Equal parts memoir and cultural history, from acclaimed comic stylist and professional hobbyist Henry Alford comes a hilarious journey through the world of dance that will inform, entertain and leave readers tapping their toes.
When Henry Alford wrote about his experience with a Zumba class for The New York Times, little did he realize that it was the start of something much bigger. Dance would grow and take on many roles for Henry: exercise, confidence builder, an excuse to travel, a source of ongoing wonder and—when he dances with Alzheimer's patients—even a kind of community service.
Tackling a wide range of forms (including ballet, hip-hop, jazz, ballroom, tap, contact improvisation, Zumba, swing), this grand tour takes us through the works and careers of luminaries ranging from Bob Fosse to George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp to Arthur Murray. Rich in insight and humor, Alford mines both personal experience and fascinating cultural history to offer a witty and ultimately moving portrait of how dance can express all things human.
About the Author
Henry Alford has written for TheNew Yorker, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times for two decades. His books include And Then We Danced, How to Live, and Big Kiss, which won a Thurber Prize for American humor.
“[And Then We Danced] is in one sense a celebration of hoofer in all its wonder and variety, from abandon to refinement. But it is also history, investigation, memoir and even, in its smart, sly way, self-help… very funny, but more, it is joyful—a dance all its own.” —Vanity Fair
“I’ve never seen Henry Alford dance, but my God, can he write. His funny and brilliant book has prose that jiggles, bounces, bops and twists. No matter what your background in dance—whether you spent your prom sitting in the corner staring at your lap, or you’re a choreographer with Alvin Ailey—this book will entertain and enlighten you.” —A.J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Know-It-All
"Henry Alford's new book is an exhilarating twirl through the dance world. With passion, wit and style to spare, he knows just how to lead us—and not even wallflowers will be able to resist." —Abigail Tucker, bestselling author of The Lion in the Living Room
“Henry Alford has done the impossible. From the comfort of your chair, you can savor all the fun, joy, and intrigue of dance and its colorful history. The calorie burn too, although that may be from your uncontrollable laughter. A spectacular read.” —Sandra Tsing Loh, author of The Madwoman in the Volvo
“Delicious, hilarious, brilliant—who else but Henry Alford could write about an art form and its luminaries so unpretentiously? I just loved this witty and endearing book.” —Elinor Lipman, bestselling author of On Turpentine Lane
“In a book that’s equal parts memoir and cultural history, Alford seamlessly interweaves heartwarming and hilarious anecdotes about his deep dive into all things dance. . . . captivating.” —Misty Copeland, New York Times Book Review