TMW Book Reviews

Review – The Spark: The Legacy that Changed the Dance World (2nd Edition)


Cheryl Ale


Ballet is an exquisite form of art that expresses the truest passion. The Spark by Cheryl Ale is a one-of-a-kind book that rewrites the age-old traditional teachings in ballet. Ballet is perceived simply as moving and creating perfect lines with the body. Most ballet teachers follow the archaic method, which doesn’t hold any scope for experimenting. These techniques are not only ineffective but also cause countless emotional and physical damages. Cheryl Ale is the proponent of a new technique known as Revolutionary Principles of Movement (RPM). This is a combination of kinesiology and anatomy applied to dance. RPM is a method that frees your body and allows its natural expression. The controlled flow of energy eases our body to all styles and patterns of movements. This is the true embodiment of passion that helps us live our dream.

Author Cheryl Ale herself is an extraordinary success story. Her transformation from a girl with a broken leg to one of the best ballerina in the industry is no less than a miracle. The credit of her success belongs to Ruth Petrinovic, who developed the RPM technique. She applied the teachings of Jo Anna Kneeland and revolutionized this art form completely. Jo Anna used laws of physics to create a more understandable method in dance. With proper discipline and focus, anyone with any type of body can master ballet. You may think this is an exaggeration, but no, it is very much possible.

Teaching art is different from performing it. It’s because only a good mentor can create a true ‘spark’ in a child’s mind. Ballet is an ocean of complexities with different styles and levels. It is a a very difficult art form to master. In a world of fast-paced and ever-changing dance forms, a teacher needs to adapt to these developments. The true ‘spark’ only comes when we bring together our body, mind, and spirit to one goal. RPM is the technique that creates ‘spark’ in every performer’s body and mind.

Ruth Petrinovics’s students, including Cheryl, are the first generation of educators who mastered RPM. Every concept in RPM is conveyed with utmost clarity and conviction in this book. The accompanying illustrations certainly help the readers to form a better understanding of this method. This ground-breaking technique aims to create a healthy connection between the art and its performer. Because that’s where the magic lies…

– The Moving Words Review

Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2024