A Ballerina For Our Time, Olga Pavlova is the inspiring biography of a Russian Prima Ballerina whose moving story is empowering for women of all ages! Olga’s story of passion and perseverance is for anyone following their heart’s desire.

Her life brings readers into the highly competitive ballet world and the infamous Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Like so many other young girls, she dreamed of becoming a famous ballerina. Olga’s road to success was filled with personal struggles, triumphs, and life lessons for overcoming obstacles to achieve prominence. From being confined to a hospital bed with a serious back injury as a child to becoming the target of vicious jealousy inside the world-renowned Bolshoi academy, she rose above it all to become a prima ballerina on the world stage.

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About the Author Karen HeadShot2x2

Karen McDonough is an award-winning journalist and founder of with readers worldwide. She has interviewed and profiled a diverse collection of newsmakers and prominent world figures with her work appearing in numerous national and international publications. She has judged the prestigious Clarion Awards, was a selected participant for the NEA Arts Journalism Institute for Dance Criticism at the American Dance Festival, and has received many journalism industry awards.

Her book, A Ballerina For Our Time, Olga Pavlova, with a reach in more than a dozen countries, is the inspiring biography of a prima ballerina that’s empowering for women of all ages.


Pointe Magazine online, June 17, 2015

“Russian ballerina Olga Pavlova—best known here in the U.S. for her time with Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company and Metropolitan Classical Ballet in Arlington, Texas—had a rich international career. But her training years didn’t go quite according to plan. In Karen McDonough’s new biography, A Ballerina for Our Time: Olga Pavlova, McDonough reveals how Pavlova struggled to overcome body issues, jealousy and sabotage while a student at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. A mysterious letter turned the Bolshoi’s school director against her and altered the course of her promising career, nearly getting her kicked out of the academy and essentially locking her out of Moscow’s top companies. McDonough relays Pavlova’s story of perseverance—and eventual rise to the Bolshoi Ballet Grigorovich Company, Maya Plisetskaya’s Imperial Russian Ballet and Moscow Classical Ballet—and gives us an inside look at Soviet Russia’s rigorous training system. Pointe is giving away five copies of A Ballerina for Our Time: Olga Pavlova autographed by the author.”

Here’s what readers are saying on Amazon:

  • “I was hooked from the first chapter. Highly recommend reading this biography!
  • “This is a must read for anyone interested in dance.”
  • This book deserves to be a staple in every dance enthusiasts library.”
  • “The author did a fantastic job of bringing her to life from the page. Beautifully descriptive imagery! Compelling Story! Well written! It’s a win, win, win. Highly recommend!”
  • “A beautiful and motivating story of Olga Pavlova’s perseverance and passion to excel, in spite of the many obstacles presented her.”
  • “Her exciting story captured my attention from the very beginning and was a page turner!”