the past 3 years, because, see above)
  • 819 comments (+ 80 via email)
  • 10 pages (from the original 6)

New since my last anniversary update

  • A giving program
  • A second novel that was named a Kirkus Indie Books of the Month Selection for January 2017, as well as being on the Top 100 Indie Book of 2017 list, and a third novel forthcoming.
  • Four dance seasons of reviews of ballet performances and dance articles (for a total of six seasons, including 2017-18).

Wondering what the top 10 blogs are? Here you go — click on the title to get to the article.

  1. What do ballet dancers eat? – 80,188 views
  2. 10 odd facts about pointe shoes – 37,500 views
  3. 10 reasons ballet dancers hate Black Swan – 17,500 views
  4. Pianist Yuja Wang’s very short dresses and very big talent – 17,500 views
  5. Ballet Q & A – 11,457 views
  6. Ballet in Paris: I dare you – 9,519 views
  7. Ulyana Lopatkina and her swans – 7424 views
  8. 10 things you didn’t know about tutus – 6937 views
  9. John Cage’s “As Slow As Possible” – 5896 views
  10. Ohad Naharin’s “Minus 16” – 5818 view

Enough business talk. I’m celebrating, and you can celebrate with me. From now till midnight on Friday (Saturday, 8am GMT, 3am Eastern, 7pm in Australia) my two ballet novels, OFF BALANCE and OUTSIDE THE LIMELIGHT, Books 1 and 2 of the Ballet Theatre Chronicles, are FREE! Just click on the titles above.



How about some bubbly for this five-year celebration of ours?


And something decadent but elegant?


Something savory? Good idea!


If you’re on a diet and can’t enjoy these cyber-goodies, well, how about some food for thought:


And speaking of Africa, I’m putting the finishing touches on my newest novel, A Dancer’s Guide to Africa, forthcoming in October, and can’t wait to share the cover with you. Stay tuned!

Thank you, dear readers, for helping me celebrate five years of The Classical Girl. I literally couldn’t have done it without you!

Hello, World Ballet Day 2016!

Want the link to the Oct 5, 2017 coverage? Click HERE!


Prepare yourself to watch an entire day of nonstop, live-streamed professional ballet, from every corner of the globe, on Tuesday, October 4th! If you are a veteran to this event, you know the drill: it will start late Monday evening for those of us in North America, as The Australian Ballet kicks off the day around noon, local time. Then we will travel around the world and watch four hours with the Bolshoi Ballet, followed by The Royal Ballet in London, and on to North America with the National Ballet of Canada, and the San Francisco Ballet wrapping up the event.

What’s more, each of those five companies has invited other companies, geographically close, to be featured as guests (pre-recorded footage) during their coverage. Here’s who you’ll get the chance to see in this capacity: Hong Kong Ballet, Queensland Ballet, West Australian Ballet, English National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Northern Ballet,  Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo and Nederlands Dans Theater (and/or Dutch National Ballet), Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet,  Houston Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet. (Breaking news on Oct 3rd: more companies added! See the bottom of this post for specifics on whom, and when. There are now a whopping 23 companies featured!)

What times will each of the five companies be streaming, you ask?

My own time zone gets to go first. If you live in California, on the West Coast, or elsewhere that employs Pacific Time, here you go!

  • The Australian Ballet (Melbourne) – 7pm-11p on Oct 3rd, 18 hours ahead of San Francisco
  • The Bolshoi (Moscow) – 11p – 3a, Oct 4th, 10 hours ahead
  • The Royal Ballet (London) – 3a – 7a, 8 hours ahead
  • National Ballet of Canada (Toronto) – 7a – 11a, 3 hours ahead
  • San Francisco Ballet – 11a – 3p, local time

Now here’s a chart for everyone, showing *Greenwich Mean Time, Eastern Time and local time (*Note that London is currently GMT+1 because of Daylight Savings Time)

  • The Australian Ballet: 2am GMT on 10/410pm Eastern Time on 10/3, 1pm local time
  • The Bolshoi: 6am GMT, 2am Eastern, 9am local time
  • The Royal Ballet: 10am GMT, 6am Eastern, 11am local time
  • National Ballet of Canada: 2pm GMT, 10am Eastern, 10am local time
  • San Francisco Ballet: 6pm GMT, 2pm Eastern, 11am local time

What you can expect to see: each company will commence their coverage with morning class (my favorite thing to watch!), then move on to rehearsals for upcoming performances, backstage preparations, interspersed with interviews of artistic directors, choreographers, dancers, etc.

Something new this year:  the event will be streamed via Facebook. This is history-making in that Facebook has never attempted anything this big and this long before. Yikes! But fear not–if you’re not a Facebook person, you can still watch it at the above link, or check any of the five main companies’ websites.

World Ballet Day LIVE 2015 saw 349,000 views on the day itself and went on to reach over two million viewers via YouTube archives. In the ballet world, that’s a lot! Bringing Facebook into the game, it will likely reach an even wider audience. And for those of you unavailable during this time, no worries, it will be archived on YouTube for at least 30 days. (Lots of the coverage will remain on YouTube through the year, in fact.)

Here’s a World Ballet Day teaser. Enjoy.

This will be the third year of the multi-company collaboration. Credit for the original idea goes to London’s Royal Ballet who, in 2012, live-streamed a nine-hour day of behind-the-scenes footage, which drew tons of viewers and made a lightbulb go off in the heads of a lot of artistic directors and administrators. Here’s a link to my posts from the first two World Ballet Days, 2015 and 2014 respectively. Check ’em out to see what you can expect for this year’s event.

I will be posting more details the day before the big event, so pop by again for more information.

Get ready, gang. It’s going to be one knockout great day of ballet. And while you’re at it, get ready for the arrival of Book 2 of the Ballet Theatre Chronicles, OUTSIDE THE LIMELIGHT, available for preorder on–hey!– World Ballet Day! Check it out HERE.


In honor of World Ballet Day the forthcoming arrival of OUTSIDE THE LIMELIGHT, Book 1, OFF BALANCE, is FREE all through October via Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon

And lastly, here’s that “breaking news” addition on Oct 3rd, of more companies around the world that you can expect to see, during which of the five segments:

The Australian Ballet segment

  • Hong Kong Ballet
  • Queensland Ballet
  • Western Australia Ballet

The Bolshoi Ballet segment

  • Ballets de monte Carlo
  • Nederlands Dans Theater

The Royal Ballet segment

  • Birmingham Royal Ballet
  • Dutch National Ballet
  • English National Ballet
  • Estonian National Ballet
  • Finnish National Ballet
  • La Scala Ballet Company
  • Northern Ballet
  • Norwegian National Opera & Ballet
  • Polish National Ballet
  • Scottish Ballet
  • Stuttgart Ballet
  • The Royal Danish Ballet
  • The Royal Swedish Ballet
  • Wiener Staatsballett

National Ballet of Canada segment

  • Boston Ballet
  • Miami Ballet

San Francisco Ballet segment

  • Ballet Nacional Sodre
  • Pacific Northwest Ballet