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Where You Meet Yourself in a Giant Mirror Every Day,“BLACK You Learn SWAN” to Deal FAIL with AND Your THE BALLET FailingsROAD and Assets TO WISDOM belt. “Of course I miss my toenails, and my joints are those let level. “They are all valedictorians,” she says. “It’s the of a fifty-year-old, not a thirty-three-year-old woman,” the ballet.” dancer says in jest. “But these are nothing compared to what other dancers have gone through,” she adds, flashing on memories of dancers rushed to hospital suffering with life-threatening anorexias, which would usually kick off Where You Meet Yourself in a Giant Mirror after someone pointed at those two “extra” kilos. Every Day, You Learn to Deal with Your Fail- ings and Assets Helena Sgouramani “Ballet is about training twelve hours a day, feeling ugly, feeling fat, facing constant rejection, falling apart, and picking up your pieces, all at once. Yet, strangely enough, I name ballet as the reason why I have never sunk into depression starting then.” In every audition the Bejart graduate attended, she would carry along all the ideals of perfection imprinted in her, only to see them crush. “No matter how tall, short, dark-skinned, light-skinned, thin or voluptuous you were, at the end of the day, you were at the whim of the director’s personal taste. This freed me from the tantalizing feeling of injustice in the world, and I am at peace with myself ever since. In this light, I’m probably wiser, even apt to live life in a stoically humorous way.” Sgouramani is currently a PhD Candidate in Basic and Applied Cognitive Science in the Department of Philosophy and History of Science at the University of Athens—under a full Aristoteles Onassis scholarship—and a member of the Multisensory and Temporal Processing Lab at the same university. She is adamant ballet was a precursor to her academic success, the hard work, the persistence, the focus, traits she sees –now as a ballet teacher—in all her seventeen-year-old students at the pre-professional balJuly 2016 Edition from m B © Pat Catterson “I don’t recall a single day of my life not dancing,” are the words of Pat Catterson, acclaimed choreographer, dancer and veteran teacher, who has choreographed and presented over one hundred works in New York City since 1968, and taught composition and mentored student works at UCLA, the Juilliard School, Danshögskolan in Stockholm and elsewhere. An offspring of parentsballroom dancers and a tap dancer-grandfather, she had no other choice than first-dance at three. Page 12