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Sophie Flack  

Former Ballerina and Author

Sophie Flack was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At 15 she was accepted into the School of American Ballet on full scholarship, and moved to New York City. While struggling to adjust to city life, she began keeping a diary, and regularly drew portraits of herself and other dancers. At age 17, she joined the New York City Ballet as an apprentice and became a member of the corps de ballet the following year. As a member of the company, she performed in over 75 ballets, and worked with a diverse group of choreographers, all the while keeping detailed notes and sketches of her experiences. She toured internationally with the company and performed at the Maryinsky, the Palais Garnier, the Opera Bastille, and the Acropolis, among many others.

After dancing with the New York City Ballet for nine years, Flack retired from dance in 2009. After being featured in The New York Times, she was approached by an editor from Little Brown, who asked if she would consider writing about her experience in the corps de ballet. After leaping for joy at having finally found an outlet for her inordinate amount of journals and years of experience as a ballet insider, she sat down and started re-imagining the world in which she had just spent the past decade.

The result is her first novel Bunheads. As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company, 19-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances and complicated backstage relationships. Until now, she has happily devoted her entire life to ballet, but when she meets a handsome guitar player named Jacob, Hannah’s universe begins to change. She must decide if she wants to compete against the other “bunheads” in the company for a star soloist role or strike out on her own in the real world. Does she dare give up the gilded confines of the ballet for the more common freedoms of everyday life?

Flack enrolled at Columbia University as an English major. The intensity of her newfound life actually felt familiar coming from the rigorous schedule of the corps de ballet. Today she lives in Greenwich Village with her boyfriend Josh, and their puppy Zeus. She is finishing up her degree at Columbia and enjoys spending time with her girlfriends, and taking advantage of the New York arts scene.


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