Today is International Dance Day, an opportunity to appreciate all kinds of dancing. Dancing is one of the ways we connect with different cultures and art forms around the world. If you have watched dancing competitions, music videos, or even have been to a show; you might know that first-hand experience. If you are a dancer yourself, we at Bookstr acknowledge your talents and aspirations! To commemorate this day, we have five Dancing Memoirs that readers of any kind will want to shake their hips too and maybe learn a few dance moves!
1. Dancing Through It by Jenifer Ringer
A wonderful ballet performer, Jenifer Ringer; read her experience when she received a heinous comment about her weight during her performance in The Nutcracker. Journalist Alastair Macaulay’s comment sparked a fire. This memoir explores her eating disorders, and how to control the mind, body, and soul. It gives a close-up of the ballet industries, expectations, and weight flaws of the art.
2. Every Step You Take: A Memoir by Jock Soto
The well-known famous Jock Soto writes about his experience as an openly gay Puerto Rican and Navajo dancer. He is well known for his ballet and for facing the challenges in a straight white man-dominated world. He tries to find his place in the world of dance. His performance in the documentary Water Flowing Together, was part of what kickstarted his dancing career. Read, a diverse memoir about being different and rising from it.
3. Beauty in Partnership: A Memoir of Ballroom Dancing by John S. Munday
Using Munday’s dance experience, this memoir can teach patience, to never give up, to practice, and to keep learning. This can benefit dance partners to communicate, understand, and plan without placing blame. For dancers that have struggled with their dancing and partnerships; this book is good for competitors, formation teams, and social dancers.
4. Tango Lessons by Meghan Flaherty
Meghan didn’t expect to be joining a tango class. She hates the idea of someone touching her. Triggered by the trauma she has been reserved and hasn’t taken care of herself. But she needed a change and got out her cha-cha heels. In the art of tango and most dancing performances, there is a leader and follower, the women are usually the ones who follow. Meghan became a beginner and then soon started performing in New York dance halls at night. She learns the key to dance isn’t just the footwork, but strength, patience, and balance. She makes it a rule that romance isn’t in the mix. But soon her heart is in a tango, maybe. This memoir has lyrical prose and can enrich dancers and non-dancers alike about the history of tango.
5. Dancing in Blackness by Halifu Osumare
Get ready for a personal journey that spans four decades and goes across twenty-three counties. This memoir places black culture and dance at the forefront. Halifax’s background and career in dance start here. In the 1960s, from San Francisco during the Black Arts Movement and with the hippie counterculture on the rise; dance was the revolutionary path she took. She has been to Europe, teaching jazz ballet, creating her own company in Copenhagen, and helping establish the black dance scene. She integrated black culture when she danced for Rod Rogers Dance Company and continued within the Lincoln Center.
Excited to hear more of Halifu’s accomplishments, interpretive dance, and the cultural change she brought to dance?
FEATURED IMAGE VIA CANVA by GABRIELLE MAYA