Becoming Ginger Rogers: How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner, and Smarter CEO by Patrice TanakaBecoming Ginger Rogers: How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner, and Smarter CEO by Patrice Tanaka

Becoming Ginger Rogers: How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner, and Smarter…

byPatrice Tanaka

Paperback | September 6, 2011

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What brings you joy?

"To devote yourself to the creation and enjoyment of beauty, then, can be serious business—not always necessarily a means of escaping reality, but sometimes a means of holding on to the real when everything else is flaking away." ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

My femininity, creativity, and optimism had been flaking away, especially since 9/11. When I was dancing, I felt real and complete again. ~ Becoming Ginger Rogers, Chapter 4, "Samba Girl"

If you’ve spent most of your life pursuing your career, raising your family, and/or caring for loved ones who may be ill or infirmed, your own needs may have been neglected in the process.

Becoming Ginger Rogers is the story of one woman’s inspiring and uplifting journey to reclaim her life during the dispiriting days of New York City in the aftermath of 9/11, the unraveling of a successful business she co-founded with a dozen colleagues, and the death of her beloved husband after a long illness. Patrice Tanaka shares her very personal story of how at age 50 she started ballroom dance lessons to satisfy a lifelong dream of dancing like Ginger Rogers and, in so doing, found her way to unimaginable joy.

Becoming Ginger Rogers is, in part, a memoir of a young Japanese-American girl born and raised in Hawaii who fulfilled her dream of career success in Manhattan; it’s a voyeuristic glimpse into the world of competitive ballroom dancing; and it’s a business book about the lessons learned from ballroom dancing that made Patrice a better partner and a smarter CEO.

In this book, you will learn:

• How to reclaim, re-energize and re-excite yourself about your own life
• How to “reschedule yourself” back into your own life as the first step toward reclaiming your life
• How lessons learned in ballroom dance such as the importance of being fully present—mind, body and spirit—have applications beyond the ballroom floor in helping you achieve greater success in your personal and professional life
• How learning to be a good follower can be a winning strategy for business
• How visualizing your dreams is the way to manifest them
• How living every moment of your life in a way that is fulfilling in and of itself, and not dependent on some future you may not have, is the best way to live and to be prepared to die even if you have little advance warning like the nearly 3,000 people who perished on 9/11

Becoming Ginger Rogers shows us how we can revitalize ourselves even after years of woeful neglect so that our most exciting and joy-filled days are ahead of us. Plus it pulls back the curtain on ballroom dancing in a fun, educational way. Be transported to the world of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Whirl of Manhattan
Chapter 2: The Arabian Prince
Chapter 3: “What Brings You Joy?”
Intermezzo: Foxtrot
Chapter 4: Samba Girl
Intermezzo: Samba
Chapter 5: The Ballroom World and the Real World
Intermezzo: Tango
Chapter 6: Practice Failing—in the Ballroom and in the Boardroom
Intermezzo: Rumba
Chapter 7: Partnering for Success—with or without Chocolate
Intermezzo: Mambo
Chapter 8: You Must Be Present to Win: Going with the Flow and Celebrating Successes along the Way Intermezzo: Viennese Waltz
Chapter 9: whatcanbe: Leading with Your Heart
Coda: Cha Cha
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...
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Title:Becoming Ginger Rogers: How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner, and Smarter…Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:September 6, 2011Publisher:BenBella Books, Inc.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1936661039

ISBN - 13:9781936661039

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Reviews

Read from the Book

IntermezzoThe SambaThe American rhythm samba, which Tony so skillfully choreographed for my samba showcase, captivated me in the musical Flying Down to Rio long before I knew the name of the dance. The ballroom samba evolved from the wilder Brazilian version that can still be seen today, when thousands of dancers—some nearly naked, others in elaborate costumes—frolic their way through the streets of Rio during Carnival. Ballroom samba attempts to keep the spirit of the original while translating it into patterns the average social dancer can learn and enjoy.If the American rhythm version of samba were a character from literature, it would be the irrepressible Tigger: bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, and fun, fun, fun! The timing and coordination of the flexing and straightening of the knees gives the dance its characteristic bouncy motion, which looks and feels very different from all the other rhythm dances. Yet the infectious bounce must be quarantined to the lower half of the body. No bobbing heads or rocking shoulders. Stillness but not rigidity upstairs: picture a fluidly moving showgirl balancing a spectacular feathered headdress, and remember that a wobble up top will bring everything crashing. Downstairs is where you throw the party. In the early stages of learning samba, you may feel that your knees and feet should be thrown in the slammer for disorderly conduct, for going a little too crazy and always being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In more advanced stages of learning, the party really takes off, as your feet and knees cooperate and you also roll the hips and flick the pelvis back and forth. (No side-to-side motion allowed!)The rhythm of samba follows a “one-a-two” syncopated count. Beginners can find it difficult to process that each step taken does not correspond to a single beat of music. The first step, “one” of the count, occurs over three quarters of a single beat of music. The second step, “a” of the count, takes a quarter of a beat of music. One beat of music, two steps. The third step, “two” of the count, requires a full beat of music. One beat of music, one step. None of the steps takes the same length of time. Samba is a very lively dance, so it’s important to master the rhythm before trying to learn a lot of patterns.While all the other rhythm dances cover a limited patch of the floor, the samba travels. The Latin or pop music is playing fast, and the dancers smile and bounce as they make their way around the entire floor. With all the hip-rolling and pelvic-ticking, samba is also unabashedly sexy and looks most natural when the dancer feels earthy and vibrant and does not hesitate to show it. Yet perhaps because of the foot speed, rapid coordination, and upper-body stillness required—all of which demand a lot of physical control—samba does not look raunchy or vulgar, it simply exudes the joy of being alive. Alma Guillermoprieto, a former pro dancer and current journalist, sums up the samba this way: “There is no point to samba if it doesn’t make you smile.”

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Whirl of Manhattan
Chapter 2: The Arabian Prince
Chapter 3: “What Brings You Joy?”
Intermezzo: Foxtrot
Chapter 4: Samba Girl
Intermezzo: Samba
Chapter 5: The Ballroom World and the Real World
Intermezzo: Tango
Chapter 6: Practice Failing—in the Ballroom and in the Boardroom
Intermezzo: Rumba
Chapter 7: Partnering for Success—with or without Chocolate
Intermezzo: Mambo
Chapter 8: You Must Be Present to Win: Going with the Flow and Celebrating Successes along the Way Intermezzo: Viennese Waltz
Chapter 9: whatcanbe: Leading with Your Heart
Coda: Cha Cha

Editorial Reviews

"...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