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Sergei Polunin’s Dance Mom

As a breed, we ballet mothers can be insufferable—clingy, controlling, and omnipresent. The mother of Margot Fonteyn, who was known as the Black Queen, trailed after the ballerina, even on company tours abroad, acting as a composite of a personal assistant, lady’s maid, and nineteenth-century chaperone. Many of us are failed dancers living vicariously through our talented offspring; looking back, I find something embarrassingly “Black Swan”-like in the way I drew satisfaction from my son thriving at the Royal Ballet School—the very place where I’d felt so miserably inadequate.
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