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Becoming Ginger Rogers: How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner, and Smarter CEO Paperback – September 6, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...an absorbing, inspirational memoir of a gutsy woman navigating through crises toward self-fulfillment."
— Publishers Weekly

"Becoming Gingers Rogers is a timely exploration of the problems faced by high-flying modern women, as well as a persuasive manifesto for the real-world applications of ballroom—and for the sheer joy of dance."
— Dance Today

“Tanaka's toe-tapping tale of how she awakens to the rhythms of her body and learns to dance through her mistakes — at work as well as in the ballroom — shines with inspiration. It may even send you off to buy a sequined dress and some Ginger Rogers shoes of your own.”
— Alice Schroeder, best-selling author of The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

“In her compelling Becoming Ginger Roger: How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, a Better Partner and Smarter CEO, she reports how she reached stardom in her newfound hobby while morphing her into a more effective manager and boss. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop!”
— Harold Burson, Founder and Chairman, Burson-Marsteller

"If you’re a “Dancing With the Stars” fan, you'll love this book about ballroom dancing and how it transformed Patrice Tanaka's life and made her a happier woman and more successful CEO."
— Edyta Sliwinska, Ballroom Champion, “Dancing With the Stars” Seasons 1-10

"This is such a great analogy … how performing fearlessly in the ballroom world can impact one's courage and perspective in the business world. Patrice Tanaka's inspiring memoir about the lessons she learned on the dance floor and how she applied them to her life and career is a joy to read."
— Nina DiSesa, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, McCann New York

Becoming Ginger Rogers is about performing full out and fearlessly in the ballroom world and adopting that approach to great success in the business world. As her client of more than a decade, I can vouch for that being the case. Patrice has written a joyful and inspiring memoir about the lessons learned from competitive ballroom dancing that have helped her to a richly rewarding business and personal life.”
— Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, President, Charles Schwab Foundation

“If you’ve ever thought about learning to ballroom dance, this inspiring book by Patrice Tanaka will convince you to run, not walk, to your nearest dance studio.”
— John Kimmins, President, Arthur Murray Studios

“Through [Tanaka’s] courage and sense of purpose she makes us see what love and determination can achieve."
— Madeline DeVries Hooper, Founder, DeVries PR

About the Author

Patrice Tanaka is co-chair, chief creative officer, and whatcanbe SM ambassador for CRT/tanaka, an entity she helped co-found in September 2005. Her agency has been recognized as the “Best Agency to Work for in America,” “Most Admired Mid-Size PR Agency in the U.S.,” and “#1 Most Creative PR Agency in America,” among other accolades by various PR organizations and trade media. CRT/tanaka has also won more than 300 PR and marketing awards for client campaigns.

Patrice has been honored by many public relations, marketing, business, and civic organizations, including the Public Relations Society of America (“Paul M. Lund Award for Public Service”), The Holmes Group (“Creativity All-Star” Award), New York Women in Communications (“Matrix” Award), Association for Women in Communications (“Headliner” Award), Girl Scout Council of Greater New York (“Woman of Distinction” Award), Working Mother Magazine (“Mothering That Works” Award), and Asian Women in Business (“Entrepreneurial Leadership Award”).

Born and raised in Hawaii, Patrice graduated from the University of Hawaii in 1974 and following that worked as an editor at Hawaii Press Newspapers in Honolulu and later served as PR Director of the Hotel Inter-Continental Maui in Wailea. In 1979, she fulfilled a life-long dream of moving to New York City. Patrice joined Jessica Dee Communications, a PR agency she helped to build, which was acquired by Chiat/Day Advertising in 1987. In 1990, she led a management buyback of a group of eleven colleagues to co-found PT&Co. and served as the PR agency’s CEO & Chief Creative Officer. In 2005, Patrice and her co-founders sold PT&Co. to Richmond, Virginia-based Carter Ryley Thomas to form CRT/tanaka.

A widow since 2003, Patrice lives in Manhattan. She devotes much of her free time to serving on the boards of non-profit organizations dedicated to helping women and girls, including the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York, the Family Violence Prevention Fund, the American Friends of Phelophepa (the South African health care train), and Asian Women in Business. She also serves on the Past Presidents Council of New York Women in Communications and is a former trustee and member of the Women’s Forum New York. Patrice is a competitive ballroom dancer and avid tennis player.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 271 pages
  • Publisher: BenBella Books (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936661039
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936661039
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #437,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Danzer J on September 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Start with a love of Ginger. Add 3 cups' vulnerability. A pound or two of tenacity. And whip together with a whole lot of savvy instinct. You've got the makings of a hilarious and awe-inspiring memoir on how a perfectionist can find self-awareness, health, wellness and joy at any time in life's journey, even in one's 50s. In Becoming Ginger Rogers, we go on a heartfelt and entertaining waltz through one woman's most challenging life moments. We learn the basic steps for dancing through these moments with more ease and grace and brilliance -- not to mention joy!!

Patrice Tanaka combines self-deprecation and huge insight in a way only highly intelligent writers and thinkers can. Her honesty both with herself and thus the reader packs a powerful punch and her smart internal temperature reads teach us all how to be better, smarter and happier at whatever we do while on this journey of life.
And along the way, she's become one heck of dancer as evidenced by her online videos!!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brenda Fields on September 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've know Patrice Tanaka for almost 30 years and have shared in many of her triumphs as well as difficult times. But reading her book took me to places in her experience that I did not know existed. Her "no holds barred" approach combined with her practical insights and wisdom is a true inspiration. Regardless of your interests or station in life, there is something for everyone in this book! I loved reading it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Murphy on October 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved Patrice's book. She made this wonderful experience with ballroom dancing into a must read for any business person. The lessons learned are truly universal and it was great to see this deftly put to pen by a captivating story teller. I can't wait to see what she writes next!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ana Fabiano on September 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Saturated in a genuine voice Patrice Tanaka courageously shares her personal journey from a place of wisdom, integrity and service.
Many valuable and progressive messages and lessons make this work a must read and a great book club choice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joyce A. Richards on September 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Patrice Tanaka has shared her unique story of dreams coming true . In the process of learning Ballroom, she finds herself learning a better way to operate in the board room , and in her personal relationships. By learning about partnership in dance, she found the importance of trust and the freedom and joy in just letting go and allowing true love of oneself... Body and soul. Her story of late life dreams and the real energy involved in acting on those dreams stands as a model for us all to follow.
In the book we learn the behind the scene world of learning competitive dancing while at the same time learning new ways to work more successfully in a demanding career in unprecedented times of change , I can see clearly in her memoir that no matter what steps are taken, and how good the choreography... a nimble spirit filled with joy can make all the difference ! The book was fun to read and it stands as one woman's samba toward self realization that we all can learn from. The book is uniquely structured and it was for me a fun afternoon read. Very easy to follow and very easy to provide one's own personal empathy and true life analogies. Great book for boomers who have for whatever reason, put dreams in moth balls!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Palyo on September 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed your book! I can definitely relate to your experience. When I was 45 I weighed 300 pounds. I made myself a promise to lose 100 pounds by my 50th birthday. I ended up losing 150 pounds by age 50, then started ballroom lessons at the same age you did. I competed for 6 years. As an only child, I have always been very disciplined. I understand how you felt when learning to dance: always seeking perfection!! I have shared your book with many female friends who also started dance lessons after 50. I plan on meeting you someday so we can share our experiences personally!!!
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Format: Paperback
Inspiring, entertaining, informative - on so many levels. This is a beautiful story about how a very successful businesswoman transformed and reinvigorated both her personal life and her professional life at age 50 by pursuing a lifelong dream to learn ballroom dancing.

For Tanaka, ballroom dancing became a "life raft" during a particularly challenging time. She does a great job of taking the reader along for the ride through her experiences, realizations, and transformations. Immediately, I was swept into the book's current by the hilarious story about a fantastic and memorable PR campaign for Dyson vacuum cleaners, and I read straight through!

I found myself really rooting for Tanaka, and that extended to a feeling that I was also rooting for myself and for others I know who have experienced similar trials and challenges.

One of the biggest joys of this book, for me, is the author doesn't hold anything back -- she's completely honest about her personal and professional trials as well as her personal and professional triumphs. She wrote the book in the same manner in which she has learned to dance - no-holds-barred.

The book is very valuable as a straight business memoir (but it's also so much more than that), as Tanaka gives a totally candid and informative account of the inner workings of a PR agency and of some high-profile campaigns, like the Dyson one. You don't need to be a PR insider to benefit from the view - the information will be valuable to anyone involved in service-oriented, creative, or entrepreneurial business.

I found the book to be very well paced and nicely balanced between the business stories, the personal stories, and the dance stories.
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