“What is it we do for our art—and to the ones we supposedly love?  Small’s novel plunges us into the heady world of ballet rivalries and family secrets, all in  a prose as breathtaking as a perfect glissade.”—Caroline Leavitt



When Marine and Kate enter their last year at Nanterre, the Paris Opera's famous and intensive ballet school, their friendship is put to the test. Among other elite competitors, i.e. The Ruler, Ugly-Bessy, Short-Claire, and smoky-eyed Isabelle, Marine and Kate must shine and rank highly on the weekly boards. At night in their dorm room, while they soak their blistered feet in mandatory ice buckets, they yearn for the envelope with the red wax stamp on the back--the invitation to dance with the company. But sadly, only one rat-girl will be awarded The Spot. And, of course, there are the rat-boys. Who will The Demigod fall in love with and who will become his anchor partner??