Allegra Kent, legendary ballerina and muse of George Balanchine and Joseph Cornell, started studying ballet at 11, with Bronislava Nijinska and Carmelita Maracci, in Los Angeles. At 14, she came to New York as a scholarship student at The School of American Ballet. The following year, George Balanchine invited her to join the New York City Ballet, where she danced for the next 30 years.
Allegra is the author of several critically acclaimed books, including her autobiography, Once a Dancer. . .and her first book for children, Ballerina Swan, which has recently leapt from the page onto the stage, courtesy of Making Books Sing. In 2009, she was a recipient of a Dance Magazine Award. She writes frequently for Dance and has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Vogue, and Allure. Most recently, she has contributed an essay to The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. She lives in New York City.