As a teenage dancer competing for a spot on the prestigious New York City Ballet, Georgina Pazcoguin was advised by the corporate’s then-artistic director, Peter Martins, that she wanted to shed weight: particularly in her thighs.
It was her first “fat talk.”
She was despatched to a nutritionist who really useful a eating regimen complement that Pazcoguin likened to “chalk dust packets.” Dinner for the still-developing lady? A hen breast and spinach or lettuce. Her each day caloric consumption was 720 energy.
Shortly thereafter, the 9/11 assaults introduced New York City to a standstill. Pazcoguin realized she couldn’t management the world — however she might management what she ate. For the subsequent six months, she binged, purged and supplemented her rigorous dance classes with swimming.
“It wasn’t sustainable,” Pazcoguin, now 36, advised The Post. “I was a growing body. I picture my younger self and just want to give her a hug.”
Martins didn’t reply to requests for remark.
In her new memoir, “Swan Dive: The Making of a Rogue Ballerina,” (Henry Holt and Co.), Pazcoguin, who would later turn into the primary Asian-American feminine soloist at NYCB (her father is Filipino and her mom is Italian), recollects the second she realized how harmful her eating regimen was. While on the pool, she noticed a painfully emaciated girl who appeared in her 50s.
The ballerina realized in that second that she would turn into that girl sooner or later if she didn’t change her life.“She was suffering . . . My heart broke for her but it also broke for me. She was a wake-up call,” writes Pazcoguin.
That evening, she cooked herself a New York strip steak for dinner.
It’s only one of the methods she realized to outlive the cutthroat dance world, and her revelatory e-book is certain to ruffle some tutus.
The Altoona, Pa., native — the daughter of an ER surgeon and a housewife — raises the curtain on her booze-soaked nights at an Upper West Side dive bar and hangover-induced spills. She exposes the male colleague who thought nothing of casually tweaking her nipples and admits to regrets over an affair she had with Candace Bushnell’s then-husband-dancer, Charles Askegard, that ended up on Page Six. (Pazcoguin doesn’t title him within the e-book.)
“My choices hurt people, and it’s something I will always be sorry about . . . My moral swan dive was featured in Page Six . . . I came into work, completely embarrassed. The whore was out of the bag,” she writes.
While most of the e-book’s motion takes place at Lincoln Center, a lot of her youthful days had been spent on the Emerald Inn, an Upper West Side dive.
“I balance for a living. For me, life is a balance between the highbrow and the lowbrow existence,” she stated.
After hours, Pazcoguin and fellow dancers would imbibe booze late into the evening (“hard drugs were never my brand of fun,” she writes), take in the toxins with pizza, then sleep a number of hours earlier than 10 a.m. lessons.
“I’d be fighting my way through class with a headache and a bloated stomach,” she writes.
“A common misconception [about ballerinas] is that we’re all really straitlaced and boring. Absolutely no,” Pazcoguin stated. “For as hard as we work, we also really enjoy a good time.”She wasn’t so thrilled when the highest of her costume popped open throughout a manufacturing of “Swan Lake,” revealing each breasts as she twirled onstage.
To high it off, it occurred in the course of the firm’s Gala Week, when she needed to entertain big-bucks donors — just like the inebriated patron who needed to bop along with her at a celebration.
“I was finding my groove . . . when wham bam thank you ma’am I was flat on my back on the goddamn floor with a drunk donor splayed out on top of me,” she writes.
Even although she stopped purging, Pazcoguin was haunted in her 20s by physique points. She claims she endured undesirable touching from fellow dancer Amar Ramasar, who, Pazcoguin writes, would whisper “you look fine today” and tweak her nipples. (Ramasar referred to as the allegation “a total fiction.”)
“The constant objectification I was subjected to began to take a toll on my psyche,” she writes.
Pazcoguin secretly had liposuction, eradicating the equal of a two-liter bottle of soda from her thighs.
“It’s not something I am proud of now,” she stated. “I was asked to do something absurd [lose weight], so the only thing that made sense was an absurd solution.”
She felt she had no recourse towards harassment as a result of, she writes, telling Martins about Ramasar can be like “complaining to Satan about his brother Hades.”
Martins retired in 2018 amid accusations of sexual harassment, which he has denied. Ramasar was fired by NYCB in 2018 after being accused of sharing a sexually specific photograph of a colleague, however later reinstated.
Asked if she has had any contact with Martins since he left the corporate, Pazcoguin answered: “I have no desire.”
But Pazcoguin has discovered one other option to arise for herself. She and fellow Asian dancer Phil Chan launched a variety initiative referred to as “Final Bow for Yellow Face,” which advocates towards stereotypical depictions of Asians.
“I am a multicultural woman embracing my Asian heritage. When I was growing up [in dance] studios, there was never anyone who really looked like me in the classroom or on the wall. It impacted me more than I thought it did,” she stated.
On Aug. 3, she’s going to return to the NYCB and the e-book could have been launched for all, together with her friends, to learn.
“It’s so easy for people to jump to conclusions that this is me trying to do something negative. Yes, there are negative aspects, but I am not trying to do something negative about the ballet world,” she stated. “I’m making an attempt to shine a lightweight and share my absolute and utter devotion to ballet. And even by means of all of this, I nonetheless love the artwork kind.