Short, plump, pigeon-toed, and never good enough for mom, Lee Wilson dared to dream she could grow up to be a star. In this uplifting memoir, Wilson describes how she grand jetéd from the stifling suburbia of the 1950s, a world of rigid gender roles, to the only domain where women and men were equally paid and equally respected—in grand, historic dance theaters and under the bright lights of the Broadway stage.
At the age of sixteen, Wilson made her classical ballet debut in Monte Carlo. Eight months later, she thrilled to the sound of her first bravos—and she never looked back. After touring Europe and dancing with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet in New York, she set her sights on Broadway, where she danced in many Broadway shows, including Hello Dolly! and the record-breaking performance of A Chorus Line.
Rebel on Pointe immerses the reader in a remarkable and visionary world. It lifts the veil of myth surrounding legendary dance icons like George Balanchine to reveal the real men and women who have made American dance and dancers an international phenomenon.
Wilson expertly depicts how her profession—at times considered so rigid and exacting—was a leading force in the liberation of women from the prison of post-war society. The hard-won gains and the maddening setbacks of the gender revolution are seen here through the eyes of a young dancer searching for freedom one “pas” at a time.