No Way Home: A Dancer's Journey from the Streets of Havana to the Stages of the World

No Way Home: A Dancer's Journey from the Streets of Havana to the Stages of the World

by Carlos Acosta


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Carlos Acosta, the Cuban dancer considered to be one of the world's greatest performers, fearlessly depicts his journey from adolescent troublemaker to international superstar in his captivating memoir, No Way Home.

Carlos was just another kid from the slums of Havana; the youngest son of a truck driver and a housewife, he ditched school with his friends and dreamed of becoming Cuba's best soccer player. Exasperated by his son's delinquent behavior, Carlos's father enrolled him in ballet school, subjecting him to grueling days that started at five thirty in the morning and ended long after sunset.

The path from student to star was not an easy one. Even as he won dance competitions and wowed critics around the world, Carlos was homesick for Cuba, crippled by loneliness and self-doubt. As he traveled the world, Carlos struggled to overcome popular stereotypes and misconceptions; to maintain a relationship with his family; and, most of all, to find a place he could call home.

This impassioned memoir is about more than Carlos's rise to stardom. It is about a young man forced to leave his homeland and loved ones for a life of self-discipline, displacement, and physical hardship. It is also about how the heart and soul of a country can touch the heart and soul of one of its citizens. With candor and humor, Carlos vividly depicts daily life in communist Cuba, his feelings about ballet — an art form he both lovesand hates — and his complex relationship with his father. Carlos Acosta makes dance look effortless, but the grace, strength, and charisma we see onstage have come at a cost. Here, in his own words, is the story of the price he paid.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416567165
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 12/30/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 838,715
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.63(d)

Table of Contents



1. My Family

2. The Photograph

3. Beginning

4. The First Grand Plié

5. Plagued by Uncertainty

6. With Hate in My Heart

7. A Prisoner

8. Pinar del R’o


9. Take Off

10. The Grand Prix de Lausanne

11. History Repeats Itself

12. Chery's Decision

13. London at Eighteen

14. A Year Without Dancing

15. Beginning Again

16. Madrid


17. Fears and Insecurities

18. Back in Havana

19. The World Will Be Mine

20. Good-bye, Houston

21. The Lady and the Three Musketeers

22. A Moment of Happiness


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No Way Home: A Dancer's Journey from the Streets of Havana to the Stages of the World 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not a ballet dancers although I took lessons as a child 50 yrs ago, it really doesn't count. However I do love ballet and go whenever I get the chance. Love love loved this book, insightful and very well written, grabbed my attention from page one. This is a man who came from nothing in Cuba with all odds against him and made it to the top. Although I read this when it first came out years back and in spite of all the many books I've read since, I can honestly say that this is one of the few that stayed with me and I have always remembered. Well worth the money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He thrilled me on the ballet stage and charmed me through his writing.  A glimpse into the professional ballet world, but, much more, a personal journey, encompassing spiritual, cultural and economic conflicts.  Charming and lovely in style and particularly vivid in recreating Cuban life... A story full of family dynamics, obligations and the meaning of love...