Every Step You Take

Every Step You Take

A Memoir

Book - 2011
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In June 2005 Jock Soto, age 40, gave his farewell performance as a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. The program capped one of the most storied careers in ballet history--an ascent that began when Soto was just three years old. After retiring, Soto was determined to embrace a new future, teaching at the School of American Ballet, but he found himself obsessed with questions about his past. This book weaves together the diverse strands of Soto's life: being the offspring of a Puerto Rican-Navajo couple, the gay son of a fiercely macho man, a naive teenager from the desert running in the sophisticated art world of New York, and a driven artist by day and hard-core party animal by night. Soto recalls his professional relationships with such icons as George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Darci Kistler, and Lourdes Lopez, and shares his love of food in recipes marking the pivotal moments in his story.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Harper, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061732386
Branch Call Number: B Soto 2011
Characteristics: ix, 271 p. : ill. ; 22 cm


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Sep 27, 2012

Enjoyed this memoir a great deal. I studied ballet as a child and became a passionate fan. A couple of decades older than Soto, I saw many of the greats on the QE stage in the sixties, seventies and early eighties. Among them was Peter Martins, who figures prominently (as his surrogate father) in the book. As a gay man, I can also appreciate his insecurities and relate to his fears. However, it’s a remarkable story that should be accessible to anyone who enjoys dance. How many fourteen year olds live alone in Manhattan while attending the School of American Ballet? Being promoted to principal dancer at the age of twenty-one also speaks to Soto’s ferocious dedication and prodigious ability. Descriptions (crafted with the help of Leslie Marshall) of collaborating with choreographers and partners and performing demanding works on stage or simply the sensations of movement are both compelling and convincing. Characters, too, are appealing and well-drawn (especially Jo, Jock’s Navajo mother), and the narrative is simple and affecting. (If you cry easily, keep a box of Kleenex handy.) Jock Soto and his partner are trained chefs. So recipes are sprinkled throughout. Unless you like very rich food, heavy on meat and dairy (neither of which I eat) though, you'll want to skip these.


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