Built for Ballet – Signed by Leanne Benjamin AM OBE


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Specially signed copies
This autobiography by Leanne Benjamin with Sarah Crompton reveals the extraordinary life and career of one of the worlds most important ballet dancers of the past fifty years. The book takes you behind the scenes to find a real understanding of the pleasure and the pain, the demands and the intense commitment it requires to become a ballet dancer. It is a book for ballet-lovers which will explain from Benjamins personal point of view, how ballet has changed and is changing. It is a book of history: she was first taught by the people who created ballet in its modern form and now she works with the dancers of today, handing on all she has known and learnt. But it is also a book for people who are just interested in the psychology of achievement, how you go from being a child in small-town Rockhampton in the centre of Australia to being a power on the worlds biggest stages — and how an individual copes with the ups and downs of that kind of career.
It is a story full of big names and big personalities — Margot Fonteyn, Kenneth MacMillan, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Darcey Bussell, Carlos Acosta to name a few. President Clinton, Michelle Obama, Diana Princess of Wales and David Beckham all make an appearance. But it is also a book of small moments of insight: what makes a performance special, how you recover from injury, illness and childbirth; how you combine athletic and artistic prowess with motherhood, how a different partner can alter everything, what it is like to fall over in front of thousands of people and what it is like to triumph. Above all, it seeks to explain, in warm and human terms, why women get the reputation for being difficult in a world where being a good girl is too much prized. And what they can do about it.

Publisher: Melbourne Books
ISBN: 9781925556575
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 764 g
Dimensions: 243 x 164 x 35 mm


“Leanne’s extraordinary journey really comes to life in this refreshingly honest account of her career in dance. She was not only a brilliant Principal with The Royal Ballet but has made a significant impact on the artform through her coaching of the next generation of performers. With her consummate artistry, tenacity, warmth and wit, she truly is built for ballet!” Kevin O’Hare, Director, The Royal Ballet
About Leanne Benjamin

Leanne Benjamin, OBE, AM, is a highly acclaimed and award-winning dancer, who was a principal ballerina with Sadler Wells, Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Berlin Ballet and ultimately a principal for 20 years with the Royal Ballet. Born in Queensland, Australia, she started her professional ballet career at the age of 18 and retired from the stage at the age of 49, after a world- class career. She now devotes herself to coaching for major ballet productions around the world for companies including the Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet, the Australian Ballet and Queensland Ballet. She is Vice Chair of the Board of Governors for the Royal Ballet Companies, and patron of the Tait Memorial Trust. She is also much in demand as an international judge and motivational guest speaker.

Sarah Crompton (Co-Author) is one of Britain’s most respected writers and broadcasters, commentating on all aspects of culture and the arts. Her work appears in the Guardian, the Sunday Times, The Times, the Observer, British and American Vogue among others. She reviews dance for the Observer and theatre for Whatsonstage. She is a regular contributor to the BBCArts Editor in Chief and dance critic of the Daily Telegraph. Her first book was Sadler’s Wells- Dance House.


The profit from books sold on behalf of the TMT at  £35 special limited signed copy (plus P&P) will go directly to the Leanne Benjamin Awards fund.