SOMETIMES IT TAKES A NEW STAGE TO HEAL OLD WOUNDS.
When Janine Kovac gives birth to micro preemie twins nearly four months before they are due, she channels the grace and strength that carried her through a successful ballet career. The human body has amazing healing powers if you just know how to listen to it. But old habits bring up old haunts and bitter memories—the futile quest for perfection and a career-ending injury. In the sterile, fluorescent world of the NICU, ballet breeds hope as the twins make a miraculous recovery. Can it also bring resolution to the dancer so many years after the abrupt and painful end to the career she loved so much?
“I have one of my recurring dreams.
I’m at the theater and I’m thrust into a role I’ve never rehearsed before. My pointe shoe ribbons are too short and I can’t tie them. I can’t find my costume. It’s time to go onstage. Usually the scene is stuck in a loop, and just before I step onstage unprepared, the dream rewinds to the beginning: the call to perform and all the details pointing to disaster. Actual disaster never happens, but the dream never gets better, either.
But this time I get onstage and dance.
I balance on one leg and turn. Three, four, five pirouettes in arabesque. Eight, nine, fifteen rotations. I just keep spinning and spinning.”
PRAISE FOR SPINNING
“Janine Kovac’s memoir, written with a fresh and engaging voice, will grab you by the heart and won’t let go until the very end. What a ride! Brava!”
—Ellen Sussman, New York Times bestselling author of four novels, A Wedding in Provence, The Paradise Guest House, French Lessons, and On a Night Like This
“A deft and moving exploration of fear, strength, and the ways in which our past lives are always catching up with our present. Janine Kovac weaves her terrifying introduction to motherhood and her career as a professional ballerina as naturally and masterfully as if she’s choreographed a new dance. And she has.”
—Anna Solomon, author of Leaving Lucy Pear and co-editor of Labor Day: True Stories of Motherhood by Today’s Best Women Writers
“Janine Kovac has written a beautiful, honest book about what it means to live in a body, the triumphs and dangers of dancing, the deep joy and sadness of becoming a mother to twins born far too soon. I devoured this book in a single morning, wanting to know what life would unveil for this family. You will too and the story will stay with you for a long, long time after you close the book and breathe again.”
—Nayomi Munaweera, author of Island of A Thousand Mirrors (winner of the Commonwealth Regional Prize for Asia) and What Lies Between Us
“I loved Spinning from the first page. Janine Kovac artfully weaves her past as a professional ballet dancer with the story of the premature birth of her twin sons. ‘The human body has amazing healing powers if you just know how to listen to it,’ writes Kovac. Spinning is both a testament to the miracle of the human body and to the ways that deep listening allows us to heal and pull meaning from our lives.”
—Kate Hopper, author of Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood and Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Janine Kovac was a soloist with The National Ballet of Iceland (Īslenski Dansflokkurinn). Her career included dancing for companies in Italy, Austria, San Francisco, and in her hometown of El Paso, Texas.
After ballet, Janine worked as a database architect and software engineer. She is a founding member of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit writing group Write on Mamas and co-founder of Moxie Road Productions, a consulting firm that helps women bring their ideas into the world. Janine is the author of Brain Changer: A Mother’s Guide to Cognitive Science and a contributing editor of the anthology Mamas Write: 29 Tales of Truth, Wit, and Grit. In 2016 she was awarded the Elizabeth George Foundation Fellowship from Hedgebrook in addition to the gift of residency. She lives in Oakland, California, with her family.
Learn more here.
Moxie Road Productions