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Every Step You Take: A Memoir pdf Every Step You Take: A Memoir, ebook Every Step You Take: A Memoir, epub Every Step You Take: A Memoir, doc Every Step You Take: A Memoir, e-pub Every Step You Take: A Memoir, Every Step You Take: A Memoir c947f1c7fea Jock Soto, One Of The Greatest Ballet Dancers Of Our Time Chronicles The Unique Circumstances Of His Extraordinary Career, His Life Among Other Legends Of Dance, And His Background As A Half Navajo, Half Puerto Rican Gay Man Struggling To Succeed In The Straight White World Of The Arts Regarded As The Greatest Ballet Dancer Since Baryshnikov, Soto Has Achieved A Level Of Success And Fame Enjoyed By Few Ballet Aficionados Will Be Familiar With Soto From The Award Winning PBS Documentary, Water Flowing Together, Which Chronicled His Life And Career Now, Lifelong Dance Adherents And Causal Fans Alike Will Have The Chance To Hear The Captivating Story Of One Of The World S Greatest Living Performers.


10 thoughts on “Every Step You Take: A Memoir

  1. says:

    Reading dancer Jock Soto s memoir is a bit like skipping dinner for a supper of circulating tiny hors d oeuvres at a swank cocktail party there are plenty of tasty morsels, though nothing really fills you up.The book is initially narrated as if it s a memoir about a mixed heritage gay man s relationship with his motherbut it s not, really, though it s obvious her passing affected him deeply It should perhaps have been a comprehensive look at Soto s career as principal dancer within the N Reading dancer Jock Soto s memoir is a bit like skipping dinner for a supper of circulating tiny hors d oeuvres at a swank cocktail party there are plenty of tasty morsels, though nothing really fills you up.The book is initially narrated as if it s a memoir about a mixed heritage gay man s relationship with his motherbut it s not, really, though it s obvious her passing affected him deeply It should perhaps have been a comprehensive look at Soto s career as principal dancer within the New York City Ballet, but his early training is quickly related and anyone attempting to glean hard information about his work with George Balanchine or Jerome Robbins or any of the other hundreds of talented choreographers and artists with whom he worked will come away disappointed As a chronicle of its time, it suffers Soto sums up the nineteen eighties simply by tossing a mixed salad of names into a paragraph Andy Warhol Debbie Harry Basquiat Keith Haring and calling it a day.The book s odd pacing and structure is made evendigressive by the inclusion or interruption of several of the author s favorite recipes I like recipes Just not necessarily in my dance biographies And I don t want to spoil anyone s experience of the book and its cuisine, but one of the recipes isor less Hey, why not spread some caviar on a toasted bagel The book is a swift, light read, and was interesting enough to make me not really notice how much of it was empty calories A full meal, however, it is not


  2. says:

    Jock Soto describes his life as a Puertican Native American who is interested and talented in dance He initially learned the Native American hoop dance from his mother before eventually becoming an accomplished dancer Soto moves to New York at a young age and dances with the New York City Ballet for many years He talks about realizing he is gay and relationship struggles he experienced He writes about his travels, famous people from the dance world and outside of it he met and his ventures Jock Soto describes his life as a Puertican Native American who is interested and talented in dance He initially learned the Native American hoop dance from his mother before eventually becoming an accomplished dancer Soto moves to New York at a young age and dances with the New York City Ballet for many years He talks about realizing he is gay and relationship struggles he experienced He writes about his travels, famous people from the dance world and outside of it he met and his ventures as a chef As a result of reading this book, I have gained a greater appreciation for the work that goes into creating and dancing a ballet


  3. says:

    3.5This book was enjoyable, and honestlythan I expected I grew up watching Jock Soto dance, and it was a treat to learnabout his journey to NYCB I realized within the first few pages of the book that I really knew nothing about him beyond his gorgeous stage presence and athletic and refined dancing Every Step You Take isn t the best title for this or any book, and the writing isn t stellar But Soto offers many personal details that allowed for me to feel connected to him and hi 3.5This book was enjoyable, and honestlythan I expected I grew up watching Jock Soto dance, and it was a treat to learnabout his journey to NYCB I realized within the first few pages of the book that I really knew nothing about him beyond his gorgeous stage presence and athletic and refined dancing Every Step You Take isn t the best title for this or any book, and the writing isn t stellar But Soto offers many personal details that allowed for me to feel connected to him and his experiences, and the timing of his rise and of Balanchine s last days at the helm were intriguing.Some readers may not enjoy this book, especially given therecent news and developments around NYCB leadership At times the book feels a bit too much like it is relying on various sexual relationships between company members, and the organization of the narrative is at times abrupt Still, I appreciated Soto s willingness to be vulnerable on the page and write about his youth, his coming out, his career, and finding love and a career after his own retirement from dance


  4. says:

    Every Step You Take A Memoir is a look back for Jock Soto at his family and his career, sorting through the influences that made him a unique figure in the ballet world The writing took great courage, as some of his family history must have been hard to face some unpleasant truths about his father, in particular, and his mother s family He has an amazing life story, a story that I don t think could even happen today, and his telling of it is quite humble.Jock got interested in ballet at the Every Step You Take A Memoir is a look back for Jock Soto at his family and his career, sorting through the influences that made him a unique figure in the ballet world The writing took great courage, as some of his family history must have been hard to face some unpleasant truths about his father, in particular, and his mother s family He has an amazing life story, a story that I don t think could even happen today, and his telling of it is quite humble.Jock got interested in ballet at the ripe old age of four, while watching Edward Villella dance on the Ed Sullivan Show He was performing a piece from Jewels, by George Balanchine, who Jock would later dance for at the New York City Ballet His parents took his request seriously and enrolled him in ballet classes At 12 years old he auditioned for the School of American Ballet and was awarded a full scholarship After a brief interruption in his training, he returned to New York with his family and at 14 years old, his family left, leaving Jock alone in New York City, with no income other than his school stipend and no adult supervision.Who does that Who leaves their kid alone in the big city like that It s crazy I don t think you could get away with that today But he roomed with other dancers, couch surfed a bit, and eventually built a family for himself among the dancers there This new family of his is a theme throughout the book, the way he drew together with people who could give him the support and understanding that his family could not.Jock s family is interesting His mother is Navajo and his father is Puerto Rican They met in Philadelphia and when they ran off together, Jock s mother dropped out of school and his father left behind a wife and infant son Throughout his life, it was clear that his father carried on affairs with other women he also has another half brother from one of these liaisons His father was very macho and not terribly accepting of his gay son His mother was virtually disowned by her family for a number of reasons, not the least of which was marrying a man outside the tribe While he obviously loved his family very much, there is a sort of disconnect They really lived in different worlds.First, let me say I enjoyed this book very much I loved the glimpses into the life of a dancer not just a prima ballerina, not just a principal dancer, but the day to day life of a dancer in the corps and the way his life changes as he moves through the ranks He was a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet for 20 years the list of ballets and dancers and choreographers he knew is huge It prompted me to spend a lot of time at Wikipedia and YouTube, looking up Balanchine, Wendy Whalen, Heather Watts, Peter Martins and others I loved his stories about the dancers he admired My mother found out where to send mail for Mikhail Baryshnikov so that I could write a letter to him he actually sent me an autographed picture all the way to Arizona I still have that autographed photo, but I have never told Misha about it When he and I see each other these days he says, Hi, old man, and I say, Hi, older man This is a man who danced for George Balanchine, took class with Rudolph Nureyev, hung out in nightclubs and was painted by Andy Warhol It is an amazing story of success from humble beginnings, taking an unexpected path.I did find the writing a little clunky in places The narrative jumps around a lot, going backwards and forwards in time Jock occasionally gets a little lost trying to describe the emotion of being a dancer That s a really hard thing, to try and describe his connection to the ballerinas he danced with, being swept up in the music and the dancing, and some attempts aresuccessful than others Overall, an interesting memoir and a pretty compelling look at a very interesting life


  5. says:

    3.5 starsHe s got a very interesting history, and I liked the glimpse into the life of this gay ballet dancer of Navajo Puerto Rican heritage He actually lived in the Phoenix area around the same time I did, and he lived a similarly middle class life at the time There the similarities between our paths ends Eventhan his talent which I hear about indirectly in the book, but I don t really see, since it is hard to get the true nature of dance through the written word , I am awed by his d 3.5 starsHe s got a very interesting history, and I liked the glimpse into the life of this gay ballet dancer of Navajo Puerto Rican heritage He actually lived in the Phoenix area around the same time I did, and he lived a similarly middle class life at the time There the similarities between our paths ends Eventhan his talent which I hear about indirectly in the book, but I don t really see, since it is hard to get the true nature of dance through the written word , I am awed by his dedication to dance He knows from a very young age exactly what he wants to do, and is willing to spend all his time and energy on it at an age when most children have a muchlimited attention span Even as an adult, I long for a purpose so consuming, a path that is so clear.He makes no effort to hide his youthful shortsightedness and selfishness that led to him being on his own in New York at age 14 Still, he was savvy enough to survive this, as well as get through a rather intense young love affair with an older man without family support to back him up.The best part for me was the glimpses into the world of the ballet, the inner working of his company I liked seeing the aspects from insight as to how a dance was choreographed and I wish there was muchdetail here it truly was only a glance , seeing the personal relationships and the politics that went on.I had two issues with the book, neither of which were enough to keep me from enjoying my reading, but they were enough to keep me from loving Every Step You Take.First the voice of the narration didn t match the person being portrayed Part of it is that he s looking back, so it is the voice of a 40 year old telling the story of a teen and young man, but even after he was grown up, it still didn t seem to have the passion that was being described.The other problem is that the book really felt like just a glimpse into the life Ballets, lovers, family relationships, complex living situations all were quickly mentioned, but I never really saw it or felt it I was interested, but not involved.Still, when the worst I can say is that I wish there wasto it, I can t really complain


  6. says:

    If the unexamined life is not worth living then Jock Soto s life has got to be one of the most worthy of living lives to have ever been lived Soto has been the subject of countless articles,than a few artists he has an Andy Warhol portrait which consists mainly of his photo with Warhol s tracing around Soto s mouth and nose , a very compelling documentary and now this autobiography I ve been a fan of Soto s since my teen years but I realised partway through the book that I have just If the unexamined life is not worth living then Jock Soto s life has got to be one of the most worthy of living lives to have ever been lived Soto has been the subject of countless articles,than a few artists he has an Andy Warhol portrait which consists mainly of his photo with Warhol s tracing around Soto s mouth and nose , a very compelling documentary and now this autobiography I ve been a fan of Soto s since my teen years but I realised partway through the book that I have just had about enough of the contemplation of the life and person of Jock Soto for awhile I may end up revisiting the book down the line but I didn t really get out of the first bit of the book much that I hadn t already gleaned from the documentary other than the facts that his mother died and his retirement takes an adjustment are weighing heavily on him In fact, as I write this I think that s my problem with this book in general Now that he s retired, Soto has joined the rest of us mere mortals He s no longer the exotic sprite left to fend for himself in NYC at the ripe old age of 14 to become a star dancer for Balanchine He s just an aging guy dealing with the pain facing most aging guys And I had a hard time feeling too moved by his grief over his mother s death He separated from his parents as an adolescent and rarely spoke or saw them for nearly 30 years while he relentlessly pursued the passion of his self Now that he is done with ballet mostly he s still an instructor he is trying to get to know his mother again, and the book addresses that I found myself having a very hard time trying to be empathetic about the consequences of his family s bizarre choice to abandon each other for the dance world until the glory of the dance world started to fade


  7. says:

    The problem with most of the ballet books written by dancers is that They are dancers, not writers even when they get help with the writing That being said if you start reading knowing this, your expectations will be about information and maybe reflexion, not about style.Soto has a very interesting and different story to tell His ethnicity plays a big role in the story and it s interesting Also, you an read this book even if you don t know about ballet, Balanchine or the New York City Ba The problem with most of the ballet books written by dancers is that They are dancers, not writers even when they get help with the writing That being said if you start reading knowing this, your expectations will be about information and maybe reflexion, not about style.Soto has a very interesting and different story to tell His ethnicity plays a big role in the story and it s interesting Also, you an read this book even if you don t know about ballet, Balanchine or the New York City Ballet A nice read


  8. says:

    Reminds me of Jeannette Walls s Half Broke Horses, in a way Jock has made a semi normal life for himself despite being raised by parents who moved around constantly and didn t hold a job for long not to mention his father s issues with fidelity.Jock is painfully truthful about his own immaturity as he was learning about life and love in NYC as a teenager mostly on his own But, you can feel his joy in dancing well and getting to do new works.


  9. says:

    4.5 stars, actually, the extra 1 2 for being a very quick read Most memoirs I have to slog through but this was fun and sweet and Soto is so humble for all of the many gifts he was given I would recommend this book to dancers and dance aficionados, for sure, all of whom would love a glimpse into the world of City Ballet.


  10. says:

    Jock Soto writes most beautifully about dancing and its importance for him This is a story of his career, his growth as a dancer and the ballet knowledge he had learned on the way.A fascinating read for anyone interested in ballet.


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