Patrice Tanaka, co-chair and chief creative officer of the $11 million CRT/tanaka PR firm, last week told how ballroom dancing re-energized her life after several personal tragedies and difficulties including the death of her husband, Assad.

Patrice Tanka event
Patrica Tanaka, dancers Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine, Jack O'Dwyer, and dancer Liana Churilova.
Tanaka, who heads the New York office of the Richmond-based firm, spoke at a holiday party Dec. 14 sponsored by the MultiVu unit of PR Newswire and It included an exhibition of ballroom dancing at The Ball NY studios, 131 W. 35th st.

Tanaka’s 274-page book, "Becoming Ginger Rogers," is not only a detailed telling of her life story but has lots to say about the evolution of PR practice during her more than 30 years in the industry and adjustments that had to be made when her firm, Patrice Tanaka & Co., merged with Carter Ryley Thomas in 2005.

“The internet totally revolutionized the industry,” she writes.

“Stories that were once local now had the potential to instantly become global. Anyone could easily search for obscure news and information on every topic.

“It soon became clear that this would be both a boon and a curse—a curse because the misstatements and misdeeds of anyone, from the CEO to a line employee, could be captured and communicated for all the world to see. For PR agencies, both the good and the bad press meant more work.”

Danced Competitively

Tanaka writes about her adventures as a competitive ballroom dancer since 2002 and her progress from a beginner to status as a “Silver Level” dancer and winner of awards.

She danced the mambo six times in the Sunshine State Dance Sport Competition in September 2010 and won first place in all six heats. That made her “happier than I had ever been.”

Concludes the book:
“The image of Ginger Rogers and ballroom dancing forced me to reengage with myself on all levels—mind, body, and spirit. It forced me to embrace celebrate, and love myself, including the ten pounds I still want to lose. And in loving myself, I became a more loving person.”