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: My Journey in the Ballet ($27.95) is moving and revelatory.
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.
Jenifer Ringer is a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet (NYCB). Before joining NYCB as an apprentice in 1989, she studied at the School of American Ballet. She is married to former NYCB principal dancer James Fayette. They live in New York City.
A behind-the-curtains look at the rarefied world of classical ballet from a principal dancer at the New York City Ballet