Welcome to Our Ballet Book List!

In Ballet Book Club, we read one ballet related title each month and discuss it weekly in our Facebook group. This page is our running book list. 

Since we've just begun our club, there are only three titles here for now. But check back! I'll be adding a new book to this page each month.

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May 2020 Book of the Month

In Dancing Through ItNew York City Ballet dancer Jenifer Ringer shares how an eating disorder almost ends her ballet career — but of how she ultimately goes on to have a long, successful tenure at NYCB, even being promoted to principal dancer in the year 2000.

She also shares an interesting milestone of her life: she receives a throng of media attention in 2010, when New York Times reviewer Alastair Macaulay writes that, on stage, Ringer "looked as if she'd eaten one sugar plum too many."

Many of Ringer’s fans, aware of her previous struggles with an eating disorder, feel a collective sense of outrage toward Macaulay. 

His review goes viral, and thousands of people rise to Ringer’s defense, a surreal but also encouraging experience for her.

She ends up discussing the review and her reaction to it on national television, in appearances on both Oprah and The Today Show.

Dancing Through It is available on Amazon and at the following online shops:

Readers will appreciate Ringer's behind-the-scenes insights into life at NYCB and also her unique views on body image and self-acceptance.

April 2020 Book of the Month

In Raising the Barre, immersive journalist Lauren Kessler decides — in her fifties — to pursue her lifelong dream of dancing in the Nutcracker, even though she hasn't stepped foot in a ballet studio since she was a child.

This story is particularly appealing to adult ballet students, for many of us secretly wish we could go all-in with ballet.

Kessler, for several months anyway, does just that.

She covers the ups and downs of her training and cumulative performance, but she also touches on topics such as body image, perfectionism, and the shift in perspective that many people experience in middle age. Kessler is open about both her insecurities and her triumphs, and her humor and relatability is endearing.

Raising the Barre is a fascinating and inspirational read for anyone who loves ballet.

This book is available on Amazon. Here are a few more places you can grab a copy of Raising the Barre:

I hope you enjoy this rare glimpse into what can happen when an adult goes after ballet with all their heart.

March 2020 Book of the Month

Joanna Marsh's debut novel tells the story of adult ballet beginner Colette Larsen.

Cantique follows Colette through a jarring career change and a tumultuous time of self-discovery. It explores how she grapples with her passion for ballet — she longs to be part of the ballet world, but isn't she too late?

Perhaps, but perhaps not.

When Colette happens across handwritten, eighteenth century sheet music from a long lost ballet, she suddenly finds herself immersed in the arts community she has admired from afar.

She also, by pure chance, meets James Brennan — a laid-back, confident professional ballet dancer — and these two twenty-somethings form a nearly instant connection. 

As a modern-day love story peppered with historical fiction and plenty of relatable adult ballet moments, this book is one of a kind.  

Cantique is available on Amazon. You can also find it at the following online shops:

This book is special, not only because it tells a beautiful story, but also because it focuses on the unique experience of being a dedicated adult ballet student.