Penguin Group, $16.95, 288 pages
When author Jamie Rose signed up for Argentine tango lessons, she learned that letting someone else occasionally take the lead isn’t giving up, but rather, letting go. In her book Shut Up & Dance, Rose combines the self-help and memoir genres. You don’t have to be a dancer to benefit from her insights and advice. Her useful lessons apply to dance, relationships, and life. Peppered with quotes from other dancers, Rose’s tone is conversational and informal. Treat any conversation like a dance. In order to keep it flowing, both partners must communicate so the movement doesn’t stop or become a power struggle. There are some old-fashioned parts of Rose’s theory (a man needs to be able to fulfill his yearning to be a knight in shining armor and an empowered woman means a disempowered man) and Rose acknowledges this. It is what has worked in her life. She counters that following does not mean having no opinion. It is more about balance. The book has some noticeable grammar errors and at times the text gets repetitive. Shut Up & Dance is one woman’s approach to life and love. Take a dance class and see where it leads.
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin