My home is New York City Ballet and I dance as a soloist woman in a company of nearly 100 dancers. I started as an apprentice in 2001 and — after spending ten amazing yet arduous, and sometimes downright grueling years in the corps de ballet — I was promoted to soloist with the company in February of 2013. For those of you who do not know me, that was a huge accomplishment. My journey was not necessarily uncomplicated or painless; in fact, quite the opposite. If you want that story, you’ll have to wait for the memoir.
Why Ballet? It is a pursuit of perfection. I like the idea of striving to attain a seemingly unattainable ideal. I love the lessons it teaches that carry over to real life, some being the discipline, the dedication, the love. I like being called a Ballerina. Despite being lumped into this whole “Ballerina equals naive, slightly emotionally unhinged woman complete with body dysmorphia” stereotype of today. I view myself as the complete antithesis of that idea. Think of me as “The Rogue Ballerina.”
I’m proud to say that I’m New York City Ballet’s first Asian American, let alone Filipina American woman, ever to be promoted to an upper tier. There are a few things I’m known for at New York City Ballet in addition to being one of the company’s on staff comedians, a high risk for falls, and really bad at doing my own hair. I’m really good at cutting the tension in a rehearsal room. For my dance repertoire, I suggest you click here.
But wait — there's more!
The Making of a Rogue Ballerina
Award-winning New York City Ballet soloist Georgina Pazcoguin, aka the Rogue Ballerina, gives readers a backstage tour of the real world of elite ballet—the gritty, hilarious, sometimes shocking truth you don’t see from the orchestra circle.
In this love letter to the art of dance and the sport that has been her livelihood, NYCB’s first female Asian American soloist Georgina Pazcoguin lays bare her unfiltered story of leaving small-town Pennsylvania for New York City and training amid the unique demands of being a hybrid professional athlete/artist, all before finishing high school.
She pitches us into the fascinating, whirling shoes of dancers in one of the most revered ballet companies in the world with an unapologetic sense of humor about the cutthroat, survival-of-the-fittest mentality at NYCB. Some swan dives are literal: even in the ballet, there are plenty of face-plants, backstage fights, late-night parties, and raucous company bonding sessions.
Tying together Pazcoguin’s fight for equality in the ballet with her infectious and deeply moving passion for her craft, Swan Dive is a page-turning, one-of-a-kind account that guarantees you’ll never view a ballerina or a ballet the same way again.
About “the Rogue Ballerina”
Georgina Pazcoguin has danced with the New York City Ballet since 2002 and was promoted to soloist in 2013. A steadily rising star, she is an ambassador of her art on many platforms, crossing over to Broadway, TV, and film. In addition to her many appearances at NYCB, including a celebrated portrayal of Anita in Jerome Robbins’s West Side Story Suite, her credits include the award-winning film N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz, Ivy in the Broadway revival of On the Town, and Victoria in the Broadway revival of Cats. Georgina is a passionate activist for the Orphaned Starfish Foundation, and she is co-founder of the globally recognized diversity initiative Final Bow for Yellowface. She lives in New York City, and a half-hour with her will shake your stereotype of uptight ballerinas to bits.
Praise for Swan Dive
“Always arresting onstage, Georgina Pazcoguin gives us a take on the ballet world that is witty and from the heart. An eye-opening read.”
“Georgina has led quite the journey to become the woman she is today. She exemplifies a natural, nostalgic showgirl attitude combined with the sensitivity and precision of a life in ballet.”
“A thoroughly captivating read. Determination and passion are the cornerstones of Georgina’s magic onstage and off, and her humor and wit make this peek behind the curtain like no other dance memoir. Her courage in the face of adversity is to be admired.”
“This is a fearless book written with a courageous, blazing spirit. Georgina’s story compels you to look at yours as fiercely as she examines hers.”
—Jose Antonio Vargas
founder of Define American and
author of Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen
“Georgina Pazcoguin has brought the glories of ballet and technique into a new light. She is refinement and explosion wrapped into a woman whose personal style is ready for the runway. She can captivate an opera house as easily as she can earn the adoration of a young fan…. You will find Swan Dive to be a wild ride dancing between risk and balance, legacy and possibility.”
Storytelling — Demo Reels
- New York City Ballet
- apprentice (October 2002)
- corps (October 2003)
- soloist (February 2013)
- American Dance Machine for the 21st Century, founding company member
- On the Town — Ivy Smith, replacement (2015)
- Cats — OBC Victoria (2016)
Chita Rivera Awards, two-time nominee:
Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show
Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise (2002)
Performed at The Jerome Robbins Awards (2013)
Dance Magazine, cover (June 2013)
New York City Ballet
Nutcracker (Dew Drop, Sugarplum Fairy, Coffee, Hot Chocolate)
Coppélia (Spinner variation)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hippolyta)
Scotch Symphony (First Movement)
Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3 (Scherzo)
Vienna Waltzes (Polka Couple)
Carnival of the Animals
Carousel (A Dance)
Paul MacCartney’s Ocean’s Kingdom (Scala)
Romeo & Juliet (Nurse)
The Sleeping Beauty (Carabosse, Vivacity, Courage)
Swan Lake (Princess, Russian, Hungarian)
The Waltz Project
La Sylphide (Madge)
Pictures at an Exhibition
Russian Seasons (originated soloist role)
Blossom Got Kissed
Cats — 2016 revival (Victoria)
On the Town (Ivy Smith)
A Chorus Line (Cassie, studied with Donna McKechnie)
Beale Street Blues (Chita Rivera role)
West Side Story (Anita)
Apollo (Calliope, Polyhymnia)
Who Cares (Jumping Girl, Turning Girl)