Review – Dancing Through It, Jenifer Ringer

I remember reading the newspaper or a magazine, a number of years ago about a ballet critic had criticised one of the dancers in a review and had implied that they were overweight for a dancer and how the entire world was kicking-off about it (rightfully so). I didn’t realise until I had read the back cover synopsis of Jenifer Ringer’s autobiography, that this was the story of that very dancer.

This book is really well written, and incredibly easy to read. It’s written how I imagine the author would speak.

Jenifer is incredibly candid in this book and holds nothing back when talking about her issues and the challenges in life that have moulded her to who she is today.

This was the first ballet autobiography that I had read, but I’m a massive fan of this style of book, so was very keen to read it.  I’ve read a ridiculous number of biographies on classical music composers, so had a good idea on what makes a good readable biography/autobiography. 

The book follows Jenifer from her early childhood days in Carolina, USA, where she was raised in Summerville. She began studying dance at the age of ten years old and subsequently joined the School of American Ballet after attending the Washington School of Ballet for two years.

She joined the New York City Ballet in 1990 and was promoted to soloist in 1995. The story follows her as she took time off soon after, and, in 2000, was promoted to principal.

I would gladly recommend this book to any ballet enthusiast, as the revelations of life inside one of (if not the) most famous ballet companies in the world are incredibly eye-opening.