Dancing Through It: My Journey in the Ballet

Jenifer Ringer

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Dancing Through It: My Journey in the Ballet

Dancing Through It My Journey in the Ballet A behind the curtains look at the rarefied world of classical ballet from a principal dancer at the New York City BalletIn her charming and self effacing voice Jenifer Ringer covers the highs and low

  • Title: Dancing Through It: My Journey in the Ballet
  • Author: Jenifer Ringer
  • ISBN: 9780670026494
  • Page: 294
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A behind the curtains look at the rarefied world of classical ballet from a principal dancer at the New York City BalletIn 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 onA behind the curtains look at the rarefied world of classical ballet from a principal dancer at the New York City BalletIn 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.

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      Published :2018-08-11T23:36:15+00:00

    One thought on “Dancing Through It: My Journey in the Ballet

    1. Diane S ☔ on said:

      Girls and ballet, was not immune to the admiration Infelt for these very elite dancers, their practices, dedication and all theta gave up on the name of dance. Body image and weight became a focal point along with the deep, faith Miss Ringer felt and brought to her craft. Surviving and thriving through all she did is a testament to her beliefs and her love of her craft. Disjointed at times but honestly written an interesting look at the ballet scene and the constant juggling of their weight and [...]

    2. Emma on said:

      As a fan of memoirs and dance movies, I was initially very excited to find this book. The inside cover led me to believe that the book would entail the ups and downs, the triumphs and difficulties, in the life of professional ballerina Jenifer Winger. And it didHowever, her retelling of her years as a dancer seemed short and glib at times. The chapters flitted around from topic to topic as though the memoir was concocted from a bullet-pointed list of all the questions she was expected to answer [...]

    3. Elizabeth on said:

      I have a lot of respect for Ringer after reading this. It's a very honest book and quite unflinching in it's assessment of the ballet world. The pressure to look and behave a certain way as a classical dancer can be almost claustrophobic in it's linear nature. It's not a forgiving place. For a dancer to learn to be kind to herself throughout that journey is a testament to her strength.

    4. Melinda Elizabeth on said:

      Sometimes I feel that books need to come with warnings. This one should have made it a bit clearer that it was going to weigh in heavily on religion and faith. If I'd known that going in, I might not have read it. That's not to say that I disagree with anyones chosen faith, but I feel a little let down when books begin to skew more towards theological discussion than what the book implies it will be about. I appreciate that she lost and found her faith and this was an important journey in her li [...]

    5. Maureen on said:

      This was a stretch for the third star but what the heck, I will be generous. There were parts of this book that were very good and parts that I just said what? The layout of the book is odd and mskes for disjointed storytelling. Also, while I have zero reason to doubt Ms. Ringer's faith, the constant references became tiresome and insincere. On that note I am pretty sure God has better things to do than cure a heel spur on this gal's foot. It seemed to me that she uses her faith as a crutch. For [...]

    6. Amy on said:

      2.5 stars. I agree with those who felt this was more a Christian story than an autobiography. I enjoyed some of the ballet parts very much, and while I could relate to her struggle with body image disorder, I couldn't relate at all to the ever-present Christianity and skimmed a lot of those parts. I would have preferred it if she'd chronologically included some of her dance bio thoughts rather than saving so many of them until she'd documented her Christian journey. I think this book is mainly f [...]

    7. Madeline Garland on said:

      This was a book that was really eye opening for me. Jenifer Ringer explains in detail the struggles she faced with eating disorders in her dance career. This book allows you to laugh and cry at the same time.

    8. Alan-Without-Poe on said:

      I had it zero intentions to finish it today, in fact I want never ended it, but it's a peculiarity who has the good books, I guess.

    9. Laura on said:

      I found this memoir to be pretty good--not thrilling, but rather nicely written (better in that regard, I'd say, than the other recent, high profile ballet memoir, "Life In Motion," by Misty Copeland; I'm not putting that book down; it was interesting and engaging, but was somewhat less coherent, with less accomplished prose, and more editorial, proofreading mistakes). Ms. Ringer states upfront (in the forward, I believe) that she will be putting some substantial emphasis on her Christian faith, [...]

    10. Liralen on said:

      Ringer had a long and successful career as a ballet dancer*, leaving her with plenty of stories and anecdotes -- but also, for the sake of this book, something of a problem, as there was, what, a fifteen-year gap between her struggles and the (moronic) review that (most likely) spurred on this book? Most of the relevant story takes place pre-1995; after Ringer's return to ballet, the narrative loses tension. It does so for a really good reason -- she was, at that point, healthy emotionally and p [...]

    11. Brenda on said:

      As a lifelong lover of dance, I'm always up for a ballerina memoir. Dancing Through It: My Journey In The Ballet by Jenifer Ringer is a personal and engaging insider's look at the New York City Ballet. A strong dancer from an early age, Ringer was thrilled to be accepted into the School of American Ballet (or, as I know it, the real-life Center Stage) in New York. She joined City Ballet at sixteen. Aside from a few leaves of absence, Ringer continued as a company member and eventual principal da [...]

    12. Emily on said:

      This memoir is as much about the author's experience with eating disorders and her faith as it is about ballet, but for her these things are closely connected. Raised in a Southern evangelical family that relocated to NYC partly for her dancing, Ringer joined the New York City Ballet as a teenager. Her family moved away soon after, leaving her alone in a high-pressure situation. She became hyperfocused on minute hints of negative feedback and developed a binging habit, sneaking out to delis to b [...]

    13. Jeanne Grunert on said:

      I really enjoyed this book! So many reviewers complained about the Christianity running through it, but I thought that's what set this memoir apart from so many others. Jenifer Ringer's journey is that of a professional ballerina and someone seeking a sense of self outside of her all-consuming work. Any artist can recognize their own journey there. Being a Christian is an integral part of her sense of self, and vital to the narrative. If you're looking for "dirt" or "gossip" on the ballet world, [...]

    14. Shay VanZwoll on said:

      Jenifer Ringer is a Principal Dancer at the New York City Ballet, and DANCING THROUGH IT is her memoir. It is not, however, strictly a memoir or autobiography of a dancer, it is also a Christian inspirational story. Unfortunately, there are times throughout the story that dancing plays second fiddle to her constant mentions of God and Faith. Religion is not bad in and of itself but using a book about ballet to preach is a little frustrating to the reader, especially since this book is not labele [...]

    15. Esty on said:

      You can read the full review and more on my blog.(:Wow. What a book.As you'll see in my little about me, I've been a dancer for longer than I haven't been in my short teenage life. So besides the incredible story and writing, this book really struck a chord with me.Jenifer walks you through the humble beginnings of every little girl who puts on pink tights, through the moving around, progressing in the dance school, apprenticing in the company and climbing the ranks. You go through the amazing t [...]

    16. Amanda on said:

      I thought this was a good book about the journey through the world of professional ballet. I was hooked through about 60% and then it got a bit disjointed for me. The beginning flowed really smoothly but towards the end there were whole chapters that were about performances she fell in and then performances where the music was messed up and they had to adjust. There was also a chapter about her favorite ballet she performed in. While I think any ballerina who has performed in that ballet would a [...]

    17. Shana Scudder on said:

      I was a bit skeptical at first. This book is as much a spiritual autobiography of Ringer's journey as an evangelical Christian as it is about her journey in the ballet. However, I ultimately found this book quite inspiring and, of course, an excellent source for my dissertation. In terms of being helpful for ED recovery, I have the same criticism of this book as I had for Menzie's: because she is an evangelical Christian, her recovery is written about as sort of a God-given miracle without much [...]

    18. Katrina on said:

      Remember: the following is my opinion and does not reflect on anything other than this.Jenifer Ringer's book about her life as New York City Ballet dancer was good. However, I was not a fan of her talking about god (ie: god planned it so I would dance the sugar plum fairy while Alistair was in the audience For the record, she didn't say exactly this). Yes she is allowed to right about her relationship with god but write a book about that and leave it our of a book about dancing. I wanted to read [...]

    19. Jessica on said:

      ***I received a copy of this book through a giveaway ***This book is an autobiography of the ballerina Jenifer Ringer. She talks about how much discipline and sacrifices takes to become a ballet dancer and how her faith in God help her through an eating disorder.I love ballet, so it was a very enjoyable read. I gave it 4 stars because I didn't fell that it was very well written. Other than that I though it was very inspirational and a great read for ballet lovers.

    20. Sarah M. on said:

      This is worth the read! An honest view of the intensely competitive world of professional ballet. Jenifer writes in a fresh, poetic style that is refreshing to read. Towards the end there is one chapter about a specific ballet that you can skip, but all in all, a great book.

    21. Amelia on said:

      Really it's a 3.5 star rating - it's an annoyance of mine that doesn't do half stars!

    22. Shuriu on said:

      [About "Serenade:"] The moment I heard the music and began to learn steps that fit the music so well that they seemed inevitable, I knew my life had changed. This was dancing. This felt completely right. If I were not allowed to dance these steps to this music, something would always be missing from my life. And there was a moment during my first performance of Serenade that was like a light taking up residence in my chest. (p. 2-3) …. I'd never danced steps like these to music that stirred me [...]

    23. Sharon on said:

      Entertaining and I am glad she found religion to help her with life. Religion helps some people.

    24. Janette Calabro on said:

      Love the honest opinion of a professional dancer's journey through many challenges. This book is an easy and interesting read!

    25. Donna Davis on said:

      I wanted to write a more thorough review of this interesting memoir, but due to a recent family loss, I am just going to cut to the chase. I doubt I could have really gotten through the forty or so sticky notes I placed in various places anyway. And a great big thank you goes to the publishers and for sending me a first-read.Ringer grew up in a military family with frequent family moves. The family actually had a moving routine, but their income was good enough that with reasonable budgeting, l [...]

    26. Katie on said:

      I really enjoyed this book. I initially added it to my TBR list because I read a review of it that said it was a good "behind the scenes" look at the world of ballet. I've always been fascinated with dance, especially ballet, due to the amazing athleticism and control of the ballerinas and the rigors they put themselves through to be the best at their craft.Dancing Through It definitely delivered on the "behind the scenes" front. Ringer not only discusses details such as rehearsals, training, ma [...]

    27. Deborah Replogle on said:

      While reading Ringer's memoir, I found that it developed into a work I hadn't really expected, always a pleasant surprise. While she writes of devoting herself to her artform ballet, I think she really touches on several extra issues. After informing the reader of her background and how her love of ballet or dance developed, she explains in some fascinating detail what exactly is expected of a professional dancer; the workouts, the constant practice, learning the choreography, how she dresses an [...]

    28. Selena on said:

      I just want to say that the blurb on the back was somewhat misleading. The way it talks, I thought the book would be entirely a behind-the-scenes type book about the ballet. There's so much more to this book, which both made me happy (because I got a lot more than I thought I would) and a little disappointed (I didn't get as much about the New York City Ballet as I thought I would from the blurb).Anyway, the writing is pretty good. Jenifer Ringer is a ballerina, not a professional writer (those [...]

    29. Ula Pranevicius on said:

      The book Dancing through it was amazing. For me there were no flaws in it. No matter how much I tired I simply couldn’t put it down. This might because I myself am a dancer, and because how motivating the authors story is. The reason I love memoirs are because they are true. This story was true which made it so motivating. The author went through many problems as a dancer ian as a person, she had struggles and she managed to make it. Besides that her life was very successful, and interesting.A [...]

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