One question that Twyla Tharp, one of the world’s greatest choreographers, gets asked over and over is, “How do you keep at it?” with the implied phrase “at your age?”
At seventy-eight, Thwarp, currently premiering a new ballet for American Ballet Theatre, is revered not only for the dances she creates but also for her astounding regime of exercise and nonstop engagement. She religiously works out each morning at daybreak, and utilizes that energy to propel her breakneck schedule as a teacher, writer, creator, and lecturer.
From insights to actions, Tharp shares her secrets for harnessing vitality and finding purpose while facing aging. Ultimately, Keep It Moving is a guidebook for expanding one’s possibilities over the course of a lifetime.
Culling anecdotes from her life and the lives of other luminaries across a wide scope of disciplines, each chapter is accompanied by a small exercise that will help anyone develop a more hopeful and energetic approach to the everyday.
Nearly twenty years ago, Tharp wrote the bestselling book The Creative Habit, which shared the message that you can live a creative life if only you would just get down to work. Once you’ve incorporated the lessons of discipline from The Creative Habit, Keep It Moving helps you assess those habits that have accumulated over the years and adjust them as needed.
Tharp will tell you what the beauty-fitness-wellness industry won’t: Chasing youth is a losing proposition. “Age,” writes Tharp, “is not the enemy. Stagnation is the enemy. Complacency is the enemy… Attempting to freeze your life in time at any point is totally destructive to the prospect of a life lived well and fully.”
Intended to encourage those who wish to maintain their prime for a very long time, Keep It Moving is a series of no-nonsense meditations on how to live with purpose as time passes. From the details of how she stays motivated to the stages of her evolving fitness routine, Tharp models how fulfillment depends not on fortune, but on attitude—possible for anyone willing to try and keep trying.
She asserts that making a pledge to have an intentional, meaningful life means confronting dwindling motivation and physical capabilities, countering them with stamina, and attacking unforeseen obstacles. Maybe you’re in the right place to learn that age itself is not the enemy, and that experience offers many gifts—knowledge, mastery, simplicity.
Both in person and on the page, Tharp is a force—her profound sense of purpose, her toughness, her humor, and her relentless curiosity make her a wise writer.
She writes, “First step—make a contract with your future. Facing new habits requires accountability. Call it your pledge.”
Keep it Moving: Lessons for the Rest of Your Life is available for purchase.
About Twyla Tharp
Twyla Tharp, one of America’s greatest choreographers, began her career in 1965 and has created more than 130 dances for her company as well as for the Joffrey Ballet, the New York City Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, London’s Royal Ballet, Denmark’s Royal Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. She has won two Emmy awards for television’s Baryshnikov by Tharp, and a Tony Award for the Broadway musical Movin’ Out. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1993 and was made an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1997. She lives and works in New York City.