I Was a Dancer and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $35.00
  • Save: $9.73 (28%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it Tuesday, April 22? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Some visible wear, and minimal interior marks. Unbeatable customer service, and we usually ship the same or next day. Over one million satisfied customers!
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

I Was a Dancer Hardcover – Deckle Edge


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Deckle Edge
"Please retry"
$25.27
$8.99 $0.38 $10.00

Frequently Bought Together

I Was a Dancer + Holding On to the Air: An Autobiography + Once A Dancer . . .: An Autobiography
Price for all three: $61.61

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1St Edition edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400042348
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400042340
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Highly engaging. . . with many passages of particular import for Balanchine devotees. . . enthusiasm is what he does best, and he makes it infectious."
—Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times Book Review

"In his memoir, I Was a Dancer, Jacques d’Amboise proves that great artists are not necessarily limited to their own fields of accomplishment. He leaps gracefully from one superbly written paragraph to the next, carrying the reader high in the air through a fascinating life, illustrated by wonderful photographs and his own amusing illustrations."
—Hannah Pakula

"God of music, poetry, and the arts. It’s no coincidence that Apollo was Jacques’s greatest role. And when he tossed me into the air in Swan Lake, I knew I could really fly. An honest and revealing glimpse into the soul of one of our greatest dancers. The heart of a lion, the stamina of a thoroughbred, the grace and beauty of a Michelangelo. Unpredictable, generous, dependable, infuriating and consistently brilliant. In other words: Jacques d’Amboise. The fascinating journey of one of our great dancers, honest, revealing and beautifully told."
—Allegra Kent

“Jacques d’Amboise is one of the great dancers of our time. His story is an American story: how did a poor street-kid from Washington Heights rise to the summit of ballet and make himself an American Apollo and a household name? It is all here in this poignant and personal memoir: he did it through discipline and poetry; through romantic love and fierce intelligence. Above all, he did it through dancing.” 
—Jennifer Homans, author of Apollo’s Angels

“Jacques’ searingly honest, endlessly-fascinating voice takes you on a wild, fun-filled ride through the world of dance, introducing you to unforgettable characters and entertaining adventures. It is a tribute to Jacques that he speaks to readers as if he was talking to his best friends.”
—Donald Newhouse

About the Author

Jacques d’Amboise was a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet for more than thirty-three years. In 1976, he founded the National Dance Institute, and is the author of Teaching the Magic of Dance (1983). He has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, among them the Kennedy Center Honor, the National Medal of Arts, and fellowships from the Academy of Arts and Sciences and the MacArthur Foundation. He has won an Academy Award, six Emmy Awards, and the Peabody Award. He lives in New York City and Hunter, New York.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
17
4 star
6
3 star
2
2 star
1
1 star
0
See all 26 customer reviews
I loved this book so much I couldn't put it down.
Catherine S. Schwallie
If you are interested in finding insightful and personal portraits of some of the legendary figures of New York City Ballet, this book is great.
Garrett Buhl Robinson
For anyone interested in dance or a Horatio Alger story of luck, talent and perseverance, this is a great and interesting life story.
Sacramento Book Review

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Catherine D. Hahn on April 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have worked as a volunteer for National Dance Institute in the past and have always loved the work that Jacques and NDI do with the children. To read of his dance journey in his words is a treat. Makes me smile the same way Jacques does...well done. What a beautiful dance filled life this dear man enjoys!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Burke on March 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
More people should know about Jacques D'Amboise. His contribution not only to the arts as a ballet dancer but to the lives of thousands of children at his National Dance Institute is an inspiration. He is a man who sees what's possible in life and who sees and nurtures the potential in every child. Dance is his medium but the appreciation of the human spirit is his true talent in my opinion. I hope he is known more widely through this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By France Kassing on March 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
First, I must confess that I have been a fan of Jacques d'Amboise for decades, even though I've never seen him dance in person. I approached his autobiography with the hope of getting to know this gracious, gifted and extraordinary man a little better. I was not disappointed. His descriptions of some of the family, friends, and colleagues who've accompanied him over his eventful life are exquisite. True to his roots, humble and compassionate, with an impish sense of humor, Jacques d'Amboise takes us from the table of his indomitable and ardently supportive French-Canadian mom, through the rough streets of New York City, to his first ballet class, tours in London and Paris when he was only 15 and 16, his work and friendship with Balanchine, his willful self transformation as a dancer, his insights into some of the glitterati of the ballet world, and his compassionate, caring approach to his aging friends and to the promising young people he encounters through his generous work with the national dance Institute. He made me laugh out loud and also sob, sometime from one page to another. I found this to be an uplifting book, just as I imagine sitting down with this lovely man for a cup of tea would be. His autobiography is a reminder to all of the power of self-discipline, a positive and joyful attitude, combined with intense focus in attaining a rich and happy life.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By N. Forrester on April 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jacque D'Amboise is a good writer, and with his long history in the NYC ballet, he has many fascinating stories to tell. He's gracious, not gossipy, but you still get a sense of the personalities of the star dancers and, of course, Ballanchine.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A reader on January 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is an interesting and worthwhile memoir desperately in need of a good editor. The book is much too long, detailed and discursive, and at times it seems a bit disingenuous. Was Jacques REALLY such an innocent? A virgin when he married and a faithful husband, despite the notoriously free-wheeling circles in which he spent his life? Maybe so, but I suspect that he wouldn't want to admit to anything that would get him into belated trouble with his wife. There's something sanitized about this autobiography, or perhaps it just seems that way in contrast to the decidedly sordid picture of backstage life presented in the autobiographies of other dancers.

Looming over most of this memoir is the shadow of that incomparable colossus of the ballet world, George Balanchine. The best parts of the book are the author's descriptions of his interactions with Balanchine, what he learned from the great choreographer, as well as Balanchine's effect on other dancers and the entire world of classical ballet. The one part of the memoir that really touches the reader is d' Amboise's description of Balanchine's tragic mental and physical decline, and the effect this had on the author and the other dancers.

This is a good book that would have been a lot better if an able editor had pruned it down to about half its current length.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Garrett Buhl Robinson on December 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you are interested in finding insightful and personal portraits of some of the legendary figures of New York City Ballet, this book is great.

If you are interested in gaining a view of the cultural scene of New York City from the interior where luminaries such as W.H. Auden, Marcel Duchamp and numerous others revolved around City Center like a galaxy of stars, this book is great.

If you want to hear great stories about George Balanchine told from a close friend, this book is great. One of my favorites is when Mr. D'Amboise bumps into Mr. Balanchine turning off all the lights at the School of American Dance before leaving for the evening with the explanation of saving energy costs. Not only does this provide an illustration that an undisputed artistic genius also possessed a practical sensibility, two qualities of character which are frequently and erroneously portrayed as incongruent, there is the subtle implication artfully rendered that yes, Mr. B. was often the last to leave the building.

Don't expect to find Mr. D'Amboise spending any time deifying these characters, though. He does much better than that. He shows them in the beauty and wonder of their humanity, and despite their foibles and vulnerabilities, they were able to achieve gloriously inspiring lives.

Above and beyond this, there is something more that makes this a truly exceptional book. This story depicts a young man who was raised in the most humble circumstances and through dedication and devotion, develops himself into one of the most spectacular and remarkable individuals of the Twentieth Century and beyond. And the stories within this story do not disappoint.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa51806f0)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?