Moments ago, I finished my final read through of HOUSE OF DANCE, the novel due out in June. It's an emotional thing, frankly, to see a book in this stage, to reflect back on all the people who helped you make this book what it is. Amy Rennert, my agent, who read the first ten pages within a day of me sending them on, and said, Keep going. Laura Geringer, the editor, who called one day in December to say yes to the story, and who, over the course of a year, gave her best thinking to it. Jill Santopolo, who answered every question, big and small. The copyeditors, Renee Cafiero and Pearl Hanig, whose passion for getting it right is enormous, whose eyes are magnified by the sort of technical knowledge I'll never have. Cindy Tamasi and Nettie Hartsock, who make a point of sharing the story with those they hope will care. Jennie Nash, a writing friend, who read early pages and cheered.
But also: All those whose lives intersected mine and made the story possible to write. The incredible dancers of Dancesport Academy, mostly, who have opened their world to me over the past nearly two years. I have the deepest respect for what they know about posture, form, bend, pause, and how they share it. How they come, day after day, and stand with us, showing us broader, bolder ways to lean out of ourselves, and into music. Dancing is the opposite of dying. Dancing is color and light. Dancing is fragile and courage is required. Dancing pressed upon me the story I finally had to write.
My father, too, gave me this story. My father showed me what it is to care for someone you love in the deepest and most honest way. HOUSE OF DANCE is his book, in the end. HOUSE is the gift he gave, at the saddest and most searing time.
Causes Beth Kephart Supports
PumpAid St. Christopher's Foundation for Children National Book Foundation's BookUpNYC Dancing Classrooms