Dancing Through It: My Journey in the Ballet

Dancing Through It: My Journey in the Ballet

by Jenifer Ringer


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“A glimpse into the fragile psyche of a dancer.” —The Washington Post

Jenifer Ringer, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, was thrust into the headlines after her weight was commented on by a New York Times critic, and her response ignited a public dialogue about dance and weight.

Ballet aficionados and aspiring performers of all ages will want to join Ringer behind the scenes as she shares her journey from student to star and candidly discusses both her struggle with an eating disorder and the media storm that erupted after the Times review. An unusually upbeat account of life on the stage, Dancing Through It is also a coming-of-age story and an inspiring memoir of faith and of triumph over the body issues that torment all too many women and men.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143127024
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/24/2015
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 251,160
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jenifer Ringer was a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, retiring in 2014. Before joining NYCB as an apprentice in 1989, she studied at the School of American Ballet. Ringer has a BA in English from Fordham University and is a recipient of the Dance Magazine Award and the Jerome Robbins Award. She is married to former NYCB principal dancer James Fayette. They live in Los Angeles, California, with their two children.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Chapter 1 Tiptoe 6

Chapter 2 New York 28

Chapter 3 The Company 59

Chapter 4 Darkling 86

Chapter 5 Dawning 121

Chapter 6 Dancing Through 150

Chapter 7 Intermission 162

Chapter 8 The Other Side 188

Chapter 9 Sugar Plumgate 211

Chapter 10 Dancing Dances at a Gathering 232

Chapter 11 Facing Away 245

Chapter 12 The Mirror 255

Acknowledgments 259

Ballet Glossary 261

Index 265

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Jenifer Ringer’s book is an honest and exhilarating look into the life of a young dancer, with both the excitement of achievement and the desperate anxiety given proper treatment. This is a must-read for anyone entering the dance community, but even more broadly, for any young person passionately following their dream. Jenifer was fortunate to have help in conquering her eating disorder and other demons, and this book may be a help to those wrestling with their own issues. Besides, for those of us who wish we could dance, knowing about it from the inside is a rare privilege.” —Kathy Keller, coauthor of THE MEANING OF MARRIAGE
“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


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Dancing Through It: My Journey in the Ballet 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Gardenseed More than 1 year ago
This is a fascinating look inside the New York City Ballet and the daily lives of the people who dance in it. The author describes her training, the heavy demands on junior dancers, and how,  with the help of prayer and her Christian faith she successfully battled her demons of self doubt and overweight.. Photographs are included. This is a book for young and old dancers, and for those of us who tried our hardest, but succeeded in other professions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so inspiring and so amazing in so many was. Thank you Jennifer for showing that you can truly 'Dance Through It!'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too preachy
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
Reading 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent memoir for anyone interested in ballet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a dancer and I could really relate to many of the things in the book. Especially the part aboout body image. She is right about mirrors. We are surronded by them. Most of the time we look for everything wrong in the mirror, not what is right. I also love how much Jenifer Ringer brings up her faith in the book. I am a Christian and every single dance in every single performance is done for the glory of God. If anyone reading this lives in the Port Saint Lucie area in Florida and needs an awesome dance school to go to I recommend Amazing Grace School of Dance. P.S. I just got my pointe shoes!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE DANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!