A couple of decades ago, the author was a competitive ballroom dancer who chose to leave dancing to raise a family; at the time, there was the feeling that competitive dancing might not be what most people would consider an appropriate career for a young woman. Later, after she had become a successful magazine editor, with a husband and children, she nevertheless felt unfulfilled, as though her life was missing some vital part of herself. Then, on Valentine’s Day, her husband gave her a gift of ballroom-dancing classes, and Carlson took the first step on the road to finding herself again. This is one of those rediscovering-myself memoirs, capably written and occasionally moving, if ultimately familiar to readers familiar with the increasingly popular genre. Thanks to the recent high profile of competitive ballroom dancing—both on television and in films—it’s likely that the milieu of the story may attract more interest than the voyage to self-discovery. --David Pitt
With insight and humor, Janet Carlson shares the joy, exhilarations, and self-revelations that ballroom dancing has brought her. She draws the reader into her lessons, her partnerships, and her life, and in doing so reveals just how accurately ballroom dancing both reflects and transforms life.
-- Bruno Collins, Vice President, American Ballroom Company; previously National Dance Director, Fred Astaire Dance Studios
"How gratifying to read a book that uses dancing as a metaphor for life and shows how it inspires the steps forward that every woman needs to take. This riveting personal story is guaranteed to help anyone find their center and balance. Brava Janet!"
-Evelyn Lauder, Senior Corporate Vice President of the Esteé Lauder
"Janet Carlson beautifully describes ballroom dancing as intricate, joyful, athletic, and most importantly, a way to learn how to live life. If you can't hit the dance floor, read this book. Better yet, do both."
-Barbara Lazear Ascher, author of Landscape without Gravity
and Playing After Dark
"It's like combining a gym membership and therapy. Plus you get to do it in heels."
-- Los Angeles Times
"Carlson is to be commended not only for getting out of her marriage and moving on, but also writing about it in such an open and liberating manner."
-- USA Today
"Carlson draws you into the experience until you feel you are in the arms of a muscular Eastern European in tight pants. Is that such a bad thing?"
-- New York Post
"While Elizabeth Gilbert [author of Eat, Pray, Love
] traveled the world to suss out what she needed to know, Janet Carlson had only to buy the right shoes and show up at a local dance studio."
-- Daily News