Every Step You Take
By Jock Soto
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061732386, 288pp.)
Publication Date: October 2011
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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In June 2005 Jock Soto, at forty years old, gave his farewell performance as a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. The program, an event of unprecedented ambition, showcased pieces from five legendary choreographers, and it capped one of the most storied careers in ballet historyan ascent that began when Soto was just three years old. After retiring, Soto was determined to embrace a new future, but he found himself obsessed with questions about his pastwhere had he come from, and where had he been?
Every Step You Take weaves together the diverse strands of Sotos life: being the half-breed offspring of a Puerto RicanNavajo couple, the gay son of a fiercely macho man, a naive teenager from the desert running in the sophisticated art world of New York, and a driven artist by day and hard-core party animal by night. Soto recalls his professional relationships with such icons as George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Darci Kistler, Lourdes Lopez, and many others. He shares his love of food throughout the book with recipes to mark the pivotal moments in his story. And he describes the newest chapter in his life: teaching at the renowned School of American Ballet.
Intimate and moving, Every Step You Take shows the honest and inspiring evolution of a remarkable man, a brilliant artist, and a living legend.
Jock Soto joined the New York City Ballet in 1981. He was promoted to soloist in 1984 and to principal dancer in 1985. He has danced featured roles in countless ballets, many of which were created specifically for him. He has been a permanent member of the faculty at the School of American Ballet since 1996, and in 2007 he was the subject of the critically acclaimed documentary Water Flowing Together. He lives in New York City with his partner, Luis Fuentes, a sommelier.
“Soto must add ‘eloquent memoirist’ to his attainments. [Every Step You Take] is lovely for its graceful inward and outward gaze and its narrative flow.”
-Library Journal (starred review)
“[Jock’s] story, a true nowhere-to-somewhere tale, gathers momentum, it achieves a narrative power and an essential sweetness that is never cloying or annoying...A powerful story, affectionately told, about the demands and dimensions of personal and professional success.”
“Soto offers inspirational insights into a dancer’s creative process.”
“Jock Soto’s story is as poignant as his dancing. Every Step You Take is an inspirational journey that reveals a life on and beyond the stage. A must-read for any artist who sacrifices for their art.”
-Padma Lakshmi, author, actress, model and host of Emmy Award-winning show Top Chef
“Airborne in spirit, earthbound in truth, the words are moving and masterful. Like the dancer himself.”
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For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org