Ballet Bonanza: Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton on Tiny Pretty Things

Who doesn’t love a tutu? We hung up our ballet shoes many moons ago, but that just means we love living vicariously, like in Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton’s Tiny Pretty Things. The drama-soaked tale follows three ballerinas desperate to succeed. We asked the authors for some factoids on the fascinating world.

Ballerinas Are Athletes
Dainty? Sure. Strong? You better believe it. The average dancer spends six-plus hours a day in the studio, perfecting technique, fluidity and agility. A male dancer (known as a ballerino, back in the day) might lift more than one ton of ballerina weight during a single performance.

They’re ALWAYS Shoe Shopping
The average dancer wears out two to three pairs of pointe shoes a week. A week. That means a hundred-plus pairs over the course of a year, and more than a thousand throughout the typical career. At up to $100 a pair, that adds up fast.

Misty’s on Pointe!
American Ballet Theatre star Misty Copeland is only the third African-American soloist in the ballet world — and the first in two decades for the famous company. Strong, sophisticated and always the standout, she’s changed the face of modern ballet in amazing ways and has since become a mini-media mogul, with endorsement deals, books and a documentary and a reality series slated on Oxygen. 

Ballet Means Big Bucks
A single production tutu can cost $1500 to $4000 to make. After all, it can mean 100-plus yards of tulle and net — and 60 to 90 hours of labor. And that’s just for starters. One proper production can run 180 feet of ribbon — at $25 a yard — per dancer! That’s $1,500 per dancer per season.

Audrey Was Tutu Chic
The ever-graceful Audrey Hepburn was a ballerina before she became a box office staple with 1953’s Roman Holiday. Other celebs who danced: Neve Campbell, Sarah Jessica Parker, Charlize Theron, Mia Wasikowska, Lea Thompson, Penelope Cruz and Zoe Saldana — who got her start in the must-watch Center Stage!

Well, now we’ve got to watch Center Stage again, after we pick up Tiny Pretty Things, which is available this week in stores and online. And for more YA awesomeness, visit our Everything YA page!

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