Saturday, December 31, 2011

"Becoming Ginger Rogers" Book Party Launch Benefits Dancing Classrooms

“Becoming Ginger Rogers” Book Party Launch Benefits Dancing Classrooms

Patrice Tanaka

Program Teaches Ballroom Dancing in 500+ Public Schools Across U.S. and in Jaffa, Israel, Bringing Together Israeli and Palestinian Children

Patrice Tanaka (Photo Credit: Jan Goldstoff)

NEW YORK, DEC. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The recent industry launch of PR maven Patrice Tanaka’s new book, “Becoming Ginger Rogers…How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner and Smarter CEO,” co-hosted by MultiVu, a PR Newswire company, and, at The Ball New York on Dec. 14 was appropriately a fundraiser for Dancing Classrooms. The New York City-based non-profit, co-founded by ballroom champion Pierre Dulaine and his dance partner, Yvonne Marceau, which brings ballroom dance into public schools across the country and, now globally, has transformed the lives of more than 300,000 children and inspired the award-winning documentary, “Mad, Hot Ballroom,” and the film, “Take the Lead,” starring Antonio Banderas.

Jeannie Egas-Trouveroy, Pierre Dulaine, John Schultz, Patrice Tanaka, Yvonne Marceau, Todd Grossman (photo credit: Jan Goldstoff)

“I can’t think of a better way to launch my book, which is a memoir/business book about the personal and professional transformation I experienced through ballroom dance, than to use it as a fundraiser for Dancing Classrooms, a program I have long admired for its success in helping to transform young lives one step at a time through ballroom dance,” explains Tanaka.

“I first started taking ballroom dance lessons at Pierre Dulaine’s dance studio in New York City and have witnessed the tireless dedication of Pierre and Yvonne in building this remarkable program from one New York City elementary school in 1994 to more than 500 schools across the country today, including in Jaffa, Israel, where 10-year old Israeli-Jewish and Israeli-Palestinian children were brought together for the first time ever through ballroom dance.” A documentary entitled, “Dancing in Jaffa,” will be released in fall 2012 about Pierre’s visit to his hometown of Jaffa and his efforts to bring children of different faiths together joyfully and peacefully through dance in this war-torn region, Ms. Tanaka said.

According to Pierre Dulaine, research has proven that Dancing Classrooms’ 10-week session of twice-weekly ballroom dance classes have helped to increase social development among children and improve their school attendance and rate of high school graduation. “We can very clearly see the transformative effect of ballroom dance on children and know that dance can transform lives at any age as Ms. Tanaka can attest to in her charmingly candid book, ‘Becoming Ginger Rogers,’ and how it made her, as she says, ‘a happier woman, better partner and smarter CEO.’”

Todd Grossman, vice president of MultiVu, which co-hosted the book party for Ms. Tanaka, announced that proceeds from the sale of books that evening would be donated to Dancing Classrooms.

Ms. Tanaka will also be making a donation to the non-profit organization for every book sold through February 15, 2012, the date of Dancing Classrooms 18th Annual Gala Dinner-Dance at The Pierre Hotel in New York City at which she will be the non-profit organization’s first-ever “corporate honoree.”

To order a copy of “Becoming Ginger Rogers” and, at the same time, make a donation to Dancing Classrooms, please click on either of the following links:


At the book party, Ms. Tanaka spoke about how she started ballroom dance lessons at age 50 to satisfy a lifelong dream of dancing like Ginger Rogers and, in so doing, found her way to “unimaginable joy.” She recounted how she turned to ballroom dancing to lift herself from a deep depression she fell into post-9/11, the unraveling of a successful business she co-founded, and the prolonged illness and death of her beloved husband.

Ms. Tanaka said that she took up ballroom dancing at a time when she was feeling “totally burnt out and unexcited and uninspired by her own life.” Ballroom dancing, she said, helped her to “reclaim her life.”

In “Becoming Ginger Rogers,” Ms. Tanaka talks about the “lessons she learned from ballroom dancing that have application beyond the dance floor” such as:

The importance of being fully present – mind, body and spirit – in helping you to communicate more effectively, create stronger connections and partner more successfully with others in your personal and professional life.

How “overrated” and inhibiting perfectionism is; more important, she says, is to live full-out and fearlessly even if you make some missteps.
How visualizing your dreams are the first step in manifesting 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 “good to go” especially if you have little advance warning like the nearly 3,000 people who perished at work in the Twin Towers on 9/11.

Ms. Tanaka concluded her remarks by urging guests to “pursue your joy with a sense of urgency” and not to postpone this critical action by thinking that they had the “luxury of an endless future” in which to do so.

She then introduced a dazzling ballroom dance exhibition by American Rhythm Champions Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine and Liana Churilova. Ms. Tanaka said that Pierre-Antoine, her teacher, was the person who “inspired” her to write her book, explaining that, “Emmanuel views dancing as more than just a ‘sport’ or ‘profession,’ he views dance as a way of being fully present in the world and as self-discovery and a way of connecting with the divine both within and beyond yourself.”

The thrilling Cha Cha, Rhumba and Mambo danced by Pierre-Antoine and Churilova were evidence of this to all who were present that evening.

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About Patrice Tanaka
Patrice Tanaka is the co-chair, chief creative officer and whatcanbe ambassador for CRT/tanaka, an award-winning, national PR and marketing agency she co-founded in September 2005. Her agency’s brand vision of whatcanbe is the reason CRT/tanaka has been recognized for its workplace culture and won more than 300 PR and marketing awards for client campaigns.

A widow since 2003, Ms.Tanaka lives in Manhattan and devotes much of her free time to serving on the boards of non-profit organizations dedicated to helping women and children, including the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York, Futures Without Violence (formerly the Family Violence Prevention Fund), the American Friends of Phelophepa (the South African health care train) and Asian Women in Business. She also competes in “pro-am” ballroom dance competitions. You can find her on Facebook @Becoming Ginger Rogers and Twitter @BeGingerRogers.

About Dancing Classrooms
Dancing Classrooms is an arts-in-education program whose mission is to build social awareness, confidence and self-esteem in children through the practice of social dance. Dancing Classrooms NYC, a 501©(3) non-profit organization, was founded in 1994.

Dancing Classrooms is not about teaching ballroom dancing. Dance is a tool for getting children to break down social barriers, learn about honor and respect, treat others carefully, improve self-confidence, communicate and cooperate, and accept others even if they are different.

Dancing Classrooms is a 10-week – 20 session social development program for 5th and 8th grade children that utilizes ballroom dancing as a vehicle to change the lives of not only the children who participate in the program but also the lives of the teachers and parents who support these children.

You can find Dancing Classrooms on Facebook @Dancing Classrooms New York City and Twitter @DancingClassrms.

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