Stephanie Herman was a prima ballerina, a protégé of legendary choreographer George Balanchine. She worked with Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey. She danced with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolph Nureyev.
In 1986, at age 35, 16 years into her illustrious professional ballet career, severe back and knee injuries brought the grand adventure to an abrupt halt. Herman consulted numerous doctors.
“No one knew how to cure me,” says Herman, who now lives in Menlo Park. “It was emotionally and physically frustrating. There was a moment of feeling lost. Suddenly I didn’t have a career anymore. I didn’t know who I was. That was the time when I started getting more comfortable and more confident, as I discovered — who is this person, if this person is not a ballerina?”
Instead of signaling the end for Herman, this was merely a transition into a fulfilling new phase. She spent three years studying alternative treatments and managed to heal herself. For the past 30 years, she has used her vast knowledge of kinesiology, bone rhythms, Pilates and Gyrotonics to help others, through classes, workshops and private consultations.
Herman recounts her remarkable journey in a multimedia presentation, “Ballerina: A One-Woman Play.” Utilizing dance, music, visuals and spoken word, the world premiere takes place at Oshman Family JCC, Schultz Cultural Arts Hall, Palo Alto, on Aug. 30.
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Herman was destined to dance. “When I was born, the doctor said he said he never saw a baby with such big arches. He said, ‘She should be a ballerina.’”
She had a demanding mother, who had been a child prodigy pianist, so Herman struggled with insecurities. “I was taught, No matter how hard you try, you’ve got …read more
Source:: The Mercury News