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Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: Viking Adult
|Publication Date: 2014|
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
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In her charming and self-effacing voice, Jenifer Ringer covers the highs and lows of what it’s like to make it to the top in the exclusive, competitive ballet world. From the heart-pounding moments waiting in the wings before a performance to appearing on Oprah to discuss weight and body image among dancers, Dancing Through It is moving and revelatory.
Raised in South Carolina, Ringer led a typical kid’s life until she sat in on a friend’s ballet class, an experience that would change her life forever. By the age of twelve she was enrolled at the elite Washington School of Ballet and soon moved to the School of American Ballet. At sixteen she was a professional dancer at the New York City Ballet in Manhattan, home of the legendary George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.
Ringer takes us inside the dancer’s world, detailing a typical day, performance preparation, and the extraordinary pressures that these athletes face. Ringer shares exhilarating stories of starring in Balanchine productions, working with the famous Peter Martins, and of meeting her husband and falling in love at the New York City Ballet. Ringer also talks candidly of Alistair Macauley’s stinging critique of her weight in his 2010 New York Times review of The Nutcracker that ignited a public dialogue about ballet and weight. She unflinchingly describes her personal struggles with eating disorders and body image, and shares how her faith helped her to heal and triumph over these challenges.
“As a dancer, Jenifer Ringer offers quintessential musicality, brilliant technique, infectious humor, and a good old dash of gorgeous. As a writer, she offers all of this and more, providing us with a rare opportunity to look behind the curtain and understand the pressures, challenges, and rewards faced by this remarkable individual. Dancing Through It is one of the most candid and insightful books about classical ballet I have ever read. An honest portrait of the rarefied world of the New York City Ballet, Jenny’s writing will make you tear up, roar with laughter, and reflect on the myriad pressures and rewards of being a dancer and an artist. Long before you’ve put this book down, you will want to shout ‘Brava’ once again for this treasured ballerina and gifted author.” —Peter Boal, artistic director, Pacific Northwest Ballet
“One of New York’s most beautiful dancers, Jenifer Ringer brings idealism, humor, and a raw, searing honesty to this poignant memoir. I had a hard time putting the book down, and I teared up several times.”
—Wendy Perron, author of THROUGH THE EYES OF A DANCER, and editor at large, DANCE MAGAZINE
Fitzysmom4 Stars Out Of 5Review from Rambles of a SAHMOctober 29, 2015FitzysmomQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Reading a good memoir is like getting a sneak peek into the life of someone you admire. I've never been a dancer myself but I raised a beautiful dancer and watched her go from tiny ballerina to professional dancer. Reading Dancing Through It brought back many memories both happy and frustrating.
Jenifer Ringer did a masterful job of letting you see behind all the costumes and sets and into the practice studios and after hours of recovery that make up the real life of a professional dancer. I appreciated the honesty that she used when talking about the sacrifices that were made not only by herself but her family. To become an elite dancer you have to be willing to let it be all consuming and your family invariably is along for the ride.
I also appreciated her honesty about how her spiritual life took a back seat because ballet came first. She would be the first to tell you that time was difficult because she forgot Who she was ultimately performing for.
Lest you think this is a book that only focuses on the rigors of the profession let me assure you that it is also a beautiful love story. Jenifer and James have a fascinating history together and it was fun to read about it. But this is also a love story between Jenifer and Jesus. And that is the best part of the book for me.
If you are a dancer or raising a dancer this is the perfect book to give you insight into what is ahead and a way to be in the performing arts community without losing your faith.
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
susanNew JerseyAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Inspiring testimony of a Christian ballerinaApril 14, 2014susanNew JerseyAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5For the little girl still living inside us who once wished to be a ballerina, Jenifer's book is a treasure. She helps us know how it feels to soar across the stage. And there are two love stories here--one about her dancing partner-turned-husband, and the other about the Lord who rescued her when she turned back to Him. What a testimony Jenifer has!