"This volume features profiles of 15 dancers from around the world....Each profile blends biography and a discussion of the dancer's style and artistic background, associations with choreographers, composers, directors, and partners, and relationship with the audience. Information was drawn from published and unpublished interviews (some with the author) and source material from dance archives in the US and Europe. Dancers were chosen from Singer's poll of choreographers, teachers, administrators, students, dancers, historians, and writers."
"In her sketches, Singer discusses each dancer's artistic background, unique style, work with choreographers, among them the great George Balanchine, and her or his critical evaluation. With an excellent context-establishing foreword by Bruce Marks, and ancillary materials, this volume about dance as an ever-changing art is an excellent and enjoyable reference for both novices and fans."
"A most interesting behind the scenes look at the commitment of some great personalities who have contributed their lives to classical ballet. It is fascinating to get to know some lesser known aspects of the beginnings of some very well known stars. Despite their diverse backgrounds, they are all clearly united by an unswerving vocation and the total dedication they have given to their art form. This dedication, perhaps unfashionable now, is one without which classical ballet will not survive."
"As someone who is not a balletomane (who hasn't even been taken by ballet), I nevertheless enjoyed reading Toba Singer's writing on some of its renowned international practitioners. I like the way in which Singer places the different players in a political context, since dancers do live in and of their times. She makes ballet vibrant and important, even to a novice like myself."
"After reading this book with great pleasure, I feel like thanking Toba Singer for giving us an insight into all of these great artists. It pulls back the curtain on their lives. I highly recommend First Position to anyone interested in understanding what it takes to master the difficult art form of ballet."